Can Land Use Regulation Be Smarter? Planners’ Role in the Informal Housing Challenge – Journal of Planning Education and Research – article

Can Land Use Regulation Be Smarter? Planners’ Role in the Informal Housing Challenge

Eric J. Heikkila, Julia G. Harten | Journal of Planning Education and Research

2019-10-22

Persistent urbanization is challenging planners to reimagine the absorptive capacities of cities. While more and more city dwellers respond to the challenge with informal solutions, policy and planning responses have fallen short of providing compelling answers. We propose redirecting attention to the use of land. This paper develops a model that centers on the role of land use regulation in conditioning and sustaining housing informality. Taking variations in income, location, and regulation into account, our framework uncovers the effective, household-level regulatory burden. Using this model to audit existing land use regimes gives planners the tools to plan effectively for targeted adjustments.

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