Public Policy

The Role of Zoning Policies on Sustainable Development and Climate Change



This paper includes a background analysis and review of the research surrounding the benefits of increasing urban density as a strategy to combat climate change, how increased urban density feeds into sustainable development, and the reduction of urban sprawl through high-density development. Seattle and Chicago are the two US cities highlighted as part of a case study comparison on their unique approaches to urban development, and the use of urban density as a tool in combating climate change and societal inequities. The similarities and differences between the Seattle and Chicago schools of thought represent a microcosm of the opportunities and difficulties of implementing high-density sustainable development in the United States and beyond. Combatting the worst effects of climate change will require more flexibility in local zoning regulations and a laser-focused push towards the construction of transit-oriented development and urban villages to increase urban density and reverse urban sprawl.


Thumbnail image of Noy - APSA Conference Paper.pdf


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