Building the National Zoning Atlas

Course Details

This presentation offers planners a step-by-step guide to participating in the most ambitious zoning data collection project ever undertaken, the National Zoning Atlas. The atlas addresses a national need for people to better understand zoning laws that govern their lives. Zoning laws have direct impacts on housing availability, transportation, education, economic opportunity, and access to nature. Unfortunately, despite codes’ importance, ordinary people can’t make heads or tails of them. The National Zoning Atlas will help people better understand zoning, which in turn will broaden participation in land-use decisions, identify opportunities for zoning reform, and narrow a wide information gap that currently favors land speculators, institutional investors, and homeowners over socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.

The atlas offers comparisons across jurisdictions, illuminates regional and statewide trends, and strengthens national planning for housing production, transportation infrastructure, and climate response. Panelists working on the National Zoning Atlas introduce the “How to Make a Zoning Atlas” guide, walk participants through the atlas interface, and reveal how they can build teams. Discussions touch on the challenges of collecting information and summarize the benefits of standardizing zoning information for the public good.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how to participate in creating the National Zoning Atlas.
  • Learn how to navigate a new digital tool that can shape zoning policy.
  • Understand the benefits of standardized zoning information across jurisdictions.