Bringing together experts from Chicago and around the country in city government, housing organizations, design firms, and academia, “Beyond the Single-Family Home: Zoning, Equity, and Access,” will center around common exclusionary zoning practices in U.S. cities, like zoning for single-family homes over denser housing such as apartments, townhomes, and duplexes.


This one-day symposium hosted by the Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation will will explore how a form of development so often identified with the “American Dream,” has contributed to some of the biggest challenges facing U.S. cities today, including unaffordable housing, lack of access to quality transit, and racial segregation. In Chicago, it is not uncommon for 50% of the land within two blocks of a train station to be zoned for single-family houses only, according to Cityscape. In many U.S. cities, the majority of residential land is zoned for single-family housing, including Minneapolis at 70%, Los Angeles at 75%, Seattle at 81%, and the San Francisnco Bay Area at 85%, according to UC-Berkeley and the New York Times and Urban Footprint.


Drawing from perspectives across disciplines and sectors and active audience participation, we will weigh the limitations of current responses and ask big questions for the future, such as how to approach the issue of preservation, how to respond to the added traffic created by single-family zoning, and whether the practice should be abolished altogether.

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