Real Estate

Zoning Has Had a Good 100 Years. Enough Already.

The damage caused by city land-use restrictions far outweighs their benefits.

Doing more harm than good.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On July 25, 1916, the New York City Board of Estimate voted to divide the city into residential, commercial and industrial zones. The measure, the New York Times wrote the next day, was “believed to be the most important step in the development of New York City since the construction of the subways.” It also appears to have been the first set of land-use rules in the U.S. that (1) covered an entire city and (2) used the word “zone.”

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.