Skip to main content

Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 2 | Urbanizing for Equity: Harnessing Upzones as a Redistributive Policy Tool


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Habitat III

Volume 19, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Urbanizing for Equity: Harnessing Upzones as a Redistributive Policy Tool

Rachel Fyall
University of Washington

Alexander Casey

Alternative land use policies are needed to ensure equitable housing. This article explores the often lottery-like characteristics of significant land value increases that certain property owners realize following local zoning changes. Traditionally, property owners enjoy a financial windfall from land use modifications when provided the opportunity to redevelop to a higher density or sell to a developer. We propose an alternative policy that enables cities to capture a portion of this land value increase in order to fund housing equity priorities.

Previous Article   |   Next Article