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Rewriting the rules

23 May 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Venue: Scholastic’s Big Red Auditorium
130 Mercer Street
New York

his event is part of a spring 2019 series called The Housing System.


Land use, planning, architecture, construction, safety, accessibility—regulations are at the heart of how we design and build our cities. While most are passed with good intentions (safety, universal access, environmental protection), others are needlessly cumbersome or worse, such as zoning that fosters segregation. Who is benefitting from which rules? And how can they be changed when they no longer serve a productive purpose?


Regulations are highly contested territory when it comes to housing, affecting issues including affordability, access to resources, and public health. This session will focus on efforts—from revising zoning to repealing parking mandates to permitting backyard or basement homes—to encourage more housing density, affordability, and a larger variety of housing types in all neighborhoods. Looking to recent examples from Los Angeles and Minneapolis, presented respectively by architect Dana Cuff and advocate Anton Schieffer, we’ll examine the outcomes and consequences of policy changes meant to change what and where we build housing. How do we shape existing regulations to get the results that we want, or rewrite the rules altogether?