Land use zoning and human diversity: Exploring the connection

Emily Talen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


City planners are rallying against social and economic segregation by enacting regulatory changes, particularly zoning reform. Land use zoning, many argue, is one of the most potent tools planners have to enact change in human settlement patterns, and the goal of that change is often to foster greater levels of socioeconomic and land use diversity. This paper presents a method for connecting land use zoning and spatial patterns of diversity explicitly. It addresses the question of whether, and in what ways, zoning and human diversity are interrelated. Two fundamental questions arise in attempting to use zoning to foster greater diversity: What is the current relationship between human diversity and zoning, and second, how can zoning, given local experience, be changed to effectuate more diversity. To answer these questions, patterns of zoning by parcel and patterns of socioeconomic diversity were evaluated for the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, Ill. A form of the Simpson Diversity Index was used to measure socioeconomic and zoning diversity by census block group. The results showed an association between diverse residential zoning and income diversity, but other measures of social diversity were not strongly correlated. Journal of Urban Planning and Development

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-232
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Regulations
  • Spatial analysis
  • Urban planning
  • Zoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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