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Multi-City Panel of Land Use Reforms

The Urban Institute created a multicity panel dataset of land-use reforms using machine learning algorithms to analyze newspaper articles across eight metropolitan regions from 2000 to 2019. The newspaper articles were accessed from Access World News, a comprehensive database of major national and international newspapers. We collected data on reforms related to six regulations: accessory dwelling units, density or floor-area-ratio requirements, minimum lot sizes, minimum setback requirements, mixed residential developments, and nonresidential developments. For each reform, we classify whether it increased or decreased allowed residential density and what time of regulation it fell under.
This dataset was produced with funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation.

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Urban Institute
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Data Quality or Limitations

We created this dataset using machine learning to analyze newspaper articles, and it is likely that many land-use reforms in the target cities are missed. This dataset should be used with caution when examining all land-use reform changes in a city.

Citation Requirements

Stacy, Plerhoples Christina, Christopher Davis, Alena Stern, and Vivian Sihan Zheng. Urban Institute. 2021. Multicity Panel of Land-Use Reforms. Accessible from Data developed at the Urban Institute and made available under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial (2.5) License.