Better Zoning on the Web

Zoning Practice — October 2008

By Donald Elliott, FAICP


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The internet is transforming the field of planning in myriad ways. Combinations of Google Earth images, GIS database layers, visualization tools, and infinitely manipulable census and survey information have dramatically increased the data and analytical tools available to planners.

Virtually no aspect of planning has been untouched by this revolution. The changes have not been quite so dramatic in the field of land-use regulation, though virtually all cities now have an electronic version of their zoning and subdivision codes, searchable by keywords.

This issue of Zoning Practice identifies four technology-related changes that will transform the organization, use, and maintenance of local land-use laws.


Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2008
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Donald Elliott, FAICP
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a Director with Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land use consulting firm. Don has assisted over 40 U.S. communities to update plans and regulations related to housing, zoning, and land development. He is the author of A Better Way to Zone (Island Press 2008) and co-author of The Rules that Shape Urban Form (APA 2012). Don has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.