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In the ancient world, the king or a clutch of religious leaders had the final say of what was built in cities, and where it was built. Several millennia later, the situation is governed by a wide range of regulatory bodies and elected councils, and in some parts of the country, it is easier to start work on one's tax returns than taking on the valiant task of understanding local land use regulations. Stepping into that mucky situation boldly are Rolf Pendall, Robert Puentes, and Jonathan Martin who have recently completed this 40-page paper on behalf of The Brookings Institution. In the survey they offer here, they find a wide variety of "regulatory regimes" in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas. The report relies primarily on factor analysis, which might make it a bit on the technical side for some audiences, but overall it presents a fine survey and some good insights into the world of land use regulation.
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