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California Western Law Review publishes “City-Wide” article by our Executive Director

Last week the California Western Law Review published an academic article authored by our Executive Director and General Counsel Colin Parent. The piece titled “City-Wide: A strategy for Sustainable Growth,” is available online here.

Over the last few years, Circulate San Diego has been guided by a theory of change that land use reforms are more easily adopted when they are applied city-wide. This is in contrast to many other approaches that try to focus change through community plan updates, or even updates for subsets of community plans. 

We have focused our advocacy on city-wide changes like affordable homes bonus programs, parking reforms, and other programmatic policy. Our successes have been numerous, proving the value of a city-wide approach. People have taken notice. Even Mayor Faulconer’s Housing-SD plan largely focuses on city-wide changes.

In this recently published piece, Parent outlines the thinking behind Circulate’s theory of change. He examines how city-wide policies create the right political economies for reform. In contrast, land use reforms on smaller geographic scales are more likely to attract effective opposition from anti-housing forces and the defenders of the status quo. The piece also discusses recent experiences with land use reforms in San Diego, and lessons policymakers and advocates can draw both locally and in other regions.