There is a solution to the housing crisis in Los Angeles that the city may be overlooking. Even better, it is free and easy to implement (with just a quick vote). Graduated density zoning or creative zoning is a process where the city can increase the density on assembled land sites in all or specific areas of the city. It doesn’t require a change to the general plan and would help developers avoid the exemption process. Graduated density zoning has been used in Simi Valley and Glendale, as well as other markets, like New Jersey, and has been tremendously successful. Donald Shoup, professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, argues for the benefits of graduated density zoning in his recent UCLA economic letter, which outlines the benefits and implantation as well as success stories. To find out more, we sat down with Shoup for an exclusive interview, and found that this may be the solution to housing shortages and affordability issues that the city needs. What exactly is graduated density zoning?

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

More from this author


GlobeSt. Multifamily Spring 2023Event

Join the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.