Nolan Gray

Nolan Gray

Nolan Gray is an urban planner in New York City and a contributor to Market Urbanism.

Two horses standing in a field with fences and a large white barn in the background.

America’s First Greenbelt May Be in Jeopardy

Adopted in the 1950s to protect the city’s iconic horse farms, the urban growth boundary of Lexington, Kentucky, no longer seems unassailable.

How Marvel Packs a Universe Into New York City

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive mythos with the Big Apple at its center. Here’s what Spider-Man, Iron Man, and other superheroes say about their city.

A photo of a new subdivision under construction in South Jordan, Utah.

A Red-State Take on a YIMBY Housing Bill

Utah’s SB 34, aimed at increasing the state’s supply of affordable housing, may hold lessons for booming cities of the Mountain West, and beyond.

A photo of a woman with a stroller along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade across from lower Manhattan.

How ‘Vasectomy Zoning’ Makes Childless Cities

Municipalities shouldn’t block or raise the cost of things young parents need, like day-care centers and two-bedroom houses or apartments.

A photo of shoppers in the central textile market of downtown Jakarta.

How Cities Design Themselves

Urban planner Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order Without Design, argues that cities are really shaped by market forces, not visionaries.

Supporters of Proposition 10 rally in San Francisco in October.

Voters Said No in California, but Other States Have Rent Control Battles Looming

Proposition 10 was rejected but rent control is on the agenda in other places across the country. Why? It’s not the affordable housing fix-all people think.

North Korean soldiers carry the Korean People's Army flag as they walk past residential buildings along Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang.

The Improbable High-Rises of Pyongyang, North Korea

Kim Jong-un is transforming the Hermit State’s capital city into a pastel-hued “socialist fairyland.”

When the Federal Government Takes on Local Zoning

Back in the first Bush Administration, Jack Kemp's HUD tried to rein in exclusionary housing restrictions. What happened?

A festive arrangement of lights at a Texas mobile home community.

The Urbanist Case for Trailer Parks

You want density and affordability? You should want manufactured housing. Too bad it’s often illegal.

A golfer tees off during the first round of the 2005 Irish Open.

Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield

As the sport’s popularity wanes, vast amounts of underutilized land will open up. Can it be developed?

New housing under construction in San Marcos, California.

The YIMBYs Lost in California. But They're Just Getting Started.

The defeat of SB 827, California’s ambitious pro-housing bill, masks a wider trend: Similar initiatives are on the march nationwide.

New housing under construction along the Detroit riverfront in 2015.

The Trump Administration’s War on New Housing

Americans need more affordable housing. Steel and lumber tariffs are not going to help.

What Might Hold Houston Back

The post-Harvey city needs to get denser and more urban.

Shoppers ride escalators inside a mall in Vina del mar, Chile.

The Triumph of the Latin American Mall

Boosted by a growing middle class, the shopping mall is booming in Central and South America.

Houston's Zoning Wasn't the Problem

With a few tweaks, the city’s relaxed land-use regulations might be an advantage during recovery and rebuilding.

The Positive Power of Preemption

Sometimes, state lawmakers can step in to force cities to do the right thing.

How to Survive a Retail Meltdown

Cities and suburbs are getting clobbered by the collapse of the retail sector. But there are ways to use the crisis as a way to speed long-overdue land use reforms.