Land values and the 1957 comprehensive amendment to the Chicago zoning ordinance

Jian Zhou, Daniel P. McMillen, John F. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1957 Chicago enacted a Comprehensive Amendment to the Chicago Zoning Ordiance of 1923. In contrast to the hierarchical zoning of the 1923 ordinance, the 1957 ordinance made each zoning category exclusive and mandated the removal of non-conforming uses. This study examines land parcels at the borders between residential and non-residential (commercial or manufacturing) zones, and finds that land values in non-residential zones enjoyed a one-time jump in growth over the time-period 1955-58 during which the 1957 ordinance was adopted. No significant change is detected in land value growth in residential zones. These results suggest that non-residential landowners valued the insurance that the 1957 ordinance provided against mixed land uses more than the value of the option to change land use that was terminated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1661
Number of pages15
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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