Urban land-use controls in the United States are most stringent on the east and west coasts, least stringent in the South, and mostly moderate in the Midwest. The case of Chicago illustrates the virtually dictatorial power that local governments now exercise in a country that once led the world in the protection of private-property rights.

Edwin S. Mills is emeritus professor of real estate and finance in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
EconomyGovernment and PoliticsGovernment PowerLand UseLaw and LibertyProperty Rights, Land Use, and ZoningRegulation
Other Independent Review articles by Edwin S. Mills
Summer 2010 Letter to the Editor
Spring 2009 Urban Land-Use Controls and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis