The Marron Institute / Wednesday Mar 01,2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Alain Bertaud: Urban Zoning Regulations

Mitigating Negative Externalities or Designing Cities by Proxy?

60 5th Avenue
Room 110
New York, NY 10011

Please join us for a seminar titled, "Urban zoning regulations: mitigating negative externalities or designing cities by proxy?" with Alain Bertaud, Senior Research Scholar at the Marron Institute and former principal urban planner at the World Bank.

Originally, the objective of zoning regulations was to prevent or decrease what economists call negative externalities—nuisances caused to neighbors by the bulk of buildings or by activities taking place in private lots. During the last 50 years, a new approach to zoning has emerged: relaxing restrictive regulations in exchange for a building design that the municipality deems to be in the public interest. The design of a city by regulations has a high cost for all new buildings, as the leverage on developers is directly proportional to the severity of the regulations applied to all but relaxed for a few.

To illustrate this point, Alain Bertaud will compare the different approaches to zoning regulations used in Paris, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.    


Alain Bertaud
Alain Bertaud
Senior Research Scholar / Marron Institute

Alain Bertaud is a Senior Research Scholar at the Marron Institute. At the moment, he is writing a book about urban planning that is tentatively titled Order Without Design. Bertaud previously held the position of principal urban planner at the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank in 1999, he worked as an independent consultant. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador (El Salvador), Port au Prince (Haiti), Sana’a (Yemen), New York, Paris, Tlemcen (Algeria), and Chandigarh (India).

Bertaud’s research, conducted in collaboration with GIS-expert Marie-Agnès Bertaud, aims to bridge the gap between operational urban planning and urban economics. Their work focuses primarily on the interaction between urban forms, real estate markets and regulations. Bertaud earned the Architecte DPLG diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.