Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy


Arthur C. Nelson has advanced the concept of market demand-based planning and permitting (MDBPP) as a way in which to balance the need for development within the limits of market capacity. Lacking MDBPP discipline, real estate markets are prone to over-development that can lead to economic downturns including notably the Great Recession of 2007-2009. This article will unpack the history and challenge of MDBPP and demonstrate its efficacy. Then, it will apply these principles to the specific wicked problem of housing affordability, which is both ongoing and emerging in nature. It will tie this problem to a call for MDBPP by noting that the problem of over-permitting continues with the single-family detached housing type, which overwhelmingly dominates the U.S. housing market. This problem continues as the market demand and critical need for more affordable housing types go unanswered by cities and developers.

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