Zoning for Eds and Meds

Zoning Practice — November 2021

By Joseph DeAngelis, AICP, David Morley, AICP


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Colleges, universities, and hospitals often function as “anchor” institutions. They occupy and manage large amounts of real estate; employ hundreds or thousands of workers; purchase large quantities of local goods and services; and attract businesses, residents, and visitors. For these reasons, the campuses that house major educational and health-care institutions merit special planning and zoning attention.

As campus activity increases or decreases, housing markets, transportation patterns, and economic activity all respond. While stability may be a hallmark of the institutions at the heart of these campuses, they are neither static nor uniform. Campuses expand to accommodate a growing population of users, and in extreme cases, declining usage can force campus downsizing or abandonment.

This issue of Zoning Practice presents a typology of educational and health-care campuses, summarizes key zoning considerations and alternative zoning approaches for those campuses, and speculates about how technological and demographic change may affect the spatial relationship of these campuses to their host communities in the coming decades.


Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 2021
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Joseph DeAngelis, AICP

David Morley, AICP
David Morley, AICP, is a Research Program and QA Manager at the American Planning Association in Chicago, where he manages and contributes to sponsored research projects; manages the development of the Research KnowledgeBase; develops, organizes, and participates in educational sessions and workshops; and writes for APA publications. Mr. Morley also edits Zoning Practice.