American Dreams, American Realities

9 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2015 Last revised: 27 Jan 2016

See all articles by Michael Lewyn

Michael Lewyn

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Date Written: 2015


Review of Zoned In The USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land Use Regulation, by Sonia Hirt.

Because a variety of commentators have defined home ownership as the “American dream,” one might think that home ownership is more widespread in the United States than in other affluent nations. And because Americans value limited government, one might think that Americans regulate land use less than other affluent nations.

In Zoned In the USA, Sonia Hirt proves otherwise: in fact, Americans are less likely to own homes than residents of many other nations, and the homes they do own are more likely to be burdened by mortgages. Moreover, local governments' fears of other land uses have led to a highly restrictive zoning system.

Note: 2015© Thomson Reuters. This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Law Journal, Volume 44, Issue 2 (Fall 2015). Reprinted here with permission of Thomson Reuters.

Keywords: housing, American dream, zoning, sprawl, single use, land use

Suggested Citation

Lewyn, Michael, American Dreams, American Realities (2015). 44 Real Est. L.J. 292 (2015), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-03, Available at SSRN:

Michael Lewyn (Contact Author)

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

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