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dashed line separator In Claude Gruen's recently published book, New Urban Development: Looking Back to See Forward, he reviews what history and the new economic realities suggest about the changes needed to urban policy on the federal, state, and most importantly, local level. The book starts by describing how local land use policies were the root cause of the financial meltdown and recession from which we are just beginning to recover. It goes on to review local land use policies – the political economy of real estate, from colonial times to 2009. It ends with thirteen recommendations for policy changes at the federal, state and local levels that, if adopted, would enable urban places to achieve their full potential and thereby re-route the national economy on a higher growth track than it was on before the recession.

New Urban Development   "In New Urban Development, Claude Gruen has delivered an authoritative review of the failures of poorly-designed land-use regulation and how it distorts housing. He captures in a persuasive fashion the good versus bad regulation that drives development, providing a valuable contribution to our understanding of smart urban policy."
- Asieh Mansour, RREEF

"Claude Gruen weaves his first hand experiences into a highly readable account of how and why America’s cities have evolved throughout this century. His thirteen prescriptions for fixing America’s urban ills are a must read for policy makers and lay readers alike."
- Richard Peiser, Harvard University

"Only someone with Claude’s thoughtful history could put this together. A fascinating walk through our development past that ends with very practical, how-to suggestions for a rational urban development policy going forward."
- Peter Rummell, Retired Chairman & CEO, The St. Joe Company

Read a review of the book from the Australian Planner journal.

Purchase the book:

Free shipping on all web orders at or by calling 1-800-848-6224.

For a limited time, New Urban Development: Looking Back to See Forward from is 40% off the $30.00 price with promotion code 02RWWW13 at checkout. The discount applies to on-line orders only. Also available in hardcover and on Kindle through

Claude Gruen is the principal economist of Gruen Gruen + Associates, a behavioral research-based consulting firm he formed with his wife, urban sociologist Nina J. Gruen, in 1970. The firm has offices in San Francisco and Deerfield, Illinois. GG+A has completed more than 1,300 assignments for public and private clients concerned with a broad variety of real estate development and public policy issues. Dr. Gruen has testified in support of his research findings on land use and development issues in state and federal courts, and provided policy and real estate investment analysis for local, county, state and federal planning agencies throughout the United States. Since 1999, as Special Masters for the Federal Court District, Northern California District, the Gruens have repaid more than $30 million to the creditors of an insolvent Union City, California, steel mill by remediating an 84-acre contaminated site into a mixed-use project containing 545 homes.

Dr. Gruen earned a PhD in economics at the University of Cincinnati and has served on the faculties of Xavier University in Cincinnati and the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a columnist for the Institutional Real Estate Letter since 1991. He is the author of New Urban Development: Looking Back to See Forward (Rutgers University Press, 2010), which reviews the history of urban development in the United States from Colonial times to the present, and suggests thirteen changes to current federal, state and local regulatory policies.

A podcast of his recent speech at the Great Cities Institute of the University of Illinois at Chicago, in which he synthesizes the content of the book and his thirteen recommendations for policy change, can be downloaded from the Great Cities Institute website.

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