Yonah Freemark is Senior Research Associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. He leads Urban’s practice area on Fair Housing, Land Use, and Transportation, and is the research director of the Land Use Lab at Urban.
He studies how local governments shape planning outcomes in the context of political conflict and multi-level governance systems. He engages this subject from the perspectives of land-use policy, transportation, and affordable housing development in the United States and Europe.
Dr. Freemark has written or co-written peer-reviewed articles for Urban Affairs Review, Politics & Society, Housing Policy Debate, Housing Studies, Journal of Urban History, the Journal of the American Planning Association, Planning Perspectives, Urban Science, International Journal of Housing Policy, and Projections. He has also contributed as book chapters for Shared Mobility and Automated Vehicles (2022), The Affordable Housing Reader (2022), The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning (2019), Public Housing Myths (2015) and Affordable Housing in New York (2015). He has also written extensively for numerous media outlets. He founded the national blog The Transport Politic, which has received dozens of mentions in the press and awards from Planetizen, and has contributed dozens of articles for media including CNN, The New York Times, Planning, Dissent, CityLab, Next City, Urban Land, and others.
Dr. Freemark graduated from Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina. He attended Yale University as an undergraduate, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. He received masters’ degrees in city planning (MCP) and transportation (MST) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in 2013. He received a PhD in urban studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020.
Between 2008 and 2010, Dr. Freemark researched community engagement processes in Paris, where he studied the planning and construction of the Rive Gauche project, a model for neighborhood involvement in development decision-making. He worked at Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) as an associate and project manager between 2013 and 2016. Throughout his career, he has served on public planning committees in his neighborhood and community; he is currently a member of the Land Use Committee of the ANC 2B in Washington, DC.