Parking Lot Map Boundary Methodology

Zoning boundaries for various cities were often irregular, lacked a definitive form, transcended physical boundaries, and had opposing zones located within each other. To solve this, the following method was developed to create boundaries that most accurately reflected the zoning boundary and the most valuable land in the city.

Districts Chosen:

The zoning district(s) that allow for the densest development throughout the city were mapped. This was often the Downtown or Central Business District boundary, which accounted for about two-thirds of the total boundaries created. Please see the bottom of this page to view all districts chosen for a particular city.

Use of Physical Boundaries:

Many cities have dense zoning districts that transcend physical boundaries, such as interstate highways, rivers, and railroads. Areas that are separated from the downtown have drastically different parking land use than that of the Central Business District area. Many times this is an industrial area that is rezoned to be redeveloped or a single-family residential area with the same intention. To prevent these areas from being measured all areas outside of hostile boundaries that disrupt the central business district were excluded from the map boundary. Twenty-one cities had interstate highways, three had rivers, and three had interstate highways and rivers as part of their boundaries. This method hopes to make all cities comparable by mapping their most valuable, centrally located, and easily developed areas in the city. 

Fig 1. Depicts the difference in demand for land on the east and west sides of Interstate 405. West of the Central Business District has five times as much parking. 

Creating a Standard Form for Boundaries:

All zoning districts mapped must be contiguous. The main part of the district must physically border a block on one side of the same zone to be mapped. Zones that were catycorner to a like zone were excluded and also zones that were not connected physically were excluded. All zones that were fully surrounded by the main zone were also included. 

Fig 2. Depicts a catycorner zone that was excluded from the boundary. 

Fig 3. Depicts three IL zones that were included in the boundary and one CD zone that was excluded. 

List of Zoning Districts for Each City:

CityLinkZoning Districts
AlbanyZoningMixed-Use Downtown (MU-DT)
AlbuquerqueZoningCentral Business District
AllentownZoningCentral Business District (B-2) and Institutional and Governmental (IG)
AnaheimZoningGeneral Commercial (G-C) south of W Sycamore St and east of N Citron St
AnchorageZoningCentral Busines, Core (B-2A), Central Business, Intermediate (B-2B), Central Business, Periphery (B-2C)
ArlingtonZoningDowntown Business (DB)
AtlantaZoningDowntown Special Public Interest District (SP-1) in subarea 1, 5, 6, and 7 west of Interstate 85
AuroraZoningOriginal Aurora Main Street (OA-MS) south of E 16th Ave and North of E 14th Ave
AustinZoningCentral Business District (CBD)
BakersfieldZoningCentral Business and Civic Center
BaltimoreZoningAll C-5 Zoning Districts west of Interstate 83 and North of Interstate 395
Baton RougeZoningBusiness (C5)
BirminghamZoningCentral Business District (B-4)
BostonZoningBoston has a vast network of business districts, this boundary represents districts that have a majority of their area zoned for a FAR above 6. Those districts include North Station Economic Development Area, Bulfinch Triangle, Government Center/Markets, Central Artery Special, Midtown Central, Leather District, South Station Economic Development Area, Chinatown, Bay Village Neighborhood, Boston Proper (FAR of 6 and above), Stuart Street, and Huntington Avenue/Prudential Center
BuffaloZoningDowntown Hub (N-1D) and Mixed-Use Core (N-1C) north of Interstate 190
CharlestonZoningGeneral Business (GB), Mixed Use (MU-1 and MU-2), Mixed Use Workforce Housing (MU-1/WH and MU-2/WH) south of Interstate 26
CharlotteZoningUptown Mixed-Use District within Interstate 277 Loop
ChicagoZoningChicago’s Downtown Core District (DC-16) lacks a definitive form, this boundary represents a majority of the DC-16 zoning boundary.
CincinnatiZoningDowntown District (DD) north of Interstate 71
ClevelandZoningAll Limited Retail Business and General Retail Business east of the Cuyahoga River and west of Interstate 90
Colorado SpringsZoningForm-Based Zone (FBZ)
ColumbiaZoningDowntown Activity Center/Cooridor (DAC)
ColumbusZoningDowntown District (DD) inside Interstate 70, 71 and 670.
Corpus ChristiZoningCentral Business District
DallasZoningCentral Area (CA-1(A))
DaytonZoningCentral Business District (CBD)
DenverZoningDowntown Core (D-C), Downtown Theater District (D-TD), and Lower Downtown (D-LD)
Des MoinesZoningDowntown (DX1)
DetroitZoningB4 General Business District (B4), Major Business District (B5), General Services District (B6), Special Development District Casinos (SD5), Public Center Adjacent District (Restricted Central Business District) (PCA), and Planned Development District (PD) within the Interstate 75, 375, and US Highway 10 Loop
El PasoZoningAll Central Business District (C-5)
Fort MyersZoningPlanned Unit Development By Ordinance
Urban & Civic (PUD), Urban Center (U-CTR), Urban Core (U-CORE), Civic (CIVIC)
Fort WorthZoningCentral Business (H) west of Amtrack Railroad
FresnoZoningDowntown Core (DTC) and Downtown General (DTG)
Grand RapidsZoningCity Center (CC) south of Interstate 196, east of Grand River, and north of Route 131
GreensboroZoningCentral Business (CB)
HarrisburgZoningDowntown Center (DC) south of the Amtrak Tracks
HartfordZoningAll Downtown (DT)
HendersonZoningDowntown Mixed-Use (DX) and Downtown Public (DP)
HonoluluZoningCentral Business Mixed Use (BMX-4)
HoustonGoogle MapsThe City of Houston does not have zoning, but development is governed by ordinance codes that address how property can be subdivided. The City codes do not address land use. We used Google Maps to locate the downtown boundary of Houston east of Interstate 69 and south of Buffalo Bayou
IndianapolisZoningAll Central Business District north of Amtrack’s Cardinal Line
JacksonvilleZoningCommercial Central Business District (CCBD) west of Hogans Creek, east of McCoy Creek, and north of the St. Johns River
Jersey CityZoningRedevelopment Districts: Newport, Harsimus Cove Station, Powerhouse Arts District, Exchange Place North, Block 13102, Paulus Hook, 1 Exchange Place, and Colgate
Kansas CityZoningFuture Land Use – Downtown Core and Downtown Residential
KnoxvilleZoningDowntown Knoxville Warehouse Subdistrict (DK-W), Downtown Knoxville Historic Core Subdistrict (DK-H), Downtown Knoxville Grid Subdistrict (DK-G), and Downtown Knoxville Boulevards Subdistrict (DK-B) east of Interstate 275 and west of Route 158
Las VegasZoningGeneral Commercial (C-2) and (T5 Main Street (T5-MS) between Interstate 515 and E Charleston Boulevard
LexingtonZoningCenter Business (B-2B) and Downtown Business (B-2)
LincolnZoningCentral Business District (B-4)
Little RockZoningUrban Use (UU) and Planned Commercial District (PCD) within Interstate 630 and 30
Long BeachZoningPlanned Development 30 (PD-30) and Planned Development 6 (PD-6)
Los AngelesZoningAll Commercial and Multiple Family Residential in the Downtown Community Plan Area
LouisvilleZoningDowntown Commercial (C-3)
MadisonZoningDowntown Core District (DC), Urban-Mixed Use (UMX), and Planned Development (PD)
McAllenZoningGeneral Commercial Business (C-3) within the Central Business District boundaries
MelbourneZoningCentral Business District (C-3) north of Crane Creek.
MemphisZoningAll Central Business District (CBD) west of Route 51.
MesaZoningDowntown Core (DC)
MiamiZoningAll Urban Core Zones T6-36 and above
MilwaukeeZoningDowntown Civic Activity (C9D), Downtown Major Retail (C9F), Downtown Office and Service (C9E), Downtown Mixed Activity (C9G)
MinneapolisZoningCore 50 Built Form Overlay District (BFC50)
NashvilleZoningDowntown Commercial (DTC)
New OrleansZoningAll Central Business District (CBD)
New York CityZoningNew York City lacks natural boundaries and has a vast network of business districts this boundary represents a majority of the C-5 and C-6 Commercial Districts in Midtown Manhattan
NewarkZoningLiving Downtown Plan (RDV-SD-6) and Downtown Core District Redevelopment Plan (RDV-SD-9) located on page 18
New HavenZoningAll Business Districts (BD)
NorfolkZoningAll Downtown (D) districts south of route 58 and west of Interstate 264
OaklandZoningAll Central Business Districts (CBD)
Oklahoma CityZoningDowntown Business District (DBD) north of Interstate 40
OmahaZoningCentral Business District (CBD) within Interstate 480
OrlandoZoningDowntown Metropolitan Activity Center (AC-3A) east of Interstate 4
PhiladelphiaZoningCommercial Mixed-Use (CMX-5) east of the Schuylkill River
PhoenixZoningDowntown Business Core (DTC)
PittsburghZoningAll Golden Triangle Districts (GT) west of Interstate 579
PortlandZoningCentral Commercial (CX) east of Interstate 405 and west of the Willamette River
ProvidenceZoningAll Downtown Districts (D-1)
RaleighZoningDowntown Mixed-Use (DX)
RichmondZoningCentral Business District (B-4 and B-5)
RiversideZoningDowntown Specific Plans: Justice Center District (DSP-JC), Almond Street District (DSP-AS), Raincross District (DSP-RC), Neighborhood Commercial (DSP-NC)
RochesterZoningAll City Center and Urban Renewal Districts within the Inner Loop.
SacramentoZoningCentral Business District (C-3) south of the Union Pacific Railroad and east of Interstate 5
Saint PaulZoningCentral Business (B-4) and Central Business Service (B-5) south of Interstate 94
Salt Lake CityZoningCentral Business District (D-1), Downtown Support District (D-2), Downtown Warehouse/Residential District (D-3), and Secondary Central Business District (D-4).
San AntonioZoningDowntown (D)
San BernardinoZoningCommercial Regional – Malls (CR-1), Commercial Regional – Downtown (CR-2), and Commercial Office (CO).
San DiegoZoningThe following City Center Planned Districts: Employment/Residential Mixed-Use (ER), Residential Emphasis (RE), Mixed Commercial (MC), Core (C), Ballpark Mixed-Use (BP), Gaslamp Quarter Planned District Ordinance (GQPD), and Marina Planned District (MPD-MARINA).
San FranciscoZoningDowntown Office (C-3-O)
San JoseZoningDowntown Commercial (DC) east of Route 87
San JuanZoningAll Commercial (C-3) zoning districts in Hato Rey. Located in page 6D AND 5D
Santa AnaZoningSpecific Development 84 (SD-84) excluding manufacturing subdistricts and east of the railroad.
SarasotaZoningDowntown Core (DTC) and Downtown Bayfront (DTB)
SeattleZoningDowntown west of Interstate 5
St. LouisZoningCentral Business District west of Interstate 44 and north of Interstate 64
St. PetersburgZoningAll Downtown Center Districts
StocktonZoningDowntown Commercial (DC) north of Route 4
TampaZoningCentral Business District (CBD) north of Selmon Expressway
ToledoZoningDowntown Commercial (CD)
TucsonZoningOffice/Commercial/Residential Zone (OCR-2)
TulsaZoningCentral Business District
Virginia BeachZoningOceanfront Resort District (OR)
Washington DCZoningDowntown Zones: D-1-R, D-2, D-3, D-4, D-4-R, D-5, D-5-R, D-6, D-6-R, and
WichitaZoningCentral Business District