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Brian Hanlon, M. Nolan Gray, and Ned Resnikoff

Hello! We’re the Metropolitan Abundance Project

February 26, 2024

Cities are our greatest invention. They’re the places where we transcend our individual limitations.

When we think about our defining achievements, we think of places. In the arts, we celebrate the Harlem Renaissance and the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s impossible to tell the history of ideas leaving out fifth-century Athens or Enlightenment Edinburgh. Global prosperity now depends on the ferment underway in the Pearl River Delta and the San Francisco Bay Area. When you gather a lot of people together, competing and cooperating, we do amazing things.

Our goal at the Metropolitan Abundance Project (MAP) is to reinvigorate America’s cities through an urban abundance agenda. We reject the scarcity mindset that has held our metropolitan areas back. We believe plentiful housing, great transit, and effective governance are the keys to addressing our generation’s most pressing problems. We take a global perspective, married to a distinctly Californian sensibility: we believe that a better world is possible.

Since 2017 California YIMBY has led on statewide pro-housing policy. Working with a broad coalition, we have passed dozens of laws making it easier to build housing, transforming the global discourse around planning along the way. But since we started this work, two things have become clear. 

First, as YIMBYism matures, we need a space to develop, track, exchange, and promote the movement’s best ideas. That includes both reforms from across the U.S. and international best practices from global cities like Tokyo, Medellín, and Auckland. Second, housing abundance is a necessary but not sufficient condition for helping cities thrive. We need abundance in all aspects of urban life: in public transportation, public amenities, and shared prosperity.

That’s why we’re starting MAP. Drawing on our on-the-ground advocacy and policymaking, we’re building a policy center to develop and implement an urban abundance agenda. This includes:

  • Ending the housing shortage.
  • Embracing cities as a key part of the climate solution.
  • Breaking down barriers to shared prosperity.
  • Making cities desirable places to live, work, and raise families.
  • Empowering our local and metropolitan civil service.

How do we plan to do it? In the coming months, we will:

  • Develop model ordinances and legislation that local officials across the country could implement.
  • Make academic research accessible for advocates and journalists.
  • Draft guides for advancing policy change locally and at the state level.
  • Advance a pro-housing, pro-abundance, and pro-effective governance narratives.
  • Offer free policy, communications, coalition-building, and advocacy advice to local YIMBY and abundance advocates, in close partnership with allied groups like the Welcoming Neighbors Network.

With our all-star Academic Advisory Committee, we’re excited about what’s possible. But this work takes a movement. If you’re an advocate, policymaker, researcher, or writer working on these issues, we’re eager to connect. If you’re an advocate or policymaker, how can most be helpful to you?  If you’re a researcher or a writer, how can we support your work? Get in touch at And if you just want to follow our work, check us out on ​​Twitter, Instagram, Threads, Bluesky, and TikTok.

When YIMBYs first set out to achieve housing abundance, it seemed impossible. Ten years later, some of the movement’s most radical ideas—legalizing apartments citywide, ending onerous parking mandates, and reducing minimum lot sizes—are now taken for granted. We aim to do the same thing for the whole urban abundance agenda.