photo of Bill Fulton
Bill Fulton
Nonresident Fellow
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Bill Fulton, a nonresident fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on urban planning and land use. In addition to his role at Urban, he is a senior adviser to PFM Management and Budget Consulting Group and a fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

From 2014 to 2022, Fulton directed the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. Trained in land-use planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, Fulton previously served as planning director for the City of San Diego and as mayor and city councilmember for the City of Ventura, California.

Fulton began his career as as a journalist, writing about cities and urban issues. He was also previously president and CEO of the land-use think tank Solimar Research Group, principal in the California-based urban planning firm now called Placeworks, and vice president for policy and implementation at the advocacy group Smart Growth America. His expertise includes transfer of development rights, the role of land-use regulation in housing production, the structure and organization of local government, and equitable economic development.

Fulton is the author of Guide to California Planning, the standard land-use planning textbook in California, which is now in its sixth edition. His eighth book, Place and Prosperity: How Cities Help Us Connect and Innovate, was recently published by Island Press.

Research Areas
Land use
Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Housing markets
Housing affordability
Land use and zoning