This article investigates the relationship between zoning by-laws, as put forward in governmental land-use plans and the viability of urban residential neighbourhood economies. The Dutch planning tradition has long been characterized by strict separation of functions and top-down planning. We argue that profound changes in social and economic structures make land-use planning practices less suitable for the current policy formula of "mixed urban milieus". Although the residential neighbourhood might not be the location of large firms, it definitely attracts small ones, and facilitates starting businesses whose presence (and potential growth) can be beneficial to the city as a whole. We present a typology of spatial patterns of neighbourhood economies based on land-use plans and describe whether these are related to the distinctive economic development of the neighbourhood over the period 1999-2007.