Thursday, October 31, 2013
Next City has just started a brand new blog called "Resilient Cities," which could be a fun read.
Resilient Cities also happens to be the symposium topic for this spring's 2014 Idaho Law Review symposium for which I am the faculty advisor. We are going to have a tremendous line-up of speakers and practitioners, which we plan to release soon.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
So it's been quite awhile since my last post, but I felt compelled to share the end of the story about putting a Wal-Mart in downtown Athens, Georgia. If you're a longtime reader of the blog you may remember that an Atlanta based developer proposed a mixed-use development, anchored by a Wal-Mart, in the center of Athens. (See my previous post here.) Although Wal-Mart never expressed official interest in the project, many local residents were highly opposed to the idea.
Yesterday the local paper featured a story saying that the developer has now abandoned the project entirely, due to market conditions. The development featured student apartments as its residential component, and downtown Athens is already overbuilt in that category. However, the site, while topographically challenging, is prime real estate. I'm sure as market conditions improve something will eventually be built there.
Jamie Baker Roskie
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Pace Land Use Law Center's annual Land Use & Sustainable Development Conference: Leading Communities toward a Resilient Future: December 6
Join us on December 6th at the NYS Judicial Institute at Pace Law School in White Plains for the Land Use Law Center’s annual Land Use & Sustainable Development Conference. This year’s theme is Leading Communities toward a Resilient Future. Sessions will discuss the challenges communities in the New York Metropolitan area face because of natural disasters, a changing climate, new demographics and technologies, and inequitable living conditions. Leaders are emerging who are creating new strategies for community resiliency in the face of economic, social, and environmental change. The Opening Keynote will be delivered by, Majora Carter, internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. Our Lunch Keynote speaker is Stephen Hardy of MindMixer. As a practitioner, Stephen has managed a host of complex community planning projects, including the sustainable rebuilding of Greensburgh, Kansas, after a catastrophic EF-5 tornado wiped out most of the community’s structures. We invite you to attend to learn about the flexible tools, models, and policies that strengthen communities to build equitable, sustainable, and economically prosperous places for people. CLE and CM credits available.
***Early bird pricing closes Nov. 6!***
Monday, October 28, 2013
My one qualm with the otherwise very useful report—and I admit to my bias—is that there is little discussion of the legal structures necessary to create place and how the regulatory environment can affect the kinds of community engagement that occur in neighborhoods of our largest cities. Readers of this blog know that several of us here have written about the importance of legal structures in placemaking, which may prove a useful legal supplement to the MIT report. Two recent articles include Ken Stahl’s Neighborhood Empowerment and the Future of the City in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and my article, Legal Neighborhoods, in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, both of which speak to the importance of law in creating community.
Here is an excerpt from the report’s conclusion, which I thought was a nice discussion of the importance of community engagement:
It should be obvious by now that effective engagement of community tops the list of crucial characteristics of successful placemaking, but since it’s surprisingly rare to see it done well, it bears some discussion. The projects that are most successful at engaging their communities are the ones that treat this engagement as an ongoing process, rather than a single required step of input or feedback. Further, effective engagement is sensitive to each community’s individual social context. In Corona Plaza, the community design forums held in traditional town-hall settings failed to attract the community of new immigrants from Mexico and Ecuador, so plaza officials elected to bring the designs to the plaza itself, during a cultural festival. Children are frequent users of public places but are usually overlooked in the planning process. Mike Lanza, the founder of Playborhood, simply provides fun toys, installations and spaces for kids to play in his Menlo Park, CA front yard and provides opportunities for them to paint pavement, scrawl on playhouse walls and personalize this space—appropriate levels of engagement for young children in a private yard. Other communities are difficult to identify or may not fit traditional notions of that term: business people mostly hidden from view who leave the area at 5pm, suburban families who drive to cities to use an urban green space, tourists in a downtown park. Temporary, tactical, and event-based placemaking can help identify communities that might otherwise go unnoticed, by allowing them to self-identify. These initiatives engage community by giving them something tangible to react to, which makes the placemaker’s job of outreach and inclusion easier. The act of creating, rather than reacting or opposing, brings a self-selected group to the table—a group ready to deliberate and create positive change. As Team Better Block has found during the weekend events it facilitates, “trouble makers and naysayers will quickly drop out when physical work is involved.” The best forms of community engagement, and in fact the best forms of placemaking, are those that recognize and exploit the virtuous cycle of mutual stewardship between community and place. This is the conceptual glue that supports success at the project level and propels the placemaking field forward. In most successful cases, the “completion” of the project is far from the end of the placemaking effort. Success at identifying these ongoing “making ” activities and engagement in the civic processes that support them, creates the mutual relationship between community and place that lifts these placemaking projects above a simple sum of the parts.
I recently published an article entitled Community Land Trusts: Why Now is the Time to Integrate this Housing Activists’ Tool into Local Government Affordable Housing Policies, which may be of interest to housers out there. From the abstract:
A recent study found that housing expenses in the period from 2006 to 2010 were 52 percent higher for the typical household living in each of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas than they had been in 2000. This rise in housing expenses, coupled with stagnant wages in those same locations over the same period, is one of the major reasons that community land trusts (CLTs) have risen from a fringe housing movement to the center of cities’ efforts to provide affordable housing within the last decade. In addition, many cities see CLTs as a way to provide perpetually affordable units, a benefit not provided by inclusionary zoning ordinances that often only require affordability for a term of years. This article explores how some cities have already added CLTs to their list of affordable housing policy tools, ultimately arguing that the current economic environment presents a strong case for more cities to start CLTs at this time. Even where cities are not ready to take such steps now, the dramatic rise in CLT formation nationally, as well as the massive city-wide CLTs planned for several major cities in the U.S., such as Chicago, Illinois and Irvine, California, are developments that land use and zoning lawyers will want to watch. If the massive CLTs ultimately work as planned, other cities are likely to follow suit in embracing CLTs, a move that in turn could alter how project proponents meet inclusionary housing requirements and revolutionize how affordable housing dollars are spent by local governments. The article proceeds by offering a history of CLTs; reviewing 10 characteristic features of the “classic” CLT structure; reviewing the rise of cities’ use of CLTs and presents, in detail, a review of two of the most ambitious city-backed CLTs started by Chicago and Irvine; reviewing several legal and policy issues unique to city CLTs; and finally making the case for why cities should consider starting CLTs now.
The impetus to CLTs may be growing even stronger as developers find increasing success in challenging inclusionary housing ordinances. In addition to the cases I discuss in the article, a new California Supreme Court case, Sterling Park v. City of Palo Alto, makes it easier for developers to challenge inclusionary housing requirements by permitting developers to obtain a permit to build and challenge the requirement at the time of assessment, which is often far after construction has begun. The California Supreme Court has also taken up another case, CBIA v. City of San Jose, which directly challenges San Jose’s inclusionary housing ordinance. While the appellate court upheld the city's inclusionary housing ordinance, CBIA in the California Supreme Court's hands may substantially alter how inclusionary housing ordinances operate in California, and could prove influential elsewhere.
While CLTs are not an antidote to the woes of inclusionary housing ordinances—in fact, the largest CLTs are funded in part by contributions mandated by inclusionary housing ordinances—CLTs deserve a solid look from cities seeking another approach to housing affordability.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Not sure how many of you are readers of Land Use Policy, but it is one of my favorite journals. I just finished reading one of its early-released pieces (i.e., it has an official print publication date of 2014, but is available online now) that I am quite taken with.
Researchers Thomas Rudel and Patrick Meyfroidt, examine how rural land use planning in developing countries is coping with the combined crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and food security. Worldwide it is tricky grappling with out to address these issues individually and it gets even harder to come up with policies tackling all three. They identify two interesting trends: (1) emergence of trans-scalar land use planning and (2) growing discussions about "tradeoffs" in land use planning. While we see the second one here in the US a bit (heck I even talk about it my work), the trans-scalar land use planning approach seems to be at odds with US approaches.
Trans-scalar is well thinking about land use needs and desires at multiple scales. Such land use planning is not just based on local community needs and desires but also considers broader scales/levels such as neighboring communities, on a national level, or even on a global level. Rudel & Meyfroidt present a helpful background summaries of how different regions view land use planning (this article is useful for these summaries alone even if you aren't interested in the rest of it). Their description of the localism/indivudalism we see in North America contrasts with the global pushes we see in developing countries emphasizing outsider interests in land use planning. Fascinating, eh? We can even see how this fits into the neoliberal paradigm as we globalize land use planning to compensate for losses to biodiversity and to mitigate climate change impacts. I also just enjoy their description of land use planning as pretty much anarchy.
Check it out --
Thomas K. Rudel & Patrick Meyfroidt, Organizing Anarchy: The Food Security–Biodiversity–Climate Crisis and the Genesis of Rural Land Use Planning in the Developing World, 26 Land Use Pol’y 239 (2014).
ABSTRACT: Shortfalls in global food production, coupled with the growing visibility of climate change's disruptive effects, have underlined for many observers the importance of devoting rural lands to their ‘optimal’ use, where they can make maximal contributions to the global imperatives of feeding the human population and maintaining vital environmental services. In this context observers have endorsed rural land use planning as a way to insure that, at least in theory, lands get devoted to their best uses. In practice, land use planning in the developing world has resembled ‘organized anarchy’. Small landholders with insecure land tenure, overseas investors seeking large land deals, NGOs representing indigenous peoples, government officials, and staff from international environmental NGOs and multilateral organizations have come together in strategic action fields to struggle over and sometimes negotiate land use plans for contested landscapes. These plans represent a strategic, spatially explicit response to the climate change–biodiversity–food security crisis.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
California ARB Chair Lecture Series webcast: Climate Change and Los Angeles: A Close Up View of the Future
The California Air Resources Board--the state's lead agency charged with implementing California's climate change laws--holds a great lecture series that is live webcast. An upcoming lecture on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:00 Noon, PDT, seems particularly appropriate for readers of this blog, especially those who want to catch up on some of the science of climate change. Details are below, as well as instructions on how to learn of future live webcasts.
“Climate Change and Los Angeles: A Close-up View of the Future”
Alex Hall, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:00 Noon, PDT (WEBCAST)
Byron Sher Auditorium, 2nd Floor, Cal/EPA Building
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California
Dr. Hall will present results from The Climate Change in the Los Angeles Region Project, an ongoing series of studies to predict regional climate at the middle and end of the 21st century under "mitigation" and "business-as-usual" greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
- Using a combination of dynamical and statistical techniques, Dr. Hall and his team developed very high resolution regional models that "downscale" more than 30 global models.
- This allowed the team to zoom in on the LA region, producing climate change projections at a
2-kilometer (1.2 mile) resolution.
- In this presentation, Dr. Hall will discuss his downscaling methods, summarize what his team discovered about temperature, snowfall, and other aspects of climate in the LA region, and explore the implications of his work for policymakers and the public.
The full announcement can be viewed at:
For “external” users please check the external WEBCAST
calendar at: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/?bdo=1
Your e-mail questions will be aired during the question & answer period following the presentations.
WEBCAST Viewers, e-mail your questions to:
For more information on the Lecture and Series please
contact: Peter Mathews at (916) 323-8711 or [email protected]
To receive notices for upcoming Lectures please go to:
nd sign up for the seminars list serve.
Monday, October 21, 2013
David Kirp (UC Berkeley--Public Policy) has published an op-ed in the NY Times entitled "Here Comes the Neighborhood." In it, he discusses the overwhelmingly positive impact of the affordable housing built in the New Jersey township of Mt. Laurel. Referencing the recently published book, Climbing Mt. Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb by Douglas Massey (Princeton-Sociology) with others, Kirp counters the claims of those who saw the judicial response to exclusionary zoning as grafting urban cancer onto healthy suburban tissue. The cancer metaphor comes from Mt. Laurel's then-mayor Jose Alvarez and seems absurd in light of the overwhelmingly positive effects documented four decades later.
My good friend and NDLS clinic colleague, Bob Jones, sent the link to me because I am working on a paper looking at Catholic Social Teaching's response to overconcentration of poverty. I think this anectdotal account from the birthplace of judicially mandated inclusionary zoning should complement the 2011 study American Murder Mystery Revisited by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Michael Lens and Katherine O'Regan undercutting some loose talk about spreading violence and disorder through the Housing Choice Voucher program that followed the controversial eponymous 2008 Atlantic Monthly article.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
CFP: Fordham Urban Law Journal - Smart Law for Smart Cities: Regulation and the Transformation of Urban Technology
Fordham Urban Law Journal 2014 Symposium Book - Smart Law for Smart Cities:
Regulation and the Transformation of Urban Technology
February 27th - 28th, 2014, Fordham Law School, New York
The Fordham Urban Law Journal is pleased to announce a call for papers for its
2014 Symposium, Smart Law for Smart Cities: Regulation and the Transformation
of Urban Technology. As the second-most cited law and public policy journal and
one of the few journals publishing articles directly related to urban law, the
Fordham Urban Law Journal is committed to providing meaningful scholarship on
issues related to urban law. The 2014 Symposium will focus on topics associated
with contemporary urbanism and the potentially disruptive advances in urban
infrastructure related to innovative technology, sustainability and "big
data." All authors chosen for publication will be asked to speak on a
panel at the Symposium, which will be held at Fordham Law School on February
27th and 28th, 2014. The Symposium is being co-organized by Fordham's Urban Law
Center, Urban Studies Program, Center on Law and Information Policy, and Center
for Digital Transformation.
TOPICS: The Smart Law for Smart Cities Symposium will focus on how contemporary
urban life is marked and shaped by technology, as well as the law and regulatory
complexities that are arising from this technological transformation. The
Symposium will include panels examining changes to both the physical and
non-physical landscape in urban life resulting from such changes. The topics
- Citizen Engagement, the technological interface between citizens and cities;
- Local Service Delivery, the transformation of traditional urban
local-government services such as policing, education and public safety;
- Broadband and the New Digital Divide, the physical changes in urban
infrastructure to accommodate the demand for broadband, and challenges in equal
access to this new market;
- Energy and Infrastructure, with technological advances comes the need for
advances in energy usage and an infrastructure that can support it, despite the
fact that urban areas are still working within the regulatory and legal
framework of past generations;
- Cities and Surveillance, the dichotomy between the need for safety in an
urban atmosphere and risks such as crowd sourcing and false accusations is
examined in a post-9/11 and post-Boston Marathon Bombing world; and
- Regulating Big Data in Urban Governance, the dueling relationship between the
collection and deployment of large amounts of data needed for urban governance
and privacy and other regulation concerns.
The Fordham Urban Law Journal is seeking papers related to these topics for
discussion at the Symposium and inclusion in the Volume 42 Symposium Issue,
slated for publication in fall 2014. Authors should submit a one page proposal
to the Journal's Symposium Editor, Alex Berke, at [email protected]. If
you are already working on a draft paper, please include that draft with your
submission. The deadline for proposal submissions is Friday, October 25th at
5pm. We will inform you if your paper has been accepted by November 1st. Please
contact Alex Berke with any questions.
Monday, October 7, 2013
LEWIS & CLARK LAW SCHOOL
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUNIOR SCHOLAR WORKSHOP
CALL FOR PAPERS
Lewis & Clark Law School invites submissions for its inaugural Junior Scholar Workshop to be held at Lewis & Clark Law School on Saturday, April 12, 2014. At the workshop, four junior scholars will present their works-in-progress before eight senior scholars. Each junior scholar will receive written feedback from at least two senior scholars. In addition, each junior scholar will have one hour to present and discuss her or his paper with the senior commentators and other workshop participants.
About the Workshop
The workshop aims to promote dialogue between law faculty interested in natural resources and administrative law topics. It also aims to provide junior faculty the opportunity to present their works-in-progress to experts who can offer constructive and thoughtful feedback in a collaborative environment.
The senior scholars who will participate in this workshop have a wealth of expertise in natural resources and administrative law. They are: Peter Appel (Georgia), Eric Biber (Berkeley), Michael Blumm (Lewis & Clark), Robert Glicksman (George Washington), John Nagle (Notre Dame), Mark Squillace (Colorado), Janice Weis (Lewis & Clark), and Sandra Zellmer (Nebraska).
Scholars are invited to submit papers related to natural resources and administrative law. Topics may focus on wildlife law, public lands law and use, protected areas, water law, and other associated topics, as well as administrative law.
Lewis & Clark Law School will pay hotel expenses for two nights. Junior scholars are also invited to attend Lewis & Clark’s symposium, The Wilderness Act at 50, which will take place on April 11, 2014, the day before the junior scholar workshop.
For the purposes of this workshop, “junior scholars” include law professors with no more than 7 years’ teaching experience. Junior scholars who wish to participate in the workshop should submit papers that are 30-50 pages in length (double-spaced text using 12-point font, with single-spaced footnotes using 10-point font) and include an abstract of no more than 200 words. Scholars may submit papers that have been accepted for publication so long as the scholars can still revise the papers in response to workshop feedback.
Submissions are due by February 10, 2014. Please email all submissions and direct any questions to Melissa Powers, [email protected]. Submissions should include your name, institutional affiliation, telephone number, and email addresses.
I am bummed I can't figure out a way to make it to Israel in February because I have been really jonesing to attend a PLPR Conference. Hopefully some of you will find time and money to travel there. The organizers have asked me to post the following:
The International Academic Association for Planning Law and Property Rights, 8thAnnual Conference 2014 will take place in Haifa Israel, Feb. 11-14, 2014.
This is a reminder that the deadline for abstract submissions for PLPR 2014 is 15 October 2013. Click here for the website, here for the call for papers and here to submit your abstract now.
We are happy to announce that our opening reception will take place on 12 Februaryand will be hosted by the Mayor of Haifa, in the historic City Hall in the Hadar mid-town area. In addition, we will have a special pre-dinner reception on 13 February, hosted by the
We are happy to announce that our opening reception will take place on 12 Februaryand will be hosted by the Mayor of Haifa, in the historic City Hall in the Hadar mid-town area. In addition, we will have a special pre-dinner reception on 13 February, hosted by the Bahai World Center (click here for more on the Bahai Gardens in Haifa).
Please note that we have added a new workshop to our list of optional pre-conference workshops:
Please note that we have added a new workshop to our list of optional pre-conference workshops: Workshop 5 on National Land Ownership and housing policy. Click here to see the new workshop in the list and and to submit your workshop registration form (you are welcome to resubmit if your preferences have changed).
We look forward to seeing you at PLPR 2014 Conference
Rachelle Alterman for the Local Organizing Committee
Friday, October 4, 2013
It was recently pointed out to me that ALPS call for papers was recently released but the blogs have been slow to pick up the news. Here is my attempt to remedy that. We here at Land Use Profs are big fans of this conference. I personally have been to 3 of the 4 conferences so far and the last one in Minnesota may be the first time that all of us here at the blog were gathered in one place!
Here is the official call for papers:
The Association for Law, Property, & Society (ALPS) is a scholarly organization for those engaged in scholarship on all aspects of property law and policy including real, personal, intellectual, intangible, cultural, personal, and other forms of property. Its annual meeting brings together scholars from many disciplines to discuss their work and to foster dialogue among those working in property law, policy, and theory.
The 5th Annual Meeting of ALPS will be held in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law at Allard Hall. We welcome proposals for papers or panels in any area of property law & society scholarship.
Potential topics include:
• Aboriginal rights & title
• Eminent domain & regulatory takings
• Histories of property
• Housing/urban development/planning
• Inequalities of property
• Intellectual Property
• Property & civil rights
• Property law & economics
• Property & poverty
• Property transfers & risk
• Teaching property law
• Theories of property
Submissions may be of individual papers or of panels. Panel proposals may include a collection of paper presentations, roundtables, or book panels.
Submit proposals to [email protected] by 15 January 2014.
The standard length of each session will be 90 minutes and we expect sessions to include time for questions and discussion from the audience as well as presentation. Commentators are optional, but if included the papers need to be shortened to allow for audience questions and discussion.
If submitting a panel, submit individual paper abstracts as well as a panel abstract. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
A good friend of mine, Susan Elderkin, has just published The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You, in which she prescribes literature for ailments of all types. I asked her if she had anything for land use scholars looking for a little levity at the end of a long week. She told me she had just the thing. Her prescription, based upon a diagnosis of “city fatigue,” is below:
City fatigue. Life in the city can grind you down. The community, the hoards, the rush, the anonymity. The drab dreariness of unending concrete, the flashing billboards, the littler, the crime. If your city is making you sick, we implore you: do not step foot outside your door again without first medicating yourself with The City & The City by China Mieville. Quite simply the best novel we know of that deals with living in a city, Mieville’s deeply unsettling yet wholly familiar tale will put a 3-D lens on what you had only before seen in 2-D.
Because when you walk down the streets of the fictional city Beszel, you must “unsee” those people who are walking next to you on the street but are in a different city==a second city, called Ul Qoma, which occupies the same geographical space. To inhabit these overlapping cities successfully, you must study the architectural quirks, the clothing, and even the gait and mannerisms of those living in your city, and how they differ from those living in the parallel city. If you cross from one city to another, you are “in breach”; if you commit breach, you disappear.
Inspector Tyador Borlu has been called to investigate the murder of a female student named Mahalia, which takes place in Beszel. A thoughtful and intelligent man, Borlu soon realizes that the murder breaches all the rules of living in either city. An academic named Bowden is summoned; he once claimed there was a third, unseen city—Orciny—between Beszel and Ul Qoma. Mahalia seems to have stumbled upon this third city and was conducting her own investigations into it when she was sucked into a dangerous underworld.
The brilliance of this gripping novel—part detective story, part conceptual thriller—rests on the chilling familiarity of a subconscious state of “unnoticing.” How many times have we, too, ignored people in our own city because we think interacting with them may be unsafe? Mieville messes with your brain so immeasurably that you will never be able to look at your own urban sprawl in the same way again. The metropolis you thought you knew will take on a completely new sense of space, reality, and possibility. And you might find yourself seeing a lot of people you somehow missed before.
Thank you for the prescription, Ms. Elderkin. The weekend is looking up!
You can check out more about this fun project at the book's website.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013