Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest


The community land trust (CLT) movement is young but expanding rapidly. Nearly 20 community land trusts are started every year as either new nonprofits or as programs or subsidiaries of existing organizations. Fueling this proliferation is a dramatic increase in local government investment and involvement. Over the past decade, a growing number of cities and counties have chosen not only to support existing CLTs, but also to start new ones, actively guiding urban development and sponsoring affordable housing initiatives.
After briefly discussing the problem of competition and the claims of new regionalists, this Article will track the development of school finance reform, including the recent success of plaintiffs in asserting claims seeking adequacy in education, rather than simply equity in funding. It will show that school districts’ traditional reliance on local property taxes has been effectively lessened by state equalization. This Article will examine two states where significant changes in school equity occurred in the 1990s: Kentucky and Michigan. This Article will conclude by noting that some form of litigation strategy together with public education and organizing could advance the possibility of regional reform in other areas, such as municipal finance, regional land use and/or governance issues. Finally, the Article will argue that the collaboration necessary to build a school and municipal equity coalition can also be used to build a coalition on land use planning and regional governance.
This article details Troutt's theory that legal localism --the judicially sanctioned principle of local autonomy over critical police powers and land use policy-- has functioned as the de facto successor to Jim Crow school and residential segregation as a result of key cases decided by the Supreme Court in the 1970s. This article from the Journal of Affordable Housing is largely excerpted from a larger article published in the Buffalo Law Review, entitled "Katrina's Window: Localism, Resegregation and Equitable Regionalism," 55 Buff. L. Rev. 1109 (2008), in which the author sets forth a more detailed case for regional equity.
Louisville on the Ohio River, c/o City Mayors.
The merger of Louisville (Kentucky) with neighboring Jefferson County has created much excitement in US regions looking at this option to improve their local conditions. The Louisville merger, which took effect on 6 January 2003, after voter approval in November 2000, has gained much attention. It was the first large consolidation of an American city with its surrounding county in 30 years, when Indianapolis and Marion County (Indiana) merged.
Suburbanization and sprawl present new issues and challenges of regional inequity and equal opportunity. As awareness of the effects of the impacts of uneven and unhealthy development patterns grow, the debate for dealing with the fallout of sprawl is being taken up and policy agenda is emerging to address smart growth. With the emergence of the region rather than the city as the dominant economic and social geographic unit and key policy changes, the article propounds that the mistakes of the past fifty years can be reversed and regional equity achieved. The article makes it clear that life changes are largely determined by where one lives. The development patterns detailed in the article directly relate to an extreme inequality for poor people of color, but new factors are emerging that create a platform for addressing the inequality. New ways of thinking and acting regionally allows for development to be addressed more broadly and equitably. This kind of regional thinking is captured in extensive community planning processes, policies such as inclusionary zoning, and jobs initiatives. Policy will continue to be the springboard for drastic change in sustainable progress and the article proposes equitable development as an action and policy agenda that can align multiple interests into a sustainable movement for positive change.
Health-related problems are strongly associated with the social characteristics of communities and neighborhoods.We need to treat community contexts as important units of analysis in their own right, which in turn calls for new measurement strategies as well as theoretical frameworks that do not simply treat the neighborhood as a “trait” of the individual. Recent findings from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods support this thesis.Two major themes merit special attention: (1) the importance of collective efficacy for understanding health disparities in the modern city; and (2) the salience of spatial dynamics that go beyond the confines of local neighborhoods. Further efforts to explain the causes of variation in collective processes associated with healthy communities may provide innovative opportunities for preventive intervention.
This report presents results from the first phase of the latest national Housing Discrimination Study (HDS2000), sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the Urban Institute. These results are based on 4,600 paired tests, conducted in 23 metropolitan areas nationwide during the summer and fall of 2000. In a paired test, two individuals—one minority and the other white—pose as otherwise identical homeseekers, and visit real estate or rental agents to inquire about the availability of advertised housing units. This methodology provides direct evidence of differences in the treatment minorities and whites experience when they search for housing.