Land Use

Goodbye, Cleveland!

Newspaper Collapse Threatens The Environment: Universities Need To Fill The Gap

In 1970, Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River famously caught fire. This past week, we have seen an even worse environmental disaster for the city: The Plain Dealer on Monday laid off 14 newsroom employees as part of a staff reduction first announced in December. The 14, most of them reporters and all members of Local 1 of […]

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California Adopts New, Welcome Wetlands Protection Rules

State Fills Void Left By Trump Administration’s Weakening of Federal Wetlands Standards

This week California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted important new rules to protect the state’s remaining wetlands resources.  Enacted after over a decade of Board hearings, workshops and deliberation, those rules are overdue, welcome and critically necessary.  Their adoption is particularly timely now, given the Trump Administration’s wholesale assault on and erosion of federal […]

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Duke Sucks: The Legal Planet March Madness Special

Why Is The University Killing Light Rail In The Research Triangle?

Like most people of intelligence and character, when it comes to NCAA basketball, I despise the Duke Blue Devils. As the precocious son of a good friend notes, “you can’t spell Blue Devil without evil.”  I acknowledge Mr. Mxyzptlk’s Mike Krzyzewski’s greatness as a basketball coach, but it’s too much to put up with garbage quotations […]

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Ray of Hope in Eastern Europe

Environmental Issues Help Foster Victory for Democratic Forces

The world got some very good news yesterday when political newcomer Zuzana Caputova, a political newcomer, won a smashing victory in Slovakia’s President elections. Unlike the right-wing authoritarians like Hungary Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice Party, which have dominated east European politics in recent years, Caputova, is a political liberal, strongly committed to […]

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A Legislative Response to California’s Housing Emergency: Senator Skinner’s SB 330

How to Make a Good Bill Even Better

(This post is co-authored by U.C. Davis Law School Professor Chris Elmendorf)  Last week, as President Trump harrumphed about the faux emergency on our nation’s Southern border, California State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced a potentially transformative bill that addresses California’s real emergency: the ever-escalating cost of housing in the state’s economically productive metropolitan regions. As […]

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Build, Baby, Build?

New Study Points To More Sophisticated Analysis of Upzoning – And Perhaps Surpassing the Stale Gentrification Debate

A couple of weeks ago, I noted a study casting some doubt on whether upzoning leads to a decline (or at least a stabilization) of housing prices. The theory is that by building more, developers are simply inducing demand, pushing out low-income people, and not reducing overall prices because of the higher demand. It would […]

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What I Wish The Green New Deal Hadn’t Left Out

Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.

While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground.  On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts […]

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More Tree-Huggers, Please

The Anti-Environmentalist Epithet Actually Derives From India’s Great Environmental Justice Movement

If you want to insult an environmentalist, the standard go-to is to dismiss them as a “tree-hugger.” But where does the term come from? The answer might surprise you: The term ‘tree-hugger’ originated not as an insult but as a protest tactic. It is said to date back to 1730, when a village of Bishnois […]

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New report on housing entitlement in LA

Report covers regulatory approvals for residential projects in four LA cities in 2014-16

I’ve blogged previously about work that a team here at UC Berkeley (Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and myself) have been doing on studying land-use regulation, environmental law, and housing production in California, to get a better sense of how regulatory processes may be driving the housing crisis in the state, and eventually to produce specific […]

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LA’s Trying to Build Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing

But could we make it easier?

My colleague Jonathan Zasloff rightly points out that one way to harness the benefits of upzoning to alleviate our housing crisis is to promote inclusionary requirements for transit-oriented development.  Los Angeles has adopted just such a program through its Transit-Oriented Communities ordinance, which I’ve written about here. Per the City of Los Angeles’ initial assessment, […]

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