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The Joint Program for Land Use Studies

The Joint Program for Land Use Studies exists to convene scholars and practitioners who research, publish, conduct programs, or practice in the land use field. It involves professors from Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cornell, and the University of California at Berkeley, among others. The Joint Program was created and is administered by the Land Use Law Center at Pace University School of Law. The Land Use Law Center was established in 1993. It conducts research, maintains a web site, trains local leaders, drafts model land use ordinances, performs assessments of land use conflicts, builds intermunicipal and regional networks, and sponsors seminars and conferences. These activities are concentrated in the Hudson River Valley in New York to assist the 250 local governments that make the public land use decisions that determine the region’s future. The Center provides these services throughout the Northeast.

The purpose of the Joint Program for Land Use Studies is to facilitate an inter-disciplinary dialogue among leaders of the academic, governmental, and business communities who are working on similar activities in other regions of the country. Its convocations and research activities will accelerate the process of developing and disseminating efficient and fair responses to pressing national land use issues.

The Joint Program was instrumental in the publication of a number of articles and books on the advent of local environmental law, following a national symposium on the subject that it hosted in April, 2001.  The current research agenda of the Joint Program includes the creation of a national land use library of local smart growth and conservation laws, an exploration of the influences that encourage building and rebuilding in disaster-prone areas, and the interrelationship among property law and the participation of Americans in democratic institutions.

Advisory Board: The Joint Program for Land Use Studies is advised by a National Advisory Board. Members of the Board include David Callies, Professor of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Daniel C. Esty, Director, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Yale Law School; John Forester, Chairman, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University; Judith Innes, Director, Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley; Lawrence E. Susskind, President, Consensus Building Institute, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Nicolas P. Retsinas, Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University; Edward H. Ziegler, Professor of Law, University of Denver and past President of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute.

For more information about the Joint Program for Land Use Studies contact the Land Use Law Center at (914) 422-4262 or The Land Use Law Center’s web site is located at