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Course Information

Instructor Info:Robert Rakoff
Office Extension x5396
TA Info:Melia Chase
Office Extension x4719
Andrew Byler
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105

Conflicts over land use are among the most contentious in America. Much is at stake, including private property rights, the public good, the character of communities, environmental quality, and the power and profits of private developers. In this class we will analyze recent land use controversies, including housing development on farmland, preservation of open space, urban redevelopment, takings of private land by eminent domain, and conflicts over the management of public lands. Readings will include essays on the contested meanings of private property along with political economic critiques of the American land use system and its many stakeholders. In addition to writing several short papers, students will observe and assess public meetings of local zoning, planning, and conservation boards and will undertake first-hand research on a land use controversy.

Evaluation Criteria:
  1. Several short papers during Section 1.
  2. Description and analysis of your observation of a local public board (planning, zoning, or conservation).  Class presentation and written paper.
  3. A research project (written and presented in class) on a land use controversy of your choice.
  4. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions.