Throughout human history, conflict over land use has likely destroyed more communities than all natural disaster combined.
In the modern era, we struggle to balance property rights with the public interest, while seeking to encourage redevelopment in disinvested areas, preserve natural assets, and create living wage jobs, affordable housing, and transportation options that connect the two.
Local elected officials make land use decisions every day, seeking to balance the need for adquate public facilities, taxes and fees, housing access, transportation, economic development, and environmental protection.
Land speculators and developers work hard to influence these decisions, often providing much of the funding that candidates need to run their campaigns. Neighborhood residents also work hard for influence, most often when there is a specifc change in land use near where they live. Higher income neighborhoods tend to speak louder than lower income neighborhoods on land use policy.
Somewhere between the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) campaigns and developer advocacy for the right to build, is common ground where urban, rural, and suburban everyday people can meet.