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From Top-down Environmental Law To Bottom-up Land Use Strategies

10 Jul

Read the full post at GreenLaw.

The advent, beginning roughly in 1992, of local environmental law is adding expansive bottom-up land use strategies to top-down environmental law: local strategies that now constitute an accepted area of practice and scholarship.[1]

Critics of any attempt to solve the problems of sea level rise and climate change at the local level have a point: this is a global matter with national implications and should be addressed through top-down national strategies, not left to the vagaries of local initiatives. The last two decades, nonetheless, demonstrate the wisdom of enabling, encouraging, and guiding local governments to solve environmental problems at the ground level, through their delegated zoning, land use, home rule, and police power authority.

This issue is further explored in my article, In Praise of Parochialism: The Advent of Local Environmental Law, as well as in Shifting Paradigms Transform Environmental and Land Use Law: The Emergence of the Law of Sustainable Development.

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