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Georgetown Law Library

Land Use Law Research Guide

This guide is for students conducting introductory research in the area of land use law, including zoning.


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Government Agencies, Associations, Organizations & Institutes

  • American Planning Association
    Association for planning professionals. Publishes the Journal of the American Planning Association.

  • Brookings Institution - Metropolitan Policy Program
    This program conducts research and policy analysis on issues of concern to metropolitan areas, such as economic development and sustainable growth. The website provides access to reports from 1996 to present.

  • Environmental Protection Agency
    The EPA's website contains environmental laws, research, and other relevant information. The sustainable practices portal, for example, contains information on smarth growth and green buildings.

  • Georgetown Climate Center
    A nonpartisan center at the Georgetown University Law Center that "seeks to advance effective climate, energy, and transportation policies in the United States--policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change." The Center's website has a wealth of useful information including the Adaptation Clearinghouse, a legislation tracker, climate and energy news, and reports.

  • Land Use Law Center for Sustainable Development (Pace Law School)
    The Land Use Law Center "is dedicated to fostering the development of sustainable communities and regions through the promotion of innovative land use strategies and dispute resolution techniques." The website provides access to the Gaining Ground Information Database that contains examples of federal and state laws, local ordinances, research papers, and other documents related to land use.

  • Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee
    A committee of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law.

  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
    A private foundation that provides education and promotes and conducts research on land policy. The Institute's website provides access to working papers, reports, and Land Lines magazine, as well as other resources such as the Atlas of Urban Expansion, which provides information on urban expansion worldwide, and tax tools.

  • Natural Resources Defense Council
    An environmental advocacy organization. Smart growth ("fostering sustainable communities") is one of its six main priorities.

  • Office for Coastal Management
    A division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the Office for Coastal Management administers a number of programs, such as the Coastal Zone Management Program, that assist states in managing, preserving, and developing their marine and coastal resources.

  • Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute (University of Denver Sturm College of Law)
    The RMLUI "seeks to elevate the law, policy and practice of sustainable development in the West to promote nature-friendly, prosperous and equitable communities." The Institute hosts an annual conference on land use law and has promulgated the Sustainable Community Development Code Framework, which helps communities create zoning laws that encourage sustainable development.

  • Smart Growth America
    An advocacy organization that promotes smart growth and liveable communities. The SGA website provides access to their research and policy reports and other information on housing, transportation, and other issues.

  • Urban Land Institute
    A non-profit research and educational organization with over 30,000 members including planners, lawyers, and developers. The website provides access to research reports and Urban Land magazine (January 2010 - ).

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    The mission of HUD "is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all." Access statistics, reports, and other information available from the Office of Policy Development and Research

  • U.S. Green Building Council
    The USGBC is a "non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings." It developed and administers the LEED green building certification system. The website provides access to reports and newsletters.