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Community Land Trusts

Community Land Trusts
Christopher Hayes - Sat Feb 23, 2013 @ 06:02PM
Comments: 29

In recent years there has been a surge of interest in community land trusts (CLTs) to preserve affordably priced housing, neighborhood commercial space, open space, and community gardens. This series of workshops will explore the broader history, uses and implications of land trusts as tools to preserve the commons and act as its steward; how land trusts work; and examples of functioning land trusts. It will end with a discussion about how to promote community land trusts in New York City and beyond.


John Emmeus Davis, Burlington Associates in Community Development, and editor of The Community Land Trust Reader.

Tom Angotti, Cooper Square Land Trust, New York City

Session 1.  Land Trusts:  History, Key Features, Types and Functions

Land trusts have long been used in the United States to preserve land for conservation.  The community land trust is a vehicle for equitable development, community empowerment, and other progressive social objectives. What are the origins and defining features of the “classic” CLT?  What are the most common variations and applications of this model?  How have CLTs land been used to promote progressive social change?

Session 2.  The ABCs of Community Land Trusts

Community land trusts generally focus on the creation and preservation of permanently affordable housing. They may also be used to preserve open space for community gardens, urban agriculture, or other open space projects. How are land trusts started, financed and organized? How can they be sustained? How do land trusts fulfill their responsibilities as stewards of the commons? What are their advantages and limitations?

Session 3.  Mixing and Matching the CLT with Other Forms of Housing

Community land trusts can be paired with limited-equity cooperatives, individual homeownership, rental housing, or any other type or tenure of housing. This session will focus on the stories of different housing models, both existing and potential:  Cooper Square (New York City), Dudley Street (Boston), and Central Server (Essex County, New Jersey).

Session 4.  Community Land Trusts in New York City and Beyond: Strategies and Problems

How can we organize to promote land trusts as a major instrument for public land policy in New York City and other urban areas? What state and national policies can promote land trusts?

Comments: 29


1. Christopher Rodriguez   |   Tue Mar 05, 2013 @ 06:01PM

Greetings, regarding session 3. I am curious who will be presenting this topic.

Thank you,

2. Christopher Hayes   |   Sun Mar 24, 2013 @ 06:56PM

Although nothing is set in stone yet, the track organizer is considering Val Orselli from Cooper Square. We're open to suggestions for any folks to reach out to.

3. Peter Meyer  |  my website   |   Sun Apr 28, 2013 @ 09:23AM

Just a reminder about an overlooked feature of CLTs, nicely represented by Burlington's: they are wonderful as the long term stewards of contaminated lands that have been rehabbed for new uses under so-called Risk-Based Corrective Action. The approach requires monitoring after the sites are approved for their new uses and a CLT, unlike other possible land owners, will have a long term interest in the land and land quality.

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