Rethinking Urban Development


This short article discusses urban redevelopment, and its relation to economic productivity and various concepts of well being.  It notes that solutions adopted in one era are apt to be the problems of the next. The article then introduces the four articles comprising the George Mason Law Review “Rethinking Urban Development” Symposium.

Dean Daniel Rodriguez and Professor David Schleicher’s The Location Market stresses the importance of agglomeration economics, by which critical masses of similar individuals lead to enhanced productivity.  On the other hand, Professor J. Peter Byrne’s Historic Preservation and Its Cultured Despisers: Reflections on the Contemporary Role of Preservation Law in Urban Development stresses the importance for human flourishing of a critical mass of historic structures. Professor Peter Salsich’s Does America Need Public Housing? asserts the importance of a supply of societal housing. Finally, Professors Julie Forrester and Jerome Organ assert, in Promising to be Prudent: A Private Law Approach to Mortgage Loan Regulation in Common-Interest Communities, that private covenants limiting leveraging by homebuyers could prevent or alleviate harm to community residents from another housing bust. Together, the articles mirror the variety of contemporary development issues.