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Land & Biodiversity

Sustainable Use of Land Projects

Program goals are carried out through work in specific states and groups of states, and by national level policy research that is informed primarily by state and local case studies. The results are high-quality tools for reform and technical support resources. Current projects include:

  • Pennsylvania Smart Growth: Working in Pennsylvania, ELI is examining legal impediments to urban revitalization and new tools to promote smart growth and reinvestment.
  • Sustainable Water and Sewer Infrastructure: In this collaborative project ELI is working to integrate the rehabilitation and extension of water and sewer infrastructure with a larger vision for a sustainable landscape, demonstrating new techniques for intergovernmental coordination.
  • Reforming Tax Policy: Working in several states, ELI is identifying how state and local tax policies can be made more supportive of sustainable land use, including conservation and community revitalization. In 2008 ELI published an issue paper on this topic, Improving Economic Health and Competitiveness Through Tax Sharing.
  • Ending Sprawl-law: This long-term project reviews how tools other than comprehensive planning and zoning can be used to curb sprawl, revive older suburbs and cities, provide choices in affordable housing, and conserve farms, forests, and open space.
  • National Environmental Policy Act: NEPA provides a basis for decisionmaking that considers alternatives, involves the public, and provides for application of new and updated information. ELI’s work on NEPA shows how this statute can help support better decisions in the areas of resource use, land management, climate change, and development.

Related ELI Project AreasBrownfieldsLong-term Stewardship, and Mining and Reclamation.