Tag: Land Use Policies

Can the American West Be Saved?

SHADOWLANDSFear and Freedom at the Oregon StandoffBy Anthony McCann THIS LANDHow Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption Are Ruining the American WestBy Christopher Ketcham The January 2016 armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was, to many who followed it on the news, a certain kind of anarchic spectacle that occurs periodically in the American West […]

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This Land Is a Sanctuary for Aboriginal Women. Bulldozers May Soon Come.

DJAB WURRUNG COUNTRY, Australia — For dozens of generations, this serene stretch in the highlands of southeastern Australia has been a sanctuary for the women of the Djab Wurrung people, where babies were delivered in the hollows of majestic birthing trees and the placentas were planted nearby to imbue saplings with their spirit. “This is […]

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Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more […]

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The Golden Girls Would Violate Zoning Laws

The housing plans released by the Democratic presidential candidates Cory Booker, Julián Castro and Elizabeth Warren rightly recognize that only bold federal intervention can fix a problem as entrenched as housing segregation. But by offering towns financial incentives to change their zoning codes — the most powerful force dictating where and how people live — […]

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This Land Was Your Land

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. It’s an astonishingly diverse landscape of […]

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A New Approach on Housing Affordability

A growing number of Americans are struggling to cope with the high and rising cost of rental housing in the United States. On any given night last year, more than half a million Americans were homeless. Nearly 11 million households managed to keep a roof over their heads only by spending more than 50 percent […]

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Why South Africa Can’t Avoid Land Reforms

In 1996, while I was teaching at the University of Cape Town, I was invited by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be an in-house critic at a town hall it had organized. A member of the largely black African audience told this story: “Tom and John were neighbors. One day Tom stole John’s bicycle. […]

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Americans Need More Neighbors

Housing is one area of American life where government really is the problem. The United States is suffering from an acute shortage of affordable places to live, particularly in the urban areas where economic opportunity increasingly is concentrated. And perhaps the most important reason is that local governments are preventing construction. Don’t be misled by […]

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Would You Like to Spend Forever in This Tree?

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Death comes for all of us, but Silicon Valley has, until recently, not come for death. Who can blame them for the hesitation? The death services industry is heavily regulated and fraught with religious and health considerations. The handling of dead bodies doesn’t seem ripe for venture-backed disruption. The gravestone doesn’t […]

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Developers Built a 30-Story High-Rise. They Might Have to Chop Off 5 Floors.

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] In New York City, real estate fights between neighborhoods and developers over new projects typically take place long before any ground is broken. But the latest battle involves a 30-story condo tower in Manhattan that is nearly finished. It […]

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Your House Is My House, Pakistan’s Rich Say to Its Poor

KARACHI — Pakistan is in the middle of an unusual property boom. Developers grab large tracts of land, stealing them outright or occupying them, advertise mega development projects and then buy off regulators with the money they raise selling some of the land they dubiously claim. Poor people who have lived in their homes for […]

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