As the global population grows, land use issues intensify. Competing interests vie for land to support housing, agriculture, commercial development, and recreation. Working through those conflicts to make decisions that benefit societies over the long term requires well-reasoned, innovative laws and policies.
Specialization in land use includes a wide range of areas, including smart growth principles, ecological planning, and affordable housing. It also includes flood hazard mitigation, energy and land use regulatory decision-making, permitting processes, and land conservation strategies.
After building a knowledge base through course work, students acquire deeper knowledge by collaborating with faculty, peers, practicing lawyers and professional planners on Land Use Institute projects.
The Land Use Institute at Vermont Law advances the practice of land use planning through information, experience and education. Faculty and students work directly with local and regional planners, housing officials, government agency directors, citizen groups, legislators, conference developers, and academic peers. Projects have included creation of legal materials for a web-based land use “toolbox,” preparation of fact sheets and a pamphlet on flood plain issues, development of Vermont legislation that requires coordination of energy and land use planning standards for major energy projects, and an assessment of training needs for local land trusts.