Legal scholars, planners and political scientists from the Midwest will come together at WUSTL School of Law Dec. 3-4 to discuss the opportunities for reform in planning and land use regulation. Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Paul Farmer, president of the American Planning Association, will service as conference keynote speakers. The conference features two days of panel discussions on political leadership in planning statute reform, contemporary planning efforts, sprawl and urban growth, housing and regulatory streamlining, and the impact of state and local planning programs.
At issue in the Kelo v. City of New London case before the Supreme Court is a redevelopment project in the downtown and waterfront areas of this economically distressed Connecticut city. Private property must be taken by condemnation in eminent domain and turned over to the developer to carry out the project. “In Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court has taken a major case that will test the ability of municipalities to carry out redevelopment projects to improve their downtowns and city neighborhoods,” says Daniel Mandelker, the Howard A. Stamper Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and one of the country’s leading scholars and teachers in land use law. Mandelker believes the Connecticut court properly upheld the use of eminent domain in this case, but that abuses can occur in other cases where there is no clear redevelopment objective.