American Cities, Urban Collapse, and Environmental Doom
Planning & Environmental Law, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2008
4 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2008 Last revised: 12 Aug 2013
The land use and environmental challenges confronting us today have never been more serious, demanding attention at all levels of government. With the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, this is an opportune time to take stock and question what the role of the federal government should be in addressing these challenges.
Consider the following events in October 2007. California fires raged across southern California leaving in their wake more than $1 billion in damages in San Diego County alone and more than 1,500 home destroyed; Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue asked President Bush to declare the northern part of the state a major disaster area because there's only enough water to server three million residents for 90 days; and Kansas became the first state on October 18 to reject a coal-fired power plan because of its global warming impacts. Let's not forget the Katrina catastrophe in New Orleans and the Gulf communities two years ago. Those communities and families are still struggling.
The intersection between local, state, and federal responsibilities for protecting our citizens, building sustainable communities, and planning for the future requires our leaders at all levels to think outside of the box. We asked four prominent land use law professors to write a letter to the next President of the United States, providing some guidance and ideas about what he or she might do upon assuming office in January 2009. Perhaps these suggestions will stimulate some discussion from the candidates themselves; even better, they might spur some much-needed action.
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