'Love Don't Live Here Anymore': Economic Incentives for a More Equitable Model of Urban Redevelopment

34 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2008

See all articles by Michele Alexandre

Michele Alexandre

University of Mississippi - School of Law; University of Mississippi


In "'Love Don't Live Here Anymore': Economic Incentives for a More Equitable Model of Urban Redevelopment", I explore the legal and practical avenues through which equitable urban redevelopment plans can be constructed and interest convergence achieved. In this process, I continue to explore what a redefinition of public purpose would mean for the implementation of urban renewal plans and judges' review of conflicts arising in these contexts. In addition, I argue that intangible contributions made by pre-redevelopment community residents to the redeveloped communities must be preserved and computed in the type of just compensation awarded to homeowners, as well in the type of amenities provided for low-income renters in the post-renewal community. The computation of intangible contributions of poor community members to the redeveloped communities would adequately acknowledge the role that the pre-redevelopment residents' social capital plays in increasing the value of the community. The role of social capital in increasing the value of communities is discussed in this article when discussing the proposed redefinition of public purpose. Furthermore, I borrow from international law's recognition of indigenous populations' right to return to their homeland, as well as the now established standards of environmental justice, to further support the basis for expanding the definition of public purpose to prevent the displacement of poor residents.

Part I of the article discusses conventional notions of public purpose and explores incentives that local governments have traditionally offered to attract private developers. In Part I, I also propose a redefinition of public purpose that takes into account the intangible contributions and value of the residents/indigenous people of pre-redeveloped communities. Part II investigates the possibilities of a more egalitarian model of urban redevelopment by applying the Interest Convergence Theory to urban renewal plans. Part III proposes such an egalitarian redevelopment model using redevelopment plans in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina as well as other cities as promising examples.

Suggested Citation

Alexandre, Michele, 'Love Don't Live Here Anymore': Economic Incentives for a More Equitable Model of Urban Redevelopment. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1113605

Michele Alexandre (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi - School of Law ( email )

Lamar Law Center
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
United States

University of Mississippi ( email )

Oxford, MS 38677
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics