Co-Location, Co-Location, Co-Location: Land Use and Housing Priorities Reimagined

25 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2015 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by Lee Anne Fennell

Lee Anne Fennell

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: May 15, 2015


This brief essay was delivered in slightly different form as the 2014 Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at Vermont Law School. It begins with the premise that what matters most to a home’s value is not location, in the sense of a geographic map point, but rather co-location, or a home’s position relative to other land uses and land users. Although this proposition might seem obvious, taking co-location seriously can change the way we think about housing policy and about land use priorities more generally. A focus on co-location illuminates the significance of lumps or chunks of value that are produced by complementary uses, shows how land use policy can help achieve them, and highlights the conflicts that can arise among competing aggregations of value. I suggest some policy approaches that can leverage the power of co-location — from an expanded understanding of what land use decisions fall under the rubric of housing policy to the possibility of planning ahead for portability.

Keywords: housing, land use, lumpiness, portability, eminent domain, agglomeration

Suggested Citation

Fennell, Lee Anne, Co-Location, Co-Location, Co-Location: Land Use and Housing Priorities Reimagined (May 15, 2015). 39 Vermont Law Review 925 (2015); Kreisman Working Papers Series in Housing Law and Policy No. 24; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 547. Available at SSRN:

Lee Anne Fennell (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0603 (Phone)

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