When Past is Prologue: The Values of Historic Resources for Cities
Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy, vol. 4, 2020
23 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2021
Date Written: 2020
Throughout his 55-year academic legal career, Julian Juergensmeyer has been a vociferous champion for capturing value—the value of sound land use policies; the value of development rights and permissions; the value of preserving the environment; the value of interdisciplinary scholarship between urban planners and lawyers; the value of comparative legal study leading to cross-cultural friendships. It seems fitting, then, during this time of global pandemic, when urban life has slowed and the world takes deep breaths, to spend a few moments reflecting on what values historic resources hold for city dwellers now and in the future.
This article analyzes three values that historic resources hold for cities. First, a symbiotic relationship exists between legal innovation and cities. Many of the world’s modern legal systems were incubated and refined in medieval cities such as Bologna, London, Magdeburg and Constantinople; cities today continue to act as a potent legal crucible. Second, historic resources, rather than being mere luxuries, constitute a critical part of the economic and physical infrastructure of every city and are vital to the urban economy. Third, historic resources play an outsized role in contributing to public health and well-being within urban populations and should be studied in more detail.
Keywords: land use, urban development, historic resource, land use law, comparative law, law, cities, urban law, development rights
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