Redevelopment and the Four Dimensions of Class in Land Use

15 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2006 Last revised: 22 Mar 2009

See all articles by Audrey McFarlane

Audrey McFarlane

University of Baltimore - School of Law


This essay begins with the proposition that the battle over the exercise of eminent domain as a question of the extent to which we accept local economic development as a proper exercise of local governmental authority. In light of the reality that economic development seeks to accomplish redevelopment to meet the social needs and consumption tastes of the affluent, the issue of local governments' autonomy to engage in redevelopment for economic development purposes is suffused with socioeconomic class struggles over land use. Therefore, the changes wrought by redevelopment challenge us to think and talk about class in ways for which we are inadequately prepared. The class issue is possibly most difficult to acknowledge in the redevelopment context because class permeates the existing system of property ownership and land regulation. As a first step in addressing the inherent conflicts surrounding class in the issue of redevelopment, this essay delineates a typology of four dimensions of class as it affects, interrelates, and operates with land use law and argues that the dimensions illustrate points of tension that must be considered and resolved in formulating redevelopment practices.

Keywords: Local Government, Class, Socioeconomic Class, Redevelopment, Eminent Domain, Land Use

Suggested Citation

McFarlane, Audrey, Redevelopment and the Four Dimensions of Class in Land Use. Journal of Law and Politics, Vol. 22, p. 33, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Audrey McFarlane (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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