Document Type


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Journal of Comparable Urban Law & Policy

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ecosystem services, urban planning, law & policy


Environmental Law | Law | Law and Society


Despite the heavy emphasis in legal scholarship on federal and state governance of environmental policy, cities have had their champions as well. Legal scholars who stand out as having defined a position for local governance in the environmental domain include John Nolan, Jamison Colburn, Keith Hirokawa, Tony Arnold, and, on any such list, Julian Juergensmeyer. Indeed, in the United States and many other nations, cities have been leaders in many of the looming issues of environmental policy, including those with global dimensions, like climate change mitigation, and surely those with local focus, like climate change adaptation. In the United States, starting with the wave of federal legislation in the 1970s—commonly portrayed as the beginning of modern environmental law and policy and its distinctive “cooperative federalism” model—cities have worked to leverage their traditional role as the locus of land use planning and regulation to

insert themselves in the new wave of environmental policy. Expanding land use regulation into a mechanism for advancing an environmental protection agenda, while fraught with political and practical obstacles, became a central goal of many local governments. Broadly speaking, this dispersed but coherent policy initiative to integrate broader environmental goals into local policy has flown under several flags. For example, many cities began focusing on environmental policy as a mechanism for, and one goal of, what came to be known as “growth management.”



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