Skip to Main Content

Environmental Law and Sustainability

Texts and Treatises

American Law of Zoning (Patricia E. Salkin, 2023) (Westlaw password required)
This treatise explains governments’ authority to implement land use plans, introduces the typical officials involved in these decisions, and explains the law of zoning and variances, as well as property principles such as eminent domain and takings law. Also includes in-depth discussions of emerging issues such as marijuana cultivation and zoning for an aging population.

Contemporary Urban Planning (John M. Levy, 2016)
Examines the trend toward urbanization and discusses urban development and redevelopment law including zoning regulations, eminent domain, and takings, as well as the political nature of land use planning and the effects of planning on transportation, economic development, natural land, and the environment.

Examples and Explanations: Property (Barlow Burke & Joseph Snoe, 2019)
Includes a section on Public Land Use Control, including variances, conditional zoning, planned developments, aesthetic regulation, and takings. Also available on Aspen Learning Library (login required).

Land Use Law in a Nutshell (Jennie C. Nolon & Patricia E. Salkin, 2021) (West Academic password required)
Traces the origins of the idea of separating incompatible land uses in communities, and summarizes the planning process, zoning districts, and the constitutional limits of regulations, as well as issues involving urban development, local environmental laws, and historic preservation. 

Land Use Planning and Development Regulation Law (Julian Conrad Juergensmeyer et. al, 2018) (West Academic login required)
A hornbook covering the key topics in land use regulation, such as how to obtain or resist development permission, exclusionary law, planned unit development, and management of growth.

Planning by Law and Property Rights Reconsidered (Barrie Needham & Thomas Hartmann eds., 2016)
A series of articles analyzing the tensions between individual property rights and zoning plans, as well as the effects of environmental change and the uncertainty of future demand for particular uses such as office space or industrial facilities.

Sustainable Urban Transport (Maria Attard and Yoram Shiftan eds., 2015)
Analyzes policies to promote active transportation such as bicycles and scooters, as well as public transit and car sharing, from an international perspective.

Transportation, Land Use, and Environmental Planning (Elizabeth Deakin ed., 2020)
Examines how increased integration of transportation, land use, and environmental planning policies can benefit society. 

Urban Transportation Planning in the United States: History, Policy, and Practice (Edward Weiner, 2016)
Traces the development of the legal framework for transportation infrastructure and analyzes current needs including sustainability, expanding democratic control, resource constraints, and funding.

Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land Use Regulation (Sonia A. Hirt, 2014)
Provides an overview of the municipality-dominated American system of land use regulation and compares it with other systems. Also takes a critical look at whether the longstanding policy of separating land uses to venerate the single-family, detached home is creating benefits.

Zoning and Land Use Controls (Patrick J. Rohan & Eric Damian Kelly, 2023) (Lexis password required)
This treatise contains an overview of general land use issues and explores trends in regulations at the local level. Also examines environmental regulations and land use control at the federal and state levels.

Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy
This Georgia State University journal analyzes the law in the United States and foreign countries concerning issues such as urban planning, historic preservation, and open space preservation (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law
Commentary on regulations and private property takings as well as natural resources management and agriculture from the Florida State University College of Law (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Journal of Transport and Land Use
Examining challenges and potential for sustainable reforms in transportation systems worldwide.

Land Use Policy
International perspectives on land management regimes (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Urban Lawyer
This American Bar Association journal includes commentary on legal issues such as urban zoning codes, eminent domain, and takings, as well as related issues such as public health crises, school districts, and voting districts (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE).

Arizona Resources

Arizona Land Use Law (Douglas A. Jorden & Frank J. Cassidy, 2021)
Provides background information and discusses the delegated authority to municipalities and counties to make land use decisions, as well as the state’s preemption authority. Also details land use plans, zoning ordinances, interpretation of regulations, nonconforming uses, and judicial oversight.

Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 9 – Cities and Towns
These statutes govern land use planning in Arizona, including specialized facilities and general zoning.

Arizona Revised Statutes: Title 37 – Public Lands
These statutes govern use of public lands and urban development in Arizona.

Arizona State Historic Preservation Office
The office identifies and evaluates historic buildings and archaeological sites, compiles historic preservation plans, and consults with agencies to ensure compliance with land use laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act and the State Historic Preservation Act.

Maricopa Association of Governments
Gathering land use data such as zoning and locations of facilities such as schools, hospitals, and courts.

Maricopa County: Land Use, Subdivision, and Planning Applications
Information and permit applications relating to countywide land use planning.

Maricopa County Planning & Zoning Commission
The commission advises the Board of Supervisors on major land use concerns and approves some plats and applications. It holds open meetings twice monthly.

Maricopa County Zoning Ordinance
The rules governing developments in the Arizona County containing the Phoenix metro area. Other regulations govern drainage and subdivisions.

Phoenix Planning & Development Department
Compiling rules, technical documents, notice of meetings, and information about organizations that shape the city’s land use policies. This page contains further information on land use issues including signs and planned use developments.

Phoenix Planning and Development Department: Zoning Maps
Local zoning information including Phoenix’s general plan and the villages into which the city is divided. This page provides documents helping landowners rezone their property. This page includes further information on city zoning, mass transit, and walkability.

Web Resources and Blogs

American Planning Association
This professional organization for planners includes information in its Knowledge Center, including publications, blogs, podcasts, and in-depth discussions of issues such as climate change, disaster recovery, and infrastructure.

CLEAR: Center for Land Use Education and Research
This resource from the University of Connecticut provides news on land use and environmental concerns including a blog and webinars.

Environmental Law Institute: Land & Biodiversity Program
Discusses the environmental costs of land use including fragmentation of natural habitat. Also includes a Sustainable Use of Land Program, which "works to advance sustainable use by integrating development and infrastructure decision-making with long-term natural resource goals."

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development includes news updates, a podcast, and information on topics such as housing discrimination, sustainability, and economic development.

Land Portal
This portal maintained by a not-for-profit organization gathers materials from a variety of blogs to “build an information ecosystem” to improve land use policy.

Land Use Law
Prof. Daniel R. Mandelker operates this site affiliated with the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and gathers the law of land use, including statutes, ordinances, plans, and court cases.

Land Use Prof Blog
This blog, to which law professors from around the country contribute, presents news updates and commentary on zoning along with notices of upcoming events.

Law of the Land: A Blog on Land Use Law and Zoning
This blog, maintained by Touro College Law Center and Professor Patricia Salkin, includes news and commentary on land use developments around the country.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Provides publications, summaries, and data regarding challenges in land use and urban planning, such as infrastructure maintenance and development and climate change resilience.

Practical Law: Regulations & Zoning (Westlaw password required)
Westlaw provides practice notes, standard forms and clauses, and checklists to assist land use law practitioners.

Urban Land Institute
This professional network concerning real estate development and land use covers the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and it provides case studies and data on topics such as infrastructure and transit.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development
Compiles news releases, environmental studies, and regulations, and details services such as assistance with homebuilding and infrastructure development. It also cooperates with local and state governments through the National Rural Development Partnership to identify and address the needs of rural areas.