Tag Archives: property rights

Food for Thought: Thomas Paine

There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it.
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Thoughts on Private Property: Or, Have I Got a Bridge in Brooklyn to Sell You

Yesterday’s post got me thinking—how has the American notion of private property shaped our culture? How has it shaped our cities? Our transportation networks? Our communities? Our ability to respond to climate change and environmental concerns? I remember reading a caption on a wall mural while waiting in line at Ikea that said Sweden doesn’t view land as private property, so one can walk anywhere one desires in Sweden and not worry about trespassing. The outdoor world most Americans experience is mostly limited to roads, sidewalks, parks, and a small number of backyards. Do away with private land ownership and the way we interact with the land changes fundamentally. I don’t know how true the Ikea caption is or how absolutely it is practiced, but I don’t imagine the Swedes have an epidemic of peeping toms or home invasions.
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Posted in Culture, Josh Grigsby, Livability, Neighbors, Placemaking, Rants, Response Pieces, Sustainability, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Private Property a Destructive Notion?

The authors, Eduardo Moisés Peñalver and Sonia K. Katyal, are professors of law at Cornell Law School and Fordham Law School, respectively. In their telling, the people who challenge the broad scope of property laws through deliberate protests are a highly useful and indeed, honorable force for good. They are the ones who have shown great personal courage in forcing property law to become more responsive to evolving norms. They are the ones who dare to assert that property owners have certain affirmative responsibilities to larger social and democratic values. Continue reading

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The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty

Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud gestures of people who want to seize our attention but give nothing in return.
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Posted in architecture, Culture, Placemaking, urban design, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments