Collective Land Governance for a Changing Climate with Linda Shi


Human civilization is headed towards a collision between rapidly changing conditions of land under climate change and static institutions governing land and property. Contemporary development models are predicated on Western European land ethics, property rights regimes, and land policies that evolved during a period of relative climatological and geological stability on Earth. Nevertheless, much as there are “varieties of capitalism”, a variety of land governance systems exist around the world. This talk shares examples of collective land governance that have enabled communities to adapt to economic and environmental shocks. It raises the possibilities of expanding collective land ownership to respond to the climate challenge.

Linda Shi is Assistant Professor at Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning. Her research concerns how to plan for urban climate adaptation in ways that improve environmental sustainability and social justice. She studies how aspects of urban land governance – including the fiscalization of land use, property rights regimes, and metropolitan regional institutions – shape climate vulnerability and adaptation responses. She comes at these issues having worked on watershed restoration, water and sanitation, and development planning all over the world for AECOM, the World Bank, the Institute for International Urban Development, and Rocky Mountain Institute. She has a PhD in urban and regional planning from MIT.


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