Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



It is hard not to conclude that American local land use law has been a persistent and squalid failure. Once proud cities now stagger--decayed, honeycombed with dangerous, surreal moonscapes of physical and human devastation, and surrounded by insipid suburbs that sprawl over a vanishing rural world. What has gone wrong? To some extent, localities have had to bear the consequences of persistent racism and the national failure to embrace social democracy and adopt decent minimum guarantees of health care, education, and housing. Still, local land use law is deeply complicit with these national political choices.

Publication Citation

J. Peter Byrne, Are the Suburbs Unconstitutional?, 85 Geo. L.J. 2265 (1997) (reviewing Charles M. Haar, Suburbs Under Siege: Race, Space and Audacious Judges (1996); and David L. Kirp, et al., Our Town: Race, Housing, and the Soul of Suburbia (1995))

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Land Use Law Commons