Property And Values

Alternatives to public and private ownership

Edited by Charles Geisler and Gail Daneker (Island Press, 2000) Property and Values offers a fresh look at property rights issues, bringing together scholars, attorneys, government officials, community development practitioners, and environmental advocates to consider new and more socially equitable forms of ownership. This unusual book evolved from a conference organized by the Equity Trust, Inc., in cooperation with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty.

The book synthesizes much innovative thinking on ownership in land and housing, and signals how that thinking might be used across America. Geisler (rural sociology, Cornell U.) and Daneker (formerly of The Campaign for Peace and Democracy, and Environmentalists for Full Employment) present 13 contributions that call for balance between property rights and responsibilities, exploring new concepts of private and public land ownership that they hope can be applied towards more socially equitable relations in the US.

Contributors—including David Abromowitz, Darby Bradley, John E. Davis, Teresa Duclos, Sally Fairfax, Margaret Grossman, Michael Heller, Alice Ingerson, Jim Libby, C. Ford Runge, Joseph Singer and others:

  • Show how concepts of ownership have evolved in response to broader social change in the US and abroad;
  • Challenge conventional definitions of ownership and the arbitrary distinction between public and private ownership;
  • Look to US history as well as other cultures for new concepts of ownership;
  • Survey public policy affecting property value, focusing on “givings”- a subject typically overlooked in discussions of public “takings” of private rights in land;
  • Synthesize innovative thinking on new forms of ownership for perpetually affordable housing and for preserving both working and wild lands; and
  • Document how alternative forms of ownership have been used to achieve both social and environmental goals.

The articles are organized into four sections which explain ownership as a socially evolving concept, challenge conventional public-private ownership categories, survey recent studies on the impact of public policy on property values, and offer examples from other cultures of different ownership realities.

Available from Island Press.