The Center focuses its legal research and problem-solving in four principal subject areas. In addition, the Center, in partnership with New York Law School, is sponsoring the Breaking the Logjam project, promoting the reformation of major federal environmental laws.
I. Program on Environmental Regulation
Faculty Director: Richard Revesz
Through the new Institute for Policy Integrity, Dean Richard Revesz and former Center fellow Michael Livermore are working on the development and practical application of new and improved analytical tools for environmental regulatory decision-making, including the development of cost-benefit methods that adequately value all of the environmental benefits provided by regulation and avoid undue discounting of future benefits.
- The Institute for Policy Integrity
- Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health
- Recent or forthcoming publications
II. Program on International Environmental Law
Faculty Director: Richard Stewart
Under the direction of Richard Stewart, the Center conducts research on the development and implementation of innovative measures of both public and private international law to protect our global environment while ensuring sustainable development through the deployment of new regulatory instruments (including the use of economic instruments), and improved techniques for implementation (including informational requirements and liability) at the national and international levels. It also assists developing countries, countries with transition economies, and international environmental groups in building and implementing more effective strategies for environmental protection and development, including projects on developing country law reform, promotion of public access to information and public participation, and the development of international laws and institutions that take proper account of the needs of developing countries. The Center also helps build more accountable international environmental governance through the Global Administrative Law project.
- International Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
- International Environmental Legal Assistance
- Recent or forthcoming publications
III. Program on Land Use Law and Regulation
Faculty Director: Vicki Been
Research regarding land use and urban policy is conducted by the Center together with the Furman Center on Real Estate and Urban Policy. Current research focuses on the impact public and private investments in neighborhoods, such as investments for affordable housing, have on the neighborhood's quality of life; the impact of the subprime mortgage foreclosure crisis on neighborhoods; the costs and benefits of inclusionary zoning; the value of community gardens and other open space; mechanisms for financing parks and open space; and the impact New York City's massive rezoning program has had on the availability of land for affordable housing. NYU hosts frequent conferences and a policy breakfast series that bring faculty and students together with government officials, representatives of the real estate industry, and public interest housing and land use groups to discuss current policy issues such as the use of eminent domain in economic redevelopment projects and the efficacy of policies to promote affordable housing.
IV. Common Property Resources
Faculty Director: Katrina Wyman
The Program on Common Property Resources, headed by Professor Wyman, focuses on the study of natural resources law and policy. Many natural resources are common pool resources, meaning that they are difficult to keep people from using, and that each person’s use reduces the amount of the resource available for others. A classic example is a fishery: one person’s harvest of a fish means there is one less fish in the water for others to take, and short of introducing legal restrictions it is not easy to limit the number of people who can fish. In fact, one of Professor Wyman’s main areas of interest is fisheries and oceans policy. She has examined the obstacles to introducing property rights in marine fisheries and analyzed the current problems facing marine fisheries regulators.
Co-leaders: Richard Stewart, Katrina Wyman and David Schoenbrod
The Breaking the Logjam project, a current project led by Center faculty Richard Stewart and Katrina Wyman together with Professor David Schoenbrod of New York Law School, proposes a series of concrete reforms to the US’s environmental laws and regulations that take advantage of information-based approaches and the potential of market-based incentives.