Below are essays and background materials available online related to CLT and the role of land in the economic system.
Community Land Trust Essential Reading Materials
“Land: Challenge and Opportunity” by Susan Witt and Robert Swann describes the role of the Natural Commons in a new economic system using the Community Land Trust as a tool. It discusses various uses of a Community Land Trust and how different community organizations can cooperate to effectively enable land and farmland preservation, initiate community land use planning and create affordable housing.
The Community Land Trust: A Guide to a New Model for Land Tenure in America , [PDF] written by Robert Swann et al. is the first documentation of the CLT concept, originally published in 1972. Robert Swann discusses the evolution and historical precedents of land trusts.
Community Land Trust Essays
Land Trusts as Part of a Threefold Economic Strategy for Regional Integration by Robert Swann: Swann’s threefold strategy includes land trusts, community development corporations and community money. Includes a discussion of key reasons why land trusts are advantageous in a strategy of regional decentralization.
Alternatives to Ownership: Land Trusts as Land Reform by Robert Swann: Short discussion of CLTs as a way to create long-lasting land reform.
Land, Land Trusts, and Employment by Robert Swann: Swann disputes Keynes’ approach to economic management, and offers the land trust as a more effective vehicle for increasing employment in a region.
Planning a Rural New Town in Southwest Georgia by Robert Swann and Shimon Gottschalk: Swann and Gottschalk summarize the first 26 months of New Communities, Inc.—the first community land trust located in Southwest Georgia—and the original design for the “Rural New Town Idea”.
Community Land Trusts and Farmland
Group Effort Saves Nation’s First CSA Farm by Susan Witt: The Nature Conservancy, the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, and two farmers form a partnership to save Indian Line Farm.
A New Lease on Farmland by Susan Witt and Jay Rossier: Paper on how conservation land trusts and community land trusts can cooperate to save working farmland for working farmers.
Regional Responsibility for Farm Land by Susan Witt: Clarifies the roles of the Land Trust in preserving farm land, and points to the potential for Community Land Trusts and Conservation Land Trusts to work together.
A Community Comes Together to Save a Farm by Tanya Denckla Cobb, Reclaiming Our Food.
Soil in the City: Urban Farming on Community Land Trusts by Zoe Ackerman, Nicole Huang, Alice Maggio and David Morgan, Tufts University.
Community Land Trust Papers
New Agrarians: Local Innovators by Susan Witt : Talk given in celebration of 25th anniversary of publication of Wendell Berry’s Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.
Capitalism, the Commons, and Divine Right by Peter Barnes : A look at the potential for expanding the role and the rights of the commons. Barnes suggests that commons should be held in trusts for the benefit of current and future generations, as a way of countering the power of the market and its search for short-term private profits.
Connecting for Change by Susan Witt : Talk for Bioneers by the Bay, Marion, Mass .
Report on Conversation with Gus Newport by Susan Witt.
Urbanism at a Crossroads: An article from the Huffington Post by Aaron Bartlet, co-founder of People United for Sustainable Housing. Aaron discusses New Urbanism, community land trusts, municipal Land Banks, affordable housing, and community development.
Relevant Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures
Voices from White Earth: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag by Winona LaDuke: LaDuke, a member of the Mississippi Band of the Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation, is devoted to restoring the integrity of the White Earth Reservation by repurchasing land and holding it in a community land trust arrangement so that it may be productively used without fear of loss.
The Wisdom That Builds Community by Greg Watson: Watson tells the story of the Dudley Street Community Land Trust, which now supports hundreds of units of renovated owner-occupied homes, a productive greenhouse, locally-owned businesses, and reinvigorated neighborhood pride.
Stories From an Appalachian Community by Marie Cirillo: Cirillo’s goal has been to gain some measure of economic self-sufficiency for the Appalachian people whose land and livelihood were wasted as a consequence of the extractive practices of absentee corporate owners. Cirillo’s first task was to regain control of the land for human settlement and restoration by establishing the Woodland Community Land Trust.