Land Access in the News - Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Land Access in the News

Articles that address the mounting problem of land inaccessibility and its consequences.

Rebecca Harvey, Coop News
With space being a rising global issue as people struggle to find affordable housing, many organizations are turning to CLTs to solve this issue. By giving control of the land back to the community, CLTs allow for a wide range of voices to be heard when making decisions regarding housing and land use. 
Elizabeth G. Dunn, The New York Times
With an influx of people into the Hudson Valley in search of an idyllic countryside home, land prices are rising and many farmers are not able to find long-term access to affordable land. They are forced to lease land from landowners who themselves have little farm experience, but specific ideas on how the farms should be fun, which often do not match up with the reality of farming. 

The Theft of the Commons
Eula Biss, The New Yorker

An overview of the commons of the United Kingdom and how they have diminished over the years. The commons were typically land for farmers to collectively graze, harvest, and work the land. Now, the land is privately owned.

English landowners have stolen our rights. It is time to reclaim them.
George Monbiot, The Guardian

Landed power, built on theft, slavery and colonial looting, crushes our freedoms. A new campaign seeks to decolonise the countryside.

Could Collective Ownership of a 'Black Commons' Help Advance Economic Justice?
Julian Agyeman and Kofi Boone, Fast Company

Black Americans have been systematically deprived of land ownership and the economic power that it brings. As we work to unravel that legacy, there’s an opportunity to create a community and economy that goes beyond just ownership of land for wealth’s sake.

Land Loss has plagued Black America since emancipation - is it time to look again at 'Black Commons' and collective ownership? 
Julian Agyeman and Kofi Boone, The Conversation 

Black Americans have been systematically deprived of land ownership and the economic power that it brings. As we work to unravel that legacy, there’s an opportunity to create a community and economy that goes beyond just ownership of land for wealth’s sake.

We Shall Not Be Moved: Collective Ownership Gives Power Back to Black Farmers 
Audrea Lim, Harper's Magazine

The first community land trust was founded in Albany, Georgia in 1969 and was the largest single track of Black-owned farmland in the United States. Audrea Lim describes the founding of this CLT, New Communities, and how the concept of CLTs spread across the country. Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have included the CLT model in their policies, and young community organizers have begun to adopt these ideas as well, demonstrating that these communities can be resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crises.

A Living Countryside: The Land Politics behind the Dutch Agroecology Movement
Members of Toekomstboeren: Jeannette Oppedijk van Veen, Leonardo van den Berg, Sijtse Jan Roeters, Jolke de Moel, Hanny van Geel; Transnational Institute

It is a challenge for farmers in agroecology movement in the Netherlands to gain secure access to land. In response, agroecological initiatives are implementing alternative systems of land tenure.

A New Generation of Black Farmers Is Returning to the Land
Leah Penniman, Yes! Magazine

Three farmer-led organizations are working to repair the harm to Black farmers over the past 400 years.

Land without Bread
Catherine Tumber, The Baffler

Climate change, economic inequality, and unsustainable development are shrinking the pool of arable, habitable land available.  We must address how to steward the land that remains.

What the Climate Crisis Means for Land Rights
Nathan Lobel,

The future will require civilization to meet its needs from a shrinking pool of land, all while efforts to mitigate the climate crisis  further increase demand for land. 

Kicked off the Land
Lizzie Presser, The New Yorker  

Between 1910 and 1997, African-Americans lost about ninety percent of their farmland.  Black land theft continues to this day at the hand of our  legal system.

This Land Was Your Land
Christopher Ketcham, The New York Times

The federal government has failed to protect public land from industry exploitation.

Want to tackle inequality? Then first change our land ownership laws
George Monbiot, The Guardian

Land is owned and managed by a wealthy minority. This has resulted in skyrocketing property costs, the collapse of ecosystems, repeated financial crises, and the loss of public space.

Who Gets to Own the West?
Julie Turkewitz, The New York Times

Billionaire landowners are buying up vast parcels of the West.

Ownership as Social Relation
Steve Dubb, Nonprofit Quarterly

Achieving greater social and economic justice is not just about changing who owns economic assets, but also changing what rights are associated with owning assets.