October 23, 2012

Vol.35, No.3, Summer2003

The Urban Lawyer

Vol. 35, No. 3, Summer 2003

Publication Date : November 10, 2003


Wendell E. Pritchett, Where Shall We Live? Class and the Limitations of Fair Housing Law, 35 Urb. Law. 399 (Summer 2003).

This article begins with a discussion of the formation of the fair housing movement in the late 1940s and early 1950s and examines the political and social philosophies of the movement's leaders. Section II assesses the interaction of fair housing advocates and government agencies in the brief window of opportunity following the Shelley decision and describes the obstacles they faced in creating a national program against discrimination. The crusade to pass fair housing legislation in New York City and State, discussed in Section III, illuminate the differing conceptions of property rights and the role of government held by both sides of the debate and assesses the fundamental limitations of their proposals. Section IV describes the emerging national effort for fair housing and discusses how the vision of fair housing advocates was replicated. Section V examines the debate over housing quotas in late 1950s New York, a conflict that revealed the inherent contradictions in the goals of equal opportunity and anti-discrimination. The article's concludes with a brief analysis of the fair housing movement in the 1960s (a topic worthy of its own study), assesses the impact of fair housing laws in the last thirty years, and examines the implications of this study to modern civil rights efforts.


Robert R.M. Verchick, Why the Global Environment Needs Local Government: Lessons from the Johannesburg Summit, 35 Urb. Law. 471 (Summer 2003).

This essay examines how the efforts of local government can best be marshaled to achieve sustainable development on the local and the international levels. It examines the impressive advantages that local government has in pursuing sustainable development, but also points to the weak spots in local control. It argues that local authority, left substantially on its own, cannot achieve sustainability to any significant degree. The author provides two examples of local sustainable initiatives, one from a developed country and one from a developing country, to show how cooperation among levels of government can take advantage of the benefits of small-scale governance while avoiding the most serious weaknesses. The article concludes with a set of general recommendations that national and international actors could take to prepare local initiatives for success.


John C. Dernbach & Scott Bernstein, Pursuing Sustainable Communities: Looking Back, Looking Forward, 35 Urb. Law. 495 (Summer 2003).

Using many of the findings and recommendations in Stumbling Toward Sustainability, and the experience of one of the authors as an active member of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, this article explains what sustainable development would mean for cities and other communities in the United States. It summarizes what the Rio agreements say about sustainable communities and provides an overview of U.S. progress toward sustainable communities during the past decade. Recommendations for sustainable communities for the next decade are outlined. Readers interested in pursuing sustainability in their own communities will find in the appendix a short annotated bibliography containing many of the most useful and practical web sites. These online materials collect and provide links to a substantial body of experience and ideas, as well as funding opportunities.


Laurel A. David, The EPA'S Combined Sewer Overflow Abatement Methods: Do They Comply with the Clean Water Act?, 35 Urb. Law. 533 (Summer 2003).

Part I of this article examines relevant requirements for enforcing clean water standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the regulatory scheme of Georgia's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Part II takes up the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) CSO control policies under the NPDES system. Part III outlines Atlanta's attempts to follow the EPA guidelines and the lawsuits that followed when storm water run-off foiled the city's attempts at compliance. The article concludes that failure to address pollutants from storm water run-off when implementing the EPA's recommended methods of eliminating or treating CSOs resulted only in more CWA violations and exposure to citizen action suits.




With Case Notes on :

Grutter v. Bollinger . 561

Gratz v. Bollinger . 562

Lawrence v. Texas . 562

United States v. American Library Association, Inc. . 563