Nick Shatan

Sidney Smith Hall, Room SS5017A | 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G3 (map)

Grounding Economic Democracy: Alternative Strategies for Community Land Trusts from the Bronx, New York


As a model for collective stewardship and decommodification of land, the community land trust (CLT) movement is growing in cities across North America. However, much of the current funding and policy risks turning the concept into just another tool in the neoliberal affordable housing paradigm. This discussion draws from work developing politically and economically transformative alternatives with a new CLT in the Bronx, New York, while supporting the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative, a community organization that aims to build the local infrastructure for economic democracy. Here we apply the framework of economic democracy to the CLT concept, analyze alternative strategies for land use planning, ownership, governance, and land acquisition, and consider dilemmas of inclusion, displacement, and power the CLT is facing as it devises its first projects.


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