Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (June 2008)|
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a think tank based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that focuses on the use, taxation, and regulation of land. It conducts research and policy evaluations, holds conferences, provides education and training, supports demonstration projects, and publishes books and reports on policy issues relating to land. Its mission is to improve the quality of public debate about land by integrating theory and practice, and by providing a nonpartisan forum for the discussion of related issues.
The organization is currently headed by George W. McCarthy, previously director of Metropolitan Opportunity at the Ford Foundation. In July 2014 he succeeded Gregory K. Ingram, an urban economist and former director of evaluation for the World Bank.
The Lincoln Institute publishes books and Policy Focus Reports that reflect original research and also document conference proceedings. The current publications catalog lists almost 100 titles, and nearly 1,000 working papers are available online for free downloading. The quarterly magazine Land Lines features articles on a range of land use and tax policy topics. The Lincoln Institute also produces documentary films in the Making Sense of Place series: “Phoenix: The Urban Desert,” “Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City,” and "Portland: Quest for the Livable City," and supported the documentary series Shifting Ground produced by David Baron and airing on National Public Radio.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy was founded in 1974, supported by the Lincoln Foundation, which was established in 1946 by John C. Lincoln. He was a successful industrialist in Cleveland, Ohio, who among other things patented processes for arc welding and founded the Lincoln Electric Co. The institute and the foundation merged into a single private operating foundation in November 2006. One of the Lincoln Institute’s founding objectives has been to address the links between land policy and social and economic progress first explored by Henry George in his book Progress and Poverty (1879).
The Institute is organized in three departments and two programs:
- Department of Planning and Urban Form
- Department of Valuation and Taxation
- Department of International Studies
- Program on Latin America and the Caribbean
- Program on the People's Republic of China
In December 2007, the Lincoln Institute and Peking University established the Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, located on the University’s Beijing campus. The center will play a continuing role in providing information and analysis in the current period of rapid urbanization in China.
Among the topics covered by the Lincoln Institute are land policy as it relates to property taxes, assessments, valuation, and tax limitation measures; local public finance; property rights; land conservation, climate change, and smart growth; the role of the university in urban environments; planning, land use regulation, and development incentives; and community development—including community land trusts, inclusionary zoning, and community benefit agreements.