Belmont Law Review


This Article examines the law through the lens of regional planning. Globally, the twenty-first century has been called “the urban century,” with more people living in urban areas than in rural areas. In the United States in particular, our urban areas are often not comprised of a single city. Rather, our urban areas are comprised of numerous local governments: cities, villages, towns, and counties. The modern metropolis connotes an agglomeration of adjacent and interconnected local governments (often cities) clustered around a major urban center (often an older central city). This Article will provide a brief overview of some of the laws related to regional planning for the modern metropolis to make the argument that there is a law of regional planning. The overview can help provide an important context for the topic of this symposium. Regional planning laws related to regional economic development, transportation, the environment, and housing present a distinct body of emerging regional planning law with enormous opportunities for sustaining and strengthening our cities. Reform is needed, however, in how we think about and use these laws.