Matthew Hoffman: Private Property in Shared Landscapes

Black and white landscape

CRP 2015 Spring Colloquium Series

Matthew Hoffman received his Ph.D. in development sociology from Cornell with a minor in city and regional planning. He has taught food systems and planning at New York University, conducted research in Norway and Scotland, and served as a planning commissioner in his home state of Vermont. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Polson Institute for Global Development.


Much of what we enjoy in both urban and rural landscapes isn't the product of any one landowner's choices, but the combined result of many people's decisions over time. The fragmented decision-making that goes with dividing the landscape into many separate spheres of control can also produce outcomes that nobody is happy with and that nobody would have voted for if they had a choice. This talk compares land use planning in the U.S. to common property regimes in Europe, examining each as an institutional response to problems of collective action in land use.

Cosponsored by the Organization of Cornell Planners
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