Sara Bronin

Sara Bronin is a Mexican-American architect and attorney whose interdisciplinary research focuses on how law and policy can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places. As a leading voice on historic preservation law and related land use practices, Bronin was recently nominated by the Biden administration to chair the U.S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). The council advises the president and congress on decisions and policies that promote the preservation and enhancement of national historic resources.

In addition to her books and treatises on land use and historic preservation law, Bronin has written over two dozen articles on renewable energy, climate change, housing, urban planning, transportation, real estate development, and federalism. Her forthcoming book, Key to the City (W.W. Norton Press), will explore how zoning rules rule our lives. She advises the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Sustainable Development Code, serves on the board of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, and leads Desegregate Connecticut. Previously, she led the award-winning, unanimously-adopted overhaul of the zoning code and city plan of Hartford, Connecticut, and spearheaded the city's first climate action plan. Bronin holds a juris doctor from Yale Law School, a master of science from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar), as well as a B.Arch. and B.A. from the University of Texas–Austin.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Adaptive reuse
  • Cities
  • Community-based planning and development
  • Historic preservation planning
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Real estate development
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation planning
  • Urbanism

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 6630 Historic Preservation LawOverview of American legal system and the sources of law used to protect historic resources. The course considers the primary tools for preservation, including historic district and landmark designation, the use of the police power, taxation, and eminent domain. Instructors will also review recent developments in state and federal historic preservation.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Richard H. Driehaus Form-Based Code Award for Hartford Zoning Code, Form-Based Codes Institute and Smart Growth America (2020)
  • Pro Bene Meritis Award, University of Texas (2019)
  • Co-Investigator, Transportation, Technology, and Society Research Group, UConn Provost Academic Plan Grant (2017–2020)
  • Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance Grant for the UConn Center for Energy and Environmental Law, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and State of Connecticut Department of Housing Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (2018)
  • Distinguished Energy Law Scholar in Residence, Vermont Law School (2017)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "Data-Driven Innovations to Modernize Zoning for Equity," American Planning Association Annual National Conference (2021)
  • "Diversifying Heritage in the United States," US-ICOMOS World Heritage Complex Pasts, Diverse Futures Webinar (2021)
  • "The Tidal Basin in Context: Planning for Environmental Change," National Trust for Historic Preservation Tidal Basin Ideas Lab (2021)

Publications (Selected)

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