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From the Research Assistants of the Urban Law Center

Daniel Katter

Michael Pickett
Gabriella Romanos Abi Habib
Christopher Ziemba


What We’re Interested In Right Now!



California Housing Revolution?

A pro-market proposal from a California lawmaker offers a solution for solving the state’s chronic housing shortage and high prices. SB 827, being introduced by State Senator Scott Wiener, would override many local zoning restrictions for buildings in the immediate vicinity of most rail and mass transit hubs, thereby forcing localities to allow more apartments and condominiums to be built a short walk from train stations and bus stops. Read about it here.


A City’s voice in the gun regulation debate, who has the power?

Just days after the school shooting in Parkland Florida, hear what the Federal 2nd Circuit court of appeals held regarding a city’s ability to regulate firearms and their transportation. Read the decision here.


Reclaiming Fiduciary Law for the City - Stanford Law Review

Cites routinely make financial deals that are as complex and expensive as anything in the private sector. However, because of their public status, cities face none of the scrutiny faced by corporations when working on transactions of the same scale. These authors make the case for applying a standard of fiduciary duty to city governments, and argue that it would have a negligible effect on policy making discretion and transaction costs. Read this article here.


Privacy In Public Space: Consequences of “Living Laboratories”

Smart tech has gone quotidian: teaching public and private actors everything from our patterns of movement to the specifics of who we spend time with, it even provides a medium for encouraging behavior through a controlled change of street lighting or emission of a calming scent. We engage with smart tech daily, without even knowing it. In learning our habits, and combatting the urban trifecta of traffic, crime, and pollution, how does data-driven management challenge privacy laws? Does it at all? Learn more here.

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