The New Control of Territory and Urban Planning: the Eminent Domain in the US

Sonia Paone


The article analyses the transformations of the use of eminent domain in the United States in the context of urban redevelopment programs. In the past the private property has been expropriated for public use only. Recently it is possible to forcibly transfer property, from a private subject to private developers, on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis that demonstrates that the new use is more efficient than the previous one. This profound change has been possible thanks to a progressive modification of the concept of public use. Traditionally, public use coincided with the construction of infrastructures and public utility, such as highways and railroads. Over the time, it has come to include other aims: firstly, projects of urban renewal and economic development carried forth by private developers. Essentially, it has resulted in the use of expropriation to assemble lands which are then granted to subjects who intervene in the reconfiguration of the city for private purposes. Starting from some important examples of urban development, the main phases of this process are reconstructed, also taking into account the most important decisions of the US Supreme Court that contributed to the change of doctrine, invalidating the postulate of public use as justification for expropriation.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Paper Submission E-mail:

International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

Copyright © Redfame Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.