Welcome to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law/Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Blog, a special section of triplepundit.com! Here, University of Denver Sturm College of Law students will report on emerging, novel and contested land use and development issues from a sustainability perspective. We believe the development of the American West, and indeed the entire planet, necessitates a closer and more responsible look at not only how we use natural resources but how we build our communities and economies.We invite you to comment and engage with us over issues of interest to you. And we invite you to suggest topics for us to research and report on from our unique perspective as law students. But most of all, we invite you to take these ideas and share them with your friends and colleagues so we can all be involved in a more informed and forward-thinking discussion about our future.


What Government Must Learn From Disasters

By the year 2050, 9.2 billion people with robust personal and communal energy needs will inhabit the globe.  Such extreme population growth demands an honest conversation on energy consumption and sustainability.  Nuclear energy will inevitably remain at the forefront of the debate.  However, the scourge of recent natural disasters, particularly the earthquake and tsunami in … Continued


Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green

When Earth Day was created in 1970, it was considered to be the birth of the modern environmental movement. April 22 of each year, and often the entire week, is devoted to celebrating environmental service and advocacy. University functions, citywide festivals, tree planting and beach cleaning events, and even concerts celebrate a consciousness to preserve … Continued


Planning for Natural Disasters

Is it really possible to plan for a natural disaster?  After the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, it is virtually impossible not to ponder this question. There is abundant information in circulation on preparing for natural disaster.  Around the world, economists have studied the long-term economic repercussions; governments and … Continued


Clean-Technology Trends 2011: Shaping Clean Energy Markets for the Next Decade

By Tracy Taylor According to Clean Energy Trends 2011, a new report by Clean Edge, the growth of clean technology over the last decade rivals that of the internet and computers, and it is poised to continue the trend.  Clean Edge’s research revealed biofuels, wind power, and solar photovoltaics combined to create a $188.1 billion … Continued


The 5th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival: More Than Just a Concert

On July 29th through August 1st this summer, Newark, New Jersey’s Lincoln Park will host its 5th Annual Music Festival.  And despite the impressive lineup (featuring the likes of Carrie Jackson, Adegoke Steve Colson, Lance Williams and True Worship, Keith Bailey & A.N.T, Danny Krivit, Kenny Bobien, Loleatta Holloway, and DJs Immortal Technique and 9th … Continued


Honoring the Dead But Building for the Living

By Royce DuBiner On Hawaii’s island of O’ahu, a major rail transit project is currently underway to build a 20-mile elevated rail line for the Honolulu metropolitan area. The proposed route will connect downtown Honolulu with the suburb of Kapolei. The line is designed to reduce traffic congestion on roads around the city and provide … Continued


Nano-Cellulose Fibers: The Magical Fruit?

Discarded banana peels and pineapple leaves could soon play an important role in automotive production, safety, and efficiency. A group of scientists in Brazil have recently developed a more efficient way of introducing small fibers from bananas and other fruits (“nano-cellulose fibers”) into plastics production. The group discussed the new process this week at the … Continued


Hydropower Expansion: The Hydropower Improvement Act of 2011

On March 17, 2011, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced bipartisan legislation to accelerate hydropower projects and development across the country.  The Hydropower Improvement Act has a total of nine co-sponsors, including Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA).  The bill seeks to substantially increase U.S. hydropower capacity and … Continued


3 Keys to the Success of a Public/Private Partnership

At the 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Conference this March, David O’Neal, Managing Partner of real estate development company Brynn Grey Partners, Ltd., and Michael Penny, Town Manager of the Town of Frisco, Colorado were featured on a panel discussing keys to the success of public/private partnerships.  The two are near experts on … Continued


Sustainable Development v. Historic Preservation

As the “green movement” in America progresses, many devotees of architecture and preservation are envisioning tall glass buildings made of copper, stone, or other materials that will save the environment or our wallets.  However, one inevitably wonders why we are building new “green” structures when we could just use the ones we already have.  Reusing … Continued


Public Transit in the West: Which Way to Barcelona?

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s 20th anniversary conference focused on the future of land use in the west.  In a session addressing public rail transit in the Rocky Mountain West, John Inglish, CEO of the Utah Transit Authority, and Bill Van Meter, Assistant General Manager at Denver Regional Transportation District, showcased their cities’ plans … Continued


Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Annual Conference Focuses on the ‘Next West’

These are exciting times for land use planning. While that may be the first time “exciting” and “land use planning” have shared a sentence, the creators of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s 20th annual conference can make that case. As the nation emerges from financial crisis, as markets coil to rebound from recession, and … Continued


The Local Food Movement: Back En Vogue

History has a tendency to repeat itself.  The “local food” movement, characterized by citizens obtaining food from farmers in their local community, was widespread before World War II.  Over time, technology, globalization, chemical use, and ideals of maximum production began to dominate agriculture and change how and what society ate. Today, Americans are accustomed to … Continued


The Future Will Be Dominated By … Canada?

By Daniel Volkosh Much of American political and economic conversation is dominated by China.  It seems all but inevitable that China will overtake the United States economically in the not-too-distant future.  Yet this epoch in world politics may include another nation:  Canada.  Canada’s future role should not be underestimated, and the United States would be … Continued


EPA: Smart Growth Developments Enjoy Stronger Resale Appreciation

By Tracy Taylor Not only are smart growth communities good for your quality of life, they are good for your pocketbook as well.  According to Market Acceptance of Smart Growth, a recent report by the EPA, smart growth communities not only see stable market prices over time, but they often see greater retail appreciation than … Continued