Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Begins New Era

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IRS approves new status as merged operating foundation; Aim is to broaden audience, impact in public policy on land.

Our intention is to leverage that expertise, extend our reach and explore new subjects, to have a greater impact on public policy.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has merged with the Lincoln Foundation to form a private operating foundation dedicated to research, education, and demonstration projects on land issues, strengthening the institute's mission to improve public policy relating to land.

Since its founding in 1974 with funding from the Lincoln Foundation, the Lincoln Institute has been an educational institution with a major focus on teaching courses and seminars in classroom settings. "This fall the Internal Revenue Service approved a merger of the institute and foundation into a single private operating foundation that allows the Lincoln Institute to broaden its reach in practice and policy," said President Gregory K. Ingram.

"We will continue to provide courses and seminars, but we will do more research, evaluations, and demonstration projects, produce reports and publications, and convene practitioners and policymakers on the most important issues surrounding land policy, taxation, planning, and development today," Ingram said. "Without the constraints of being a school, we will be better able to fulfill our mission."

Ingram, formerly Director-General of Operations Evaluation at the World Bank, became president of the Lincoln Institute in June 2005. Under his direction the Lincoln Institute has initiated new research and educational activities on such topics as land conservation, community land trusts, and land values, while continuing Institute work on property rights, tax policy, zoning and smart growth, the role of universities in urban revitalization, the relationship between suburban and urban areas, and land policy in Latin America and China.

"In many ways, the world has caught up with the issues we have long identified as so important - the use of the land and its sustainable future," said Kathryn J. Lincoln, chair of the board of directors. "Our intention is to leverage that expertise, extend our reach and explore new subjects, to have a greater impact on public policy."

The Lincoln Institute divides its work into four areas: the Department of Planning and Urban Form, chaired by Armando Carbonell; the Department of Economic and Community Development, chaired by Rosalind Greenstein; the Department of Valuation and Taxation, chaired by Joan Youngman; and International Studies, co-chaired by Ingram and Martim O. Smolka, who also serves as director of the Latin America program.

The institute generates reports, such as an assessment of the health of New England's 50 largest cities and an analysis of best management practices for state trust lands in nine Western states, both issued in the fall of 2006. Forthcoming products include a comprehensive national database of state and local tax information, a report on school finance and property tax, a second book of case studies of universities in urban redevelopment, and a national survey of community land trusts.

The institute also publishes the quarterly magazine Land Lines, and books, most recently The Humane Metropolis, an examination of the ingredients for livable cities; The Tiebout Model at Fifty, an analysis of a landmark economic model for understanding local government finance; and in January, Visualizing Density, a guide to an array of settlement patterns in the US richly illustrated by the aerial photography of Alex Maclean. In recent years, the Lincoln Institute has also produced a documentary film series called "Making Sense of Place." The first film in this series, in 2002, was on Phoenix ("The Urban Desert"), and this fall the subject was Cleveland ("Confronting Decline in an American City").

The Lincoln Institute has joint ventures with the Tuscon-based Sonoran Institute, the Regional Plan Association based in New York, the Consensus Building Institute based in Cambridge, Mass., the Montana Public Policy Research Institute in Helena, Montana, and maintains collaborations with Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, the University of Maryland, George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy, the Land Trust Alliance and many other institutions.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy was founded in 1974 to improve the quality of public debate about land policy. Funding came from the Lincoln Foundation, which was created in 1946 -- 60 years ago this month -- by John C. Lincoln, a Cleveland industrialist who became intrigued with land use and tax policy as it relates to land through the writings of Henry George. Today the Lincoln Institute, located near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., serves as a non-partisan forum for scholars, policymakers, practitioners, citizens and journalists, integrating theory and practice through education, research, demonstration projects, publications and conferences. The mission is to promote discussion of the multidisciplinary forces that shape public policy related to land.

The Lincoln Institute makes experts available for media. Contact Anthony Flint in public affairs at 617-661-3016 ext 116.

For more information, events and resources, visit http://www.lincolninst.edu.

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