The Furman Center is currently engaged in a series of research projects aimed at better understanding land use regulations and how they affect the built environment and development patterns. In these projects, we are answering questions that have not been answered before about the consequences, sometimes unintended, of key city land use policies.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was at the Law School in August to discuss the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which he chaired. His presentation was part of a workshop organized by the Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law on using microgrids to increase the resiliency of the larger electrical grid.
NYU launched a new center, the Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment, in a ceremony on February 13 at the Law School featuring remarks by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as NYU President and Dean Emeritus John Sexton and Dean Richard Revesz, the new institute’s director.
Donald B. Marron, founder and current chairman of Lightyear Capital, former chairman of Paine Webber, and a highly successful entrepreneur and philanthropist who provided a $40 million gift to fund the new institute, expressed great enthusiasm about its mission: “This is an entrepreneur’s dream. This is a startup to all startups. It’s the start of a teaching institution that’s going to do more than teach. It’s got a great management team led by John and by Ricky. It has an extraordinary faculty, and it has researching capabilities that allow you to leverage all this talent very quickly.”
“Environmental policy, from the perspective of a lawyer, is much more complicated than just the law,” says Adjunct Professor Amelia Salzman ’85, former associate director for policy outreach of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Environmental policy is so politically and economically charged these days that simply bringing lawsuits is not necessarily the best or only way to accomplish policy change—one really has to mount a much more strategic campaign to accomplish these changes.” That’s why, in her Public Interest Environmental Law Practice class, Salzman focuses on preparing students to practice in a world that requires a firm command of not just years-long litigation but also savvy public relations, constant networking, strategic engagement with decision-makers, and creative and sometimes counterintuitive coalition-building.
Professors Amelia Salzman, Jody Freeman and Nathaniel Keohane (l-r)
This year, three former environmental officials in the Obama White House are teaching at NYU Law: Jody Freeman, Counselor for Energy and Climate Change (2009-10); Nathaniel Keohane, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council (2011-2012); and Amelia Salzman, Associate Director for Policy Outreach at the Council on Environmental Quality in (2009-2011).
The Institute for Policy Integrity uses economic analysis and law to promote better environmental, health, and consumer protection regulations. During the past year, Policy Integrity submitted 12 sets of detailed public comments to federal regulatory agencies on issues like mercury controls, fuel efficiency standards, and criminal sentencing guidelines. The organization was also the only non-profit permitted to submit an amicus brief for EPA on its tailoring rule, designed to exempt small polluters from strict Clean Air Act permitting requirements.
Cass Sunstein, the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget and one of the most prolific and frequently cited legal academics, detailed some of the positive results of using cost-benefit analysis in overseeing the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda when he spoke at NYU Law on April 30.
Cass Sunstein, Administrator of OIRA