The Legal Constructs Lab leads interdisciplinary projects in property, land use, historic preservation, and energy, inquiring into how law can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places.

The Legal Constructs Lab is directed by Sara C. Bronin, Professor in AAP and Associate Faculty in Law at Cornell University.
About

A "legal construct" is a thing that law confers or creates.

In many ways, our places are legal constructs - shaped, created, protected, or eliminated by law. The Legal Constructs Lab investigates law’s profound influence on place, through an interdisciplinary approach that spans legal and spatial analysis, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods.

Projects and publications focus on land use and historic preservation law, and also explore energy, environmental, transportation, and state and local government laws whose impact on place may be less obvious. We directly collaborate with a wide range of academic, nonprofit, governmental, and private partners, and we initiate meaningful engagement with the broader public about our ideas and research.

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Featured Project

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The National Zoning Atlas is an ongoing, multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional effort to translate and standardize the country’s zoning codes into a single online resource.  It builds on Professor Bronin’s work with the Connecticut Zoning Atlas, and encompasses work on a New York Zoning Atlas led by the Lab in collaboration with a state agency, other universities, nonprofit civic organizations, and philanthropic foundations. 

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Historic Preservation Law

Featured Publication

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Historic Preservation Law

Historic preservation law encompasses many topics, from urban revitalization to Native American cultural sites to international heritage, which are vital to contemporary practice in property, land use, and real estate law.  This casebook is the second edition of the first comprehensive set of teaching materials for this fascinating and increasingly important area of law.

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napc event

Featured Talk

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napc event

Professor Bronin keynoted the annual conference of the National Association of Preservation Commissions, "Bridging the Divide,” which took place in Cincinnati on July 13-17 2022. She focused on the Lab's research on preservation commissions, their staff, and surrounding communities. 

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Funders

Contact

Sara C. Bronin
Professor, AAP
Associate Faculty, Law 
Website | Publications
sara.bronin@cornell.edu

Address

Legal Constructs Lab
129 Sibley Dome
Cornell College of Architecture, Art, & Planning
Ithaca, NY 14853
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