As director of the Legal Constructs Lab, Professor Bronin investigates law’s deep influence on place, through an interdisciplinary approach that spans legal and spatial analysis, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods.  Her 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.

Books & Treatises 

Restatement (Fourth) of Property

American Law Institute (with Henry E. Smith et al.), 2015-

Rathkopf’s The Law of Zoning and Planning

West Publishing (with Dwight H. Merriam), 2014-

Historic Preservation Law

Foundation Press (with J. Peter Byrne), 1st ed 2012, 2d ed 2021

Land Use Regulation

Foundation Press (with Stewart E. Sterk and Eduardo M. Peñalver), 2d ed 2016, 3d ed 2020 

Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell

West Publishing (with Ryan M. Rowberry), 1st ed 2014, 2d ed 2018 

Articles & Scholarly Essays 

Bringing Zoning into Focus: A Fine-Grained Analysis of Zoning’s Relationships to Housing Affordability, Income Distributions, and Segregation in Connecticut

Urban Institute Research Series (with Yonah Freemark and Lydia Lo), 2023

Regulating History

108 Minnesota Law Review (with Leslie R. Irwin), 2023

Automating Zoning Data Collection: Results from a Pilot Effort to Automate Zoning Atlas Methodologies

Urban Institute Research Series, 2023

Zoning by a Thousand Cuts

50 Pepperdine Law Review, 2023

Land Grab: The Untold Story of Fort Brown

Latino Book Review, 2022 

Integrity as a Legal Concept

Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation & the Built Environment, 2022

Rewriting Our Nation’s Deadly Traffic Manual

135 Harvard Law Review Forum 1 (with Gregory H. Shill), 2021

Rules of the Road: The Struggle for Safety and the Unmet Promise of Federalism

106 Iowa Law Review 2153, 2021 

Law’s Disaster: Heritage at Risk

46 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 489, 2021

Aligning Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency: Legal Reforms to Support the Greenest Buildings

University of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Policy Digest, 2021 

Zoning for Families

95 Indiana Law Journal 1, 2020 

Comprehensive Rezonings

2019 BYU Law Review 725, 2020

What the Pandemic Can Teach Climate Attorneys

72 Stanford Law Review Online 2020

Energy in the Ecopolis

45 Environmental Law Reporter 10514, 2015

Community-Scale Renewable Energy

4 San Diego Journal of Climate Change & Energy Law 165 (with Hannah J. Wiseman), 2013

Building-Related Renewable Energy and 360 State Street

64 Vanderbilt Law Review 1875, 2012

Solar Rights for Texas Property Owners

89 Texas Law Review See Also 79, 2011

Curbing Energy Sprawl with Microgrids

43 Connecticut Law Review 547, 2010 

Modern Lights

80 University of Colorado Law Review 881, 2009

Solar Rights

89 Boston University Law Review 1217, 2009 

The Quiet Revolution Revived: Sustainable Design, Land Use Regulation, and the States

93 Minnesota Law Review 231, 2008

Wrestling with MUDs to Pin Down the Truth about Special Districts

75 Fordham Law Review 3041, 2007

Beyond Worship: The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 and Religious Institutions’ Auxiliary Uses

24 Yale Law & Policy Review 205, 2006 

Rehabilitating Rehab through State Building Codes

115 Yale Law Journal 1744, 2006 


Research Directions for Historic Preservation Law

A Research Agenda for Land Use and Planning Law (Edward Elgar Publishing; Sarah Schindler and John Infranca, eds.), 2023

Land Use and Transportation Policies Addressing Climate Change

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (American Bar Association Press; Michael B. Gerrard, Jody Freeman, and Michael Burger, eds.), 3d ed. 2022 

Heritage-Related Disaster Policy in the United States

The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Law and Policy: Risk, Recovery, and Redevelopment (Cambridge University Press; John Travis Marshall, Susan Kuo, and Ryan M. Rowberry, eds.), 2022

Adapting National Preservation Standards to Climate Change

Toward Sustainability and Equity: Envisioning Preservation Policy Reform (Columbia University Press; Erica Avrami, ed.), 2021

Historic Preservation Issues in Real Estate Development 

Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions, 5th ed. (American Bar Association Press; Kevin R. Murray, ed.), 2021 

National Report - United States

Architectural Heritage, Sites, and Landscapes Seized by Urban Law (Bruylant Press; David Renders, Jacqueline Morand-Deviller, and Judith Gifreu Font, eds.), 2019

Solar Rights in the United States

Delivering Energy Policy in the EU and US: A Multi-Disciplinary Reader (Edinburgh University Press; Raphael Heffron and Gavin Little, eds.), 2016

The Promise and Perils of Renewable Energy on Tribal Lands 

Tribes, Land, and the Environment (Routledge; Sarah Krakoff and Ezra Rosser, eds.), 2012

Short Reviews & Professional Works

A National Zoning Atlas to Inform Housing Research, Policy, and Public Participation

Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research (with Wenfei Xu, Scott Markley, & Diana Drogaris), 2023

The Long Shadow of Statue Statutes (reviewing Deborah R. Gerhardt article) 

Jotwell, 2023

How to Make a Zoning Atlas 2.0

(with Scott Markley, Aline Fader, and Evan Derickson), 2023, as updated from time to time

Where the Sidewalk Begins

(reviewing Vanessa Casado Perez article), JOTWELL, 2022

The Environmental Case for Zoning Reform

Desegregate Connecticut (with various co-authors), 2022

Small Lots in Smart Places: A Right-Sized Solution for CT

Desegregate Connecticut (with Kathryn Blanco et al.), 2022

How to Make a Zoning Atlas: A Methodology for Translating and Standardizing District-Specific Regulations

(with Ilya Ilyankou), 2021

Get on Board for Equitable Transit-Oriented Communities

Desegregate Connecticut (with Kathryn Blanco et al.), 2021

How Uncoordinated Land Use and Transportation Laws Thwart Climate Response

State & Local Government Law Blog, 2021

Be the Change Playbook for Land Use Advocates; Be the Change Playbook for Candidates; Be the Change Playbook for Commissioners

Desegregate Connecticut (with various co-authors,) 2021

Houston: Still Zoning’s Last Frontier?

State & Local Government Law Blog, 2021

Thinking Big in Thinking Small: Are Tiny Homes the Solution to Our Housing Crisis?

(reviewing Lisa B. Alexander article), JOTWELL, 2021

Architects Can Find an Opportunity in Zoning Reform

Architype Magazine, 2021

A Case for Better Street Design

Planning Magazine, 2021

The Economic Case for Zoning Reform

Desegregate Connecticut (with various co-authors), 2021

Historic and Green in Connecticut

National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum, 2020

Rethinking Parking Minimums

Planning Magazine, 2018

Who Owns Lebanon’s Town Green?

Connecticut Explored, 2018

Rezoning the Post-Industrial City: Hartford

American Bar Association Property & Probate, 2017

Using Urban Agriculture to Grow Southern New England

Connecticut Planning (with Laurie Beyranevand, Marie Mercurio, and Sorell Negro), 2015

Peaceful Coexistence: Independent Microgrids Are Coming. Will Franchised Utilities Fight Them or Foster Them?

Public Utilities Fortnightly (with Paul R. McCary), 2013 

New Haven’s Elm City Market: Coop Expands Access to Fresh Food

Communities & Banking, 2011


Sara C. Bronin
Professor, AAP
Associate Faculty, Law 
Website | Publications


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


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