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  • Oct 3 2013: The financialization of people and place is creating geospatial politics from private capital investment that undermines the right to the city for most of its inhabitants. This includes, but is not limited to, the patterns of neoliberalizing small or mid-sized U.S. cities and the ebbs and flow of "global" capital that impacts cities across the world. During the peek of investment and in the aftermath of disinvestment, these patterns tend to produce adverse "externalities" and shape cities without accountability to people in place.

    One vital component of high-promise and innovative solutions keeps resurfacing: In order for cities to become sustainable, inclusive, and just, capital must get rooted locally. This component can be seen in the movements of slow food, locavesting, housing and business cooperatives, global-local social enterprises, and community land trusts.

    The community land trust (CLT) is a tool to create and retain control of community assets and land by those most frequently marginalized by the ebbs and flows of private market capital. CLTs create permanently affordable rental and owner-occupied housing, commercial spaces, urban agriculture projects, green spaces, and conserve land. Community control ensures that people in place determine how land and assets will be created and used by the CLT. Therefore, the growth of CLTs holds significant transformative potential to root capital locally and buffer the adverse impacts of private (dis)investment.

    Community Land Trusts (CLT)--like Champlain Housing Trust in Burlington, VT-- exist across the U.S. and England. Over 200 CLTs have been established in in liberal and conservative U.S. cities like Portland, OR; Durham, N.C.; Chicago, IL; Athens, GA; Seattle, WA; Nashville, TN; San Francisco, Lawrence, KS; Delray Beach, FL; Duluth, MN. CLTs or CLT organizing efforts are also emerging in Puerto Rico, Belgium, France, Australia, Kenya, and South Korea.

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