Land and Natural Resources

Books and Book Chapters

Land Tenure Innovations for Sustainable Communities

by Marena Brinkhurst and Dr. Mark Roseland (published in 2016 in Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability, Athabasca University Press)

The chapter focuses on the role that land tenure innovations and new forms of ownership could play in resolving conflict between private interests and community sustainability. The authors review several models of land tenure innovation, assess their effectiveness and then explore the possibility that local governments could support these innovations in the context of sustainable planning in Canadian communities. A number of land tenure innovations and alternative land ownership arrangements, including community land trusts, have the potential to be useful to local governments and planners, but much uncertainty exists regarding the use of such tools. The authors recommend further investigation of other, less familiar forms of shared tenure,

Download the chapter for free.  (Click on the tab for “free PDF”, then go down to chapter 8 in the list of chapters and click on the download button.)

The Resilience Imperative, Co-operative Transitions to a Steady State Economy

by Mike Lewis and Pat Conaty (published in 2012 by New Society Publishers; French translation, Impératif Transition: Construire une économie solidaire published in 2015 by les Éditions Écosociété; Korean translation published in 2015 by Tabi Publishing)

RI English version

This book is based upon research and reflection supported by BALTA during its initial research program from 2006-2012. It explored many of the themes that became central to BALTA’s work in its Scaling Innovation for Sustainability Project. With our communities confronted by major sustainability challenges, many linked to the impact of climate change, it argues for replacing the paradigm of limitless economic growth with a more decentralized, co-operative, steady-state economy.  It examines case studies of success in energy sufficiency, local food systems, low-cost community based financing, affordable housing and land reform. Land tenure and community land trusts are addressed in the book.

Order the book.

Order the book in French.

Order the book in Korean.

Several parts of the book have been adapted into a series of online articles.  See:

Community land banks are one form of financial innovation that has the potential to contribute to sustainability. Illustration by Don McNair from The Resilience Imperative: Co-operative Transitions to a Steady State Economy.

Community land banks are one form of financial innovation that has the potential to contribute to sustainability. Illustration by Don McNair from The Resilience Imperative: Co-operative Transitions to a Steady State Economy.

Towards Sustainable Resource Management: Community Energy and Forestry in British Columbia and Alberta

by Julie MacArthur ((published in 2016 in Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability, Athabasca University Press)

The chapter examines a number of cases of community control of energy, electricity and forestry through renewable energy co-ops, co-operative electricity distribution networks and collective ownership of forest resources. They serve as models of sustainability and contribute to the capacity building and movement building that is required for a more sustainable future. The chapter also explores the functioning of such initiatives within the broader political economy and the challenges this creates for sustaining the intended purposes of these initiatives.

Download the chapter for free.  (Click on the tab for “free PDF”, then go down to chapter 5 in the list of chapters and click on the download button.)

Projects, Reports, Journal Articles and Other Resources

 Alternative Land Tenure and the Social Economy

Research Leads: Dr. Mark Roseland, Simon Fraser University; Dr. Mike Gismondi, Athabasca University
Student Research Assistant: Karen Heisler, Simon Fraser University

Shared equity land ownership is important in the social economy. Examples of it can be found in a range of sectors including agriculture, housing, eco-conservancy, commons management and community forestry. This project examined literature on the range and scale of shared equity land tenure models being used across various sub-sectors of the social economy, including land trusts and land banking, in British Columbia, Alberta, nationally and internationally. The literature review also incorporated the legal landscape of land tenure models with respect to taxation, zoning, jurisdiction, etc.

Read the literature review.

View a power point presentation on the land tenure research.

Conservation Land Trusts in Alberta

Research Leads: Dr. Mike Gismondi, Dr. Lorelei Hanson and Dr. Sean Ryan, Athabasca University

View a power point presentation on the research.

Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation

Research Leads: Mike Lewis, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal; Dr. Penelope Gurstein, University of British Columbia; David Lach, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
Student Research Assistant: Kristin Patten, University of British Columbia

Mike Lewis, BALTA’s lead investigator, was appointed in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. Through his participation, he was able to draw on BALTA research and educate the task force members about community land trusts (CLTs) as a vehicle for affordable housing. The Task Force recommended that the City of Vancouver provide support to CLTs to enhance housing affordability in Vancouver. Subsequently, Vancouver City Council approved support for a major CLT initiative to provide 358 units of non-market rental housing under the auspices of the Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation (VCLTF), a consortium of non-profit organizations, social finance institutions and the municipal government. An initial case study of the VCLTF initiative was completed in 2015.

Vancouver Community Land Trust Case Study April 2015

Read the Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation case study report.

Visit the Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation’s website.

Read the final report from the Vancouver Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability.