Urban development in the USA

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Urban development in the USA


By the beginning of the XXI-st century the states of North America have adopted laws to regulate urban development in response to three common needs:

- to coordinate and accommodate the expansion of urban territories and urban activities with consequent damage to important environmental areas and loss of good quality agricultural soils;

- to design, build and pay for infrastructure and transport systems to property support new urban development; and

- to overcome the problems of re-investment in obsolete city areas, in particular the legal and financial difficulties of reconsolidating land parcels, buying out and relocating existing owners and users of land and buildings.

To accomplish these urban development purposes, the "western" countries (or their constituent states and provinces), adopted laws that define systems of planning and regulation with three levels:

- first, government administrations at national or regional levels elaborate large-area territorial plans and schemes of major transport and infrastructure systems;

- second, local government administrations prepare general plans for whole urban areas, which combine spatial plans and land use regulations with plans for infrastructure systems and other public investments;

- third, subordinate to these plans, the layouts and designs of particular blocks, tract subdivisions, individual land parcels and construction projects are all made subject to procedures of technical review and public review before the specific permits are issued to carry out work.

The subject matter of these planning and urban development laws is similar, but there are different ways by which these laws are written and in which they fit into the overall system of legislation governing land relations.


17. Прочтите текст 12С и раскройте содержание рассматриваемых в нем проблем:


Text 12C

Urban development in "Western" countries


In Western Europe, most of the countries have laws that envisage national-level or large-scale regional plans to guide the national ministries in making major investments in infrastructure, transport and public facilities and to insure protection of environmental and rural areas. These large-scale plans provide policy guidance for smaller-scale plans at the regional and municipal levels, for regulation by "zoning" and by review and permitting of projects. There is great variety in the ways the laws are written. For example, Italy regulates urban planning and construction under a law first adopted in 1942, which is not detailed and requires subordinate ministerial decrees and municipal laws to define the methodologies, procedures and subject-matter regulation. In contrast, France compiled all of its laws relating to planning, urban development, urban finance and construction regulation into a comprehensive Urban Development Code long ago. This code covers hundreds of pages of text and is published in three parts - (1) the legislative acts, (2) the sub-legislative acts and (3) the orders, resolutions and instructions issued by the national and regional agencies. Great Britain has changed its laws "On Town and Country Planning" three times since 1945.

Generally in the "western" countries the systems оf private ownership and other civil law rights in land and real property have been functioning for over a century and land parcels were surveyed many decades ago. Urban land parcels regularly are bought, sold, leased and traded as private parties make decisions to invest and reinvest in them. The fundamental structure of the laws, governing land relations reflects this situation. The laws are not integrated into Land Codes but remain separate fоr different aspects of land relations.

With respect to property and contractual relationship involving land, the provisions of the Civil Codes (or the unwritten common law in the US and Britain) apply to land as to all other immovable and movable items. Special laws create the "support systems" - land registry, cadastre, mortgage financing system – that allow the property rights to be protected and transactions to take place efficiently.

With respect to the land as part of the environment and as a factor in social relationships the laws of the "western" countries provide various systems of regulation (including civil and criminal violations). These are part of the "public (administrative) law" in the civil law countries and most often the laws address particular problems - soil contamination, illegal construction, protection of plant and animal resources, fraudulent advertising in the sale of land for housing. These regulatory laws are imposed on all persons (entities) that are using land regardless of the form of ownership or control, or their particular status.

This structure of separation of "property" rights from regulatory obligations and restrictions reflects an important fundamental principle in the "western" law. It is done deliberately in order to insure security" of ownership and rights of possession in land and real estate over time.

Therefore, the "western" countries do not make use of land codes, which are intended to integrate of the property aspects of land relations with environmental and social aspects of land use. In particular, the concept that land constitutes a "fund" of national resource, subject to a system of state management is inconsistent with the fundamental structure and assumptions of the "western" legal systems.


19. Прочтите и письменно переведите на русский язык текст 12Д:


Text 12D

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