From the President

H. James Brown, Outubro 1, 2003

In preparation for the 2003–2004 academic year, the Lincoln Institute has made some changes in its departmental structure. We established the Department of International Studies to integrate the Institute’s international research and educational programs that address key land and tax policy issues identified by the existing departments of Valuation and Taxation and Planning and Development. This new department’s work includes the well-established Program on Latin America and the Caribbean and a new Program on the People’s Republic of China, as well as ongoing programs in Taiwan, Central and Eastern Europe and other areas of the world.

Cities in developing nations, and in Latin America in particular, vividly illustrate the contemporary relevance of Henry George’s concerns about progress engendering poverty through constraints on access to land ownership and persistent informality in land markets. The ten-year retrospective article on the Latin America Program (see page 8) provides an overview of the changing context of land and tax policy in the region and a review of the Institute’s current programs.

The new Program on the People’s Republic of China addresses the fundamental problems of land allocation, land taxation and the development of land markets in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The Institute has an agreement with the Ministry of Land and Resources in Beijing to collaborate on researching and teaching land and tax policy (see Land Lines April 2003). Other partners in this initiative are the National Center for Smart Growth and the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs at the University of Maryland; the Development Research Center of the State Council; the China Development Institute in Shenzhen; and several university and local government departments.

China initiated fundamental and revolutionary land use reforms during the mid-1980s, addressing privately held land use rights, land banking, land trusts, land readjustments, and development of land markets in both urban and rural areas. The Institute will contribute to the implementation of these reform measures by sponsoring educational and training programs for Chinese public officials and practitioners and by supporting research and publications by both international and Chinese scholars. Institute faculty with expertise in urban and regional planning, real estate development, land economics and property taxation will introduce curriculum materials designed for China that build on our work in Latin America and other regions of the world.

The Institute is also continuing its long-term educational and research programs in collaboration with the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training in Taiwan, including the annual cosponsored course on “Infrastructure Planning and Urban Development” for public officials from developing countries. Institute faculty associated with the Department of Valuation and Taxation are involved with officials from the public and private sectors in Central and Eastern European countries as they develop and implement land and tax reforms

I believe this new department will help us operate more efficiently abroad and better integrate our international experiences in all areas.