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Land Use Planning on the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Comparison of the Legal Framework

Sergio Peña


The paper focuses on analyzing the legal framework for land use planning in the United States and Mexico. According to Herzog (2000), land use planning is the "glue that ties together the environment and the economy." Therefore, an understanding of the subject in both countries is relevant to foster binational planning. The central theme of the paper is to emphasize that enhanced cross-border planning and coordination requires that municipalities be empowered to develop inter-local agreements. Three issues are identified as fundamental to developing a cross-border agenda to coordinate land use decisions in the future. First there is a lack of vision for the future direction of border cities to follow. The second issue is the need to encourage more inter-local cross-border planning institutions. And finally, there is a need for new mechanisms to finance the infrastructure demands that rapid urban growth is placing on border communities.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229