UBC Law Review
Cities concern themselves with the organization of space. Their principal work involves the mapping, zoning, regulating, taxing, developing, owning, protecting, patrolling, and servicing of land. As a result, cities exert considerable control over the rights of use that property owners enjoy, but they also make many uses possible through the building of infrastructure and the provision of services. However, the effects are not unidirectional; the institution of property is not simply inert clay in the hands of a city. Cities govern the actions of owners and, by extension, shape the institution of property, but this multidimensional institution is, in turn, a powerful influence on the shape and character of cities. The four papers in this “Property in the City” special issue of the UBC Law Review were part of a workshop of the same name devoted to considering the interplay of property and cities. Two of the articles—Teresa Scassa’s “Sharing Data in the Platform Economy: A Public Interest Argument for Access to Platform Data” and Elizabeth Judge and Tenille Brown’s “Pokémorials: Placing Norms in Augmented Reality”—highlight the transformative power of technological change on the institution of property and, in varying ways, on the composition of cities. The two other articles—Dorit Garfunkel’s “High-Rise Residential Condominiums and the Transformation of Private Property Governance” and Douglas Harris’s “Owning and Dissolving Strata Property”—focus on condominium property. The result is a collection of papers that begin to capture something of the constitutive power of property and of cities.
Douglas C Harris & Graham Reynolds, "Property in the City: Special Edition Introduction" (2017) 50:4 UBC L Rev 885.