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Cityscape: Volume 11 Number 1: Chapter 2


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Lessons for the United States From Asian Nations

Volume 11 Number 1

Land Takings in the Private Interest: Comparisons of Urban Land Development Controversies in the United States, China, and Vietnam

Annette M. Kim

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. government at large.


Land-taking controversies around the globe have been making headline news recently. This article examines the similarities, differences, and ironies in what has been happening in China, Vietnam, and the United States. Even though these countries are different on many levels, their fiscal constraints and land management responses have led to strikingly similar public debates about the very nature of property rights and the legitimacy of local government.