The Center for Community Land Trust Innovation is a not-for-profit nongovernmental organization established in 2018 to promote and to support community land trusts and similar strategies of community-led development on community-owned land in countries throughout the world. The Center provides the following services: (a) collecting and curating historical materials documenting the origins and evolution of the worldwide CLT movement; (b) conducting, cataloging, and disseminating academic and non-academic research; (c) producing case studies, directories, guides, and other educational materials; and (d) providing training, referral, and technical assistance for organizers and practitioners working with CLTs and similar strategies for the equitable and sustainable development of place-based communities. The Center publishes books and monographs under its trademarked imprint: Terra Nostra Press.
Our vision is that of a thriving, expanding international movement of community land trusts and related forms of community-led development on community-owned land.
Our mission is to nurture the growth of this movement, acting in partnership with national networks, regional coalitions, local organizations, community activists, and government officials throughout the world who are engaged in planning, supporting, organizing, or operating community land trusts.
Our intention is to play six interrelated strategic roles in furthering our vision and mission: connection; cultivation; education; inclusion; preservation; and innovation.
(1) CONNECTION: Strengthening cross-national solidarity
A thriving CLT movement is founded on familiarity, unity, and reciprocity among its members. The Center will provide a variety of accessible, affordable opportunities for CLT activists from around the world to interact with one another, to learn from one another, and to build lasting relationships of mutual aid.
(2) CULTIVATION: Supporting CLT formation
A thriving CLT movement is committed to expansion, especially in places where the displacement of low-income and moderate-income people looms as an ever-present danger due to land tenure insecurity and the financialization of land and housing. The Center will work with local, national, and international partners to support CLT formation and to build CLT capacity as a non-speculative, permanently affordable bulwark against displacement. A particular priority will be to foster the spread of CLTs among informal settlements, urban and rural, where legal protections are lacking for landholding that is irregular, collective, communal, or customary.
(3) EDUCATION: Sharing essential information
A thriving CLT movement is inspired and guided by the bold experiments, successful projects, and best practices of organizations and individuals who are doing the hard work of establishing transformative forms of tenure in their own communities. The Center will collect essential information about the organization and operation of CLTs under a variety of conditions, in a variety of countries. It will make that information broadly available to its partners and the general public through its website, its widening cadre of experts, and an expanding catalogue of affordably priced books, monographs, and guides published in multiple languages by Terra Nostra Press.
(4) INCLUSION: Diversifying the CLT community
A thriving CLT movement is inclusive and representative of the people it serves. The Center will advocate for racial and ethnic diversity in the movement’s leadership, locally and globally, the Center will promote language justice through the translation of CLT materials into multiple languages, and the Center will encourage greater participation by CLT residents and youth in conversations about the movement’s future.
(5) PRESERVATION: Keeping the CLT’s roots alive
A thriving CLT movement is rooted in values, struggles, and precedents that gave rise to the modern-day CLT. The Center will maintain an online archive of historical materials documenting the origins and evolution of the community land trust, as both a model and a movement. It will continue to collect the origin stories of individual CLTs around the world. It will make all of these materials easily accessible and freely available.
(6) INNOVATION: Keeping the CLT’s edges hot
A thriving CLT movement is a constantly evolving work-in-progress, as practitioners creatively stretch the boundaries of how CLTs are structured, operated, applied, and combined with other forms of tenure. The Center will support this dynamic process by encouraging candid discussion and earnest debate about ways to improve our practice, by exploring innovations with a potential for enhancing the productivity, sustainability, and accountability of CLTs, by facilitating collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and by helping to evaluate and to highlight innovations that are worthy of wider adoption.