Community Land Trust Bibliography


This bibliography is a work-in-progress. It got its start over twenty-five years ago in response to repeated requests from academics and practitioners, asking if I could steer them toward “more information” about community land trusts. I began compiling and distributing a lengthening list of books, articles, research reports, and academic papers authored by people whose work I respected.

My first compilation of CLT literature was only seven pages long and contained fewer than 70 citations. By 2010, this bibliography had expanded to twenty-three pages and appeared in print for the first time, included as an appendix to The Community Land Trust Reader (Cambridge MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy). Currently numbering over sixty pages, the latest edition contains approximately 700 citations. It includes digital publications, as well as those in print, and also provides links to films, videos, and websites.

This steady expansion in CLT literature has been spurred by multiple factors. Over the past two decades, community land trusts have proliferated; their holdings of land, housing, and other physical assets have grown; there has been a global dispersion of CLTs, spreading far beyond their country of origin; and there has been a diversification in the model itself, both in the way that CLTs are being structured and in the ways they are being applied. Significant partnerships have also arisen in several countries between CLTs and governmental agencies and between CLTs and other NGOs using similar models of community-led development on community-owned land.

These developments have raised the profile of CLTs, nationally and internationally, and attracted the attention of journalists, academics, filmmakers, independent scholars, and reflective practitioners. Predictably this has resulted in a flurry of books, articles, and reports about CLTs, as well as the production of new documentaries and the appearance of new websites – including the website created and curated by the Center for CLT Innovation.

Whereas annual updates to my bibliography were once sufficient, it is now necessary to produce a revised, expanded edition several times a year. Even so, there are published and unpublished materials that get overlooked, especially those written in languages other than English. These omissions are unintentional – and regrettable.  I move swiftly to correct them whenever they are brought to my attention, so I welcome hearing of CLT materials that should be added.

Accompanying this “International Community Land Trust Bibliography” is a companion bibliography that lists only those books and articles that were published in a language other than English. These non-English publications are also contained in the lengthier “International CLT Bibliography.” They are listed separately only to make it easier for researchers and practitioners from countries where English is not the dominant language to locate publications in their own language.

These catalogues of CLT materials will always be a work-in-progress, growing longer year by year. Hopefully, they will also become more inclusive and complete.

John Emmeus Davis
International Center for Community Land Trusts
March 16, 2024