Vicki Been
Boxer Family Professor of Law; Associated Professor of Public Policy

Vicki Been works at the cutting edge of legal scholarship at the intersection of land use, urban policy and housing. Been, who has been on faculty at NYU Law School since 1990, authored one of the first major articles on the distributional fairness of environmental and land use policies. Been also writes about the Fifth Amendment prohibition against the taking of property without just compensation, and about land use and housing policy. She is the co-author of a leading land use casebook, Land Use Controls, with Robert Ellickson.

Been's current research focuses on the effects the mortgage foreclosure crisis has on neighborhoods, families, and children, and on the role of zoning and other regulations in shaping development patterns. Been is a 1983 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. She clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York and for Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. Been has also served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and an Associate Professor of Law at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She received her B.S. from Colorado State University, and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Semester Course
Spring 2014 URPL-GP.2616.001 Colloquium on the Law, Politics, and Economics of Urban Affairs

This course, taught jointly by faculty at NYU Law and Wagner, offers students an opportunity to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the leading current debates about critical urban policy issues.  For spring 2014, the course will focus on the challenges of economic and racial segregation in both neighborhoods and schools.   The primary focus of the colloquium are discussions of works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as planning, law, public policy, and economics. In colloquium weeks, students participate in an in-depth discussion of the paper with the author. Students submit short papers critiquing selected works in progress. In alternate weeks, students meet with faculty to discuss supplemental readings and learn the background necessary to understand each paper.


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Spring 2013 URPL-GP.2616.001 Colloquium on the Law, Politics, and Economics of Urban Affairs

This course, taught jointly by faculty at NYU Law and Wagner, offers students an opportunity to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the leading current debates about critical urban policy issues.  For spring 2014, the course will focus on the challenges of economic and racial segregation in both neighborhoods and schools.   The primary focus of the colloquium are discussions of works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as planning, law, public policy, and economics. In colloquium weeks, students participate in an in-depth discussion of the paper with the author. Students submit short papers critiquing selected works in progress. In alternate weeks, students meet with faculty to discuss supplemental readings and learn the background necessary to understand each paper.


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Date Publication/Paper
2014

I.G. Ellen et al. 2014. The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2013 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University
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Abstract

The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2013 report , published annually by the NYU Furman Center, provides a compendium of data and analysis about New York City’s housing, land use, demographics, and quality of life indicators for each borough and the city’s 59 community districts.

The report combines timely and expert analysis of NYU Furman Center researchers with data transparency. It is presented in three parts:

Part 1: Focus on Economic Inequality

Each year, the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods describes, contextualizes, and provides analysis on a pressing and policy-relevant issue affecting New York City. In 2013, the report focuses on economic inequality in New York City, analyzing changes over time in the distribution of the city’s income, economic segregation of city residents, and the neighborhood environments experienced by people of different incomes.

Part 2: City-Wide Analysis

The City-Wide Analysis provides a broad, longitudinal analysis of the New York City's housing and neighborhoods. The chapter is divided into five parts: land use and the built environment; homeowners and their homes; renters and their homes; income and workers; and neighborhood services and conditions.

Part 3: City, Borough, and Community District Data

The data section provides current and historical statistics for over 50 housing, neighborhood, and socioeconomic indicators at the city, borough, and community district levels. It also includes indicator definitions and rankings; methods; and an index of New York City’s Community Districts and Sub-Borough Areas.

Vicki Been, John Infranca, Josiah Madar, Jessica Yager 2014. Unlocking the Right to Build: Designing a More Flexible System for Transferring Development Rights Furman Center Policy Brief; March 2014
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Abstract

A new report by the NYU Furman Center details the untapped potential for NYC’s transferable air rights program, a critical tool for high-density housing development in New York City. Using case study examples, the report outlines limitations to the city’s current TDR policies and suggests a policy approach that could unlock millions of square feet of unused air rights to help produce more affordable housing.

2012

Been, V., S. Dastrup, I.G. Ellen, B. Gross, A. Hayashi, S. Latham, M. Lewit, J. Madar, V. Reina, M. Weselcouch, and M. Williams. 2012. State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods 2011 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University
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Abstract

The Furman Center is pleased to present the 2011 edition of the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods. In this annual report, the Furman Center compiles statistics on housing, demographics and quality of life in the City, its five boroughs and 59 community districts.This year we examine the distribution of the burden of New York City’s property tax, analyze the changing racial and ethnic makeup of city neighborhoods, evaluate the state of mortgage lending in New York City, and compare federally-subsidized housing programs across the five most populous U.S. cities.

2011

Bean, Vicky, Ingrid Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel and Meryle Weinstein 2011. Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41(4), 2011: 407-414.
Abstract

In the last few years, millions of homes around the country have entered foreclosure, pushing many families out of their homes and potentially forcing their children to move to new schools. Unfortunately, despite considerable attention to the causes and consequences of mortgage defaults, we understand little about the distribution and severity of these impacts on school children. This paper takes a step toward filling that gap through studying how foreclosures in New York City affect the mobility of public school children across schools. A significant body of research suggests that, in general, switching schools is costly for students, though the magnitude of the effect depends critically on the nature of the move and the quality of the origin and destination schools.

2010

Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been, Adam Gordon, Jack Lienke, and Aaron Yowell 2010. Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity Furman Center and Urban Institute
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McDonnell, Simon, Josiah Madar and Vicki Been 2010. Minimum Parking Requirements, Transit Proximity and Development in New York City RCWP 10-004 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
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Abstract

New York City policymakers are planning for a city of over 9 million residents by 2030, a large increase from today. A central goal of City officials is to accommodate this increase while simultaneously improving the City’s overall environmental performance, addressing externalities arising from traffic congestion and providing increased access to affordable housing. The requirement in the City’s zoning code that new residential construction be accompanied by a minimum number of off-street parking spaces, however, may conflict with this goal. This paper combines a theoretical discussion of parking requirements in New York City with a quantitative analysis of how they relate to transit and development opportunity. It draws direct relations between minimum parking requirements with the rise in housing prices and the reduction of density.

2007

Gedal, M. & Been, V., Ellen, I.G., Voicu, I. 2007. The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, July
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Abstract

Communities across New York City and around the nation commonly oppose proposals to open supportive housing in their neighborhoods because of fear that the housing will decrease the quality of life in the neighborhood, and lead to reductions in property values. This study aims to give supportive housing providers and local government officials the  objective, credible information they need to guide policy decisions and to respond to opponents' fears and arguments. Using a difference-in-difference regression model to isolate the effect of supportive housing from more general macro and micro market trends and neighborhood variations, this paper examines the impact that almost 14,000 units of supportive housing created in New York City over the past twenty five years have had on their host neighborhoods over time.

In a preliminary analysis, we find little evidence that supportive housing facilities diminish the value of surrounding properties. We find evidence that prices of properties surrounding supportive housing facilities are lower than comparable properties in the same neighborhood prior to the opening of the facility, and that this gap tends to narrow following the opening of a facility. Specifically, the preliminary analysis suggests that modestly-sized supportive housing developments (which are typical in New York City) may have small, positive impacts on neighboring property values, though these positive impacts decline as project size increases. Very large facilities may have negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.