Act: Inspiration

Community Land Trusts as a Proactive Model for Post-Capitalist Sustainable New Local Development

June 21, 2022

On paper, a Community Land Trust [C.L.T.] is a non-profit organization first, but not necessarily foremost. Indefinite land leases within inflated financial and real estate markets are most desirable for the procurement of actual wealth equity. C.L.T.’s are a proactive model for sustainability and break the vicious cycle of our archaic Colonial past. The sociological relevance of a C.L.T. is in developing a community orientation for living a life aligned with autonomous Degrowth and the promotion of New Local Post-Capitalism.

New localism is therefore characterized by a cautious devolution of power to the local level in an attempt to better implement national goals. It emphasizes the devolution of managerial over political power — the aim is generally to allow local managers to meet national priorities more effectively, rather than to allow local politicians to derogate from national goals.

New localism differs from the implicit ‘old localism’ in two important senses. First, it accepts the role of central government in driving change at the local level, something that the localists of the 1980s strongly resisted. Second, it does not centre on the role of the local authority, but takes a wider view of the locality that includes communities and other public service organisations such as health and police services.

Indefinite land leases within the bubbles of inflated real estate markets offer robust stability to the global economy because New Localism has a greater propensity for true interdependence regarding the systemic practices of business and governance within the context of globalization. Home construction loans based on indefinite land leases make becoming mortgage-free in shorter-term loans more feasible. Inadvertently, this would also do justice to the 2009 financial crisis.

A C.L.T. within New Localism is an effective response for answering the Neoliberal plight for the maximization of utility [Global Capitalism]. Because of its status as a non-profit organization [on paper], it qualifies for tax loopholes, subsidies, and grants at all levels of government as well as funding from private benefactors and business sponsorship which allows it to be free of red tape in becoming autonomous (transparency + agency + accountability = autonomy) within the Bioregional specific sustainable culture and society of PostCapitalism.

Lending eligibility requirements for home construction loans can be more relaxed for applicants associated with member residency of a C.L.T. whom otherwise might not qualify for the loan. These financial benefits are meant to enhance social services and support to the C.L.T. (as an NGO) as it works to serve the greater community, New Localism, and perhaps beyond by building robust [Win-Win] working relationships of Post-Capitalism.

Foremost, [not on paper as an NGO first] a C.L.T. can be relationally identified as a ‘community hub’ which can serve multiple purposes just as within the context of New Localism can regarding Post Capitalism globally. A ‘community hub’ concerns itself with building support systems [sustainable culture] whereas the NGO on paper concerns itself with building support networks [Post Capitalism and its legislative process]. As a result, wealth equity of PostCapitalism is produced to replace the Global Economy of Capitalism.

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Because social mobility within and of a C.L.T. is synergistic ‘community wealth building’ is more likely to be successfully cohesive than known from referencing the past. Instigation of sustainable culture inclusive of the barter and solidarity economies offers value to the New Localist model of Post-Capitalism and can possibly give rise to the development of global post-capitalist green economies and sustainable autonomy in food security between The Global North and The Global South leading to Bioregionalism and a more and more sustainable planetary Biosphere.

A step for initiating a Post-Capitalist directive might be to expedite the legislative process of Biopolitics in achieving Climate Justice for the purpose of the International unilateral prioritization of Climate Change.

The ‘Degrowth’ paradigm can be demystified from prioritizing all sustainable development with regulatory sustainable principles that work to realign society with the Natural World [Bioregionalism].

This quote by Peter Berg and Raymond Dasmann ought to be noted:

Living-in-place means following the necessities and pleasures of life as they are uniquely presented by a particular site, and evolving ways to ensure long-term occupancy of that site. A society which practices living-in-place keeps a balance with its region of support through links between human lives, other living things, and the processes of the planet — seasons, weather, water cycles — as revealed by the place itself. It is the opposite of a society which makes a living through short-term destructive exploitation of land and life. Living-in-place is an age old way of existence, disrupted in some parts of the world a few millennia ago by the rise of exploitative civilization, and more generally during the past two centuries by the spread of industrial civilization. It is not, however, to be thought of as antagonistic to civilization, in the more humane sense of that word, but may be the only way in which a truly civilized existence can be maintained.

Reinhabitation means learning to live-in-place in an area that has been disrupted and injured through past exploitation. It involves becoming native to a place through becoming aware of the particular ecological relationships that operate within and around it. It means understanding activities and evolving social behavior that will enrich the life of that place, restore its life-supporting systems, and establish an ecologically and socially sustainable pattern of existence within it. Simply stated it involves applying for membership in a biotic community and ceasing to be its exploiter.

Bioregion refers both to a geographical terrain and a terrain of consciousness — to a place and the ideas that have developed about how to live in that place. Within a bioregion the conditions that influence life are similar and these in turn have influenced human occupancy.

A bioregion can be determined initially by use of climatology, physiography, animal and plant geography, natural history and other descriptive natural sciences. The final boundaries of a bioregion are best described by the people who have lived within it, through human recognition of the realities of living-in-place. All life on the planet is interconnected in a few obvious ways, and in many more that remain barely explored. But there is a distinct resonance among living things and the factors which influence them that occurs specifically within each separate place on the planet. Discovering and describing that resonance is the best way to describe a bioregion. When a C.L.T., within New Localism, is designed to function as a sustainable community hub it can help to solve a multitude of social ills that are particular to a locale.

In summary, a C.L.T. is first an NGO ‘on paper’ as it relates to Post-Capitalism but foremost a ‘community hub’ as it relates to New Localism. By designing C.L.T.’s from a bio/psycho/eco/socio/political frame of reference sustainable culture can become more proliferate. Furthermore scientifically addressing Climate Change inclusive of the Degrowth paradigm necessitates Bioregionalism with the purpose of developing post-capitalist wealth equity leading to sustainable autonomy, primarily between the Global North and the Global South.

Ed. note: You can learn more on Jon’s blog here:


Teaser photo credit: The Vision for St Clement’s, Mile End, the first CLT homes completed by the London Community Land Trust project. By Jtp placemaking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Jon Hanzen

Jon Hanzen acquired his PDC from the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and has been working as a consultant on the Big Island of Hawaii.  He is an accomplished poet, mixed-media artist and author of theoretical research articles on the subject of Sustainability.

Tags: bioregions, Community Land Trusts, degrowth perspectives, postcapitalism