Research Priorities

November 7, 2019 Announcement

RESEARCH PRIORITIES - Land Economics Foundation Grants Available for 2020

The Land Economics Foundation (LEF) of Lambda Alpha International (LAI) is seeking proposals that advance the field of land economics from qualified individuals, schools, non-profit organizations, and LAI chapters. LEF is a not-for-profit charitable foundation created in 1965 to administer a grant-making investment fund on behalf of the members of LAI, the honorary society for the promotion of land economics. Local LAI Chapters are encouraged to initiate and participate in applications.

LEF board approves several grant applications each year. se grants can be utilized for planning projects, academic research, books, conferences, historical archiving, educational initiatives, market and corridor strategies, and innovative initiatives applying the principles of land economics. Grantees are expected to provide “case study” results and are encouraged to seek publication in recognized journals upon completion – with appropriate credit cited for LEF funding and support. Grantees are also invited to present their projects and findings to the LAI and LEF Boards upon completion.

Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000, with preference given to projects with multiple funding and staffing sources that can leverage the LEF grant. Preference is also given for research efforts and projects which include collaboration with a local LAI Chapter – see the list of Chapters on the LAI website.

For guidance regarding projects and research as well and the approved grant amounts please see listing of Funded Research for 2006-2019 projects on the LAI website:

The LEF Board of Directors typically meets twice per year at the spring and fall Land Economic Weekend (LEW) events to review applications, but proposals can be made on-line at any time at:

The LEF Board is currently focused on these key priority subject areas to guide its grant review although innovative projects in land economics in related areas will also be fully considered.

Utilization of New Analysis Tools and Approaches

LEF believes technological changes are increasing the data, research, design and analysis tools available to both academics and practitioners in the related fields of geography, land use planning, architecture, and real estate development and is interested in funding educational and research projects that:

  • Educate urban decision-makers and their staff on the value of employing the latest technologies in making the best decisions given the resources at their disposal.
  • Provide concrete examples of applying new analysis techniques and how they contribute to more sustainable decisions.
  • Review new ways of documenting, illustrating and incorporating new techniques and technologies for public input, education and consensus building in land use decisions.

Sustainable Infrastructure and Land Utilization

LEF believes that infrastructure investments and land use policies can stimulate and support

sustainable community development through educational and research efforts that:

  • Increase investments in targeted strategies or areas with practices and land use policies that facilitate the financial viability of sustainable development.
  • Utilize new strategies for public/private investment in transit, community facilities, affordable housing, parks and recreation, and educational institutions.
  • Expand the relationships between infrastructure investments and land use planning.

Revitalization of Urban and Suburban Corridors and Rural Areas

LEF believes that the study of declining or challenged areas can lead to policies and programs for revitalization; subsequently it is interested in funding activities and research that:

  • Increase understanding of the causal forces in declining corridors or areas and policies and programs targeted at reversing decline and encouraging growth.
  • Provide a focus on changing areas and/or subareas illustrating innovative best practices.

We welcome your interest in the work of the Land Economics Foundation. Our grants are supported by voluntary annual $50 contributions from members – we encourage all LAI members to donate. Grants, bequests, and sponsorships from other sources are also sought to support this important work. All donations are U.S. tax deductible.

Please direct your questions related to the LEF grant process and purposes to:

Jon B. DeVries, AICP, MLAI
Vice-President of Research
Land Economics Foundation, Lambda Alpha International or 312-919-2969