chapter  22
The United States’ experience with expropriation and the lessons yet to be learned
ByLawrence Lai
Pages 16

Debates around expropriation generally centre around the definition of public purpose, property valuation, and compensation standards. This chapter explores expropriation as it has been used in the United States (US). By about 1910, the shape of expropriation laws in the US had begun to change. With large regional development projects, federal urban renewal and highway programmes, the main focus of eminent domain in the US had shifted to government projects and their social consequences. In concept, Kaldor-Hicks does not actually require that compensation be paid at all, but in the context of expropriation, compensation is required. Land readjustment consists of pooling all land parcels within the area of interest, joint planning for servicing the land, and the redistribution of parcels in an orderly configuration, making room for public improvements. In order to apply many land readjustment principles successfully, a legal framework needs to be established.