Since its inception in 1992, RMLUI has served as a prominent convener and educator of lawyers, planners, policymakers and other professionals in the environmental, land use and real estate development fields. Best known for its annual conference, the Institute has become a network hub, a common affiliation by way of the conference experience among a large, influential and dispersed group of professionals and academics. Beyond the conference, RMLUI has initiated a number of significant research, training, publishing and consulting activities over the years, including the pathbreaking Sustainable Community Development Code Framework. The Institute’s Advisory Board, comprised of both national and regional representatives, is a remarkable collection of many of the field’s most prominent scholars and practitioners.

RMLUI’s origin and evolution loosely track the rise of the “New West” school of thought, which in the 1980s and 1990s identified a significant shift in the region over the past several decades, from an “Old West” resource-extraction economy and culture of rugged individualism to a “New West” defined by an amenity and tourist economy, high-tech business development and increasing urbanization.