Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute was established to conduct education and research programs on legal and public policy issues related to land use and development. For more than 25 years, RMLUI has been leading a discussion in the West about the challenges presented by growth and innovative ideas for addressing them.

Here at RMLUI, we bear witness to the devastation wrought in communities of color and have asked ourselves how we can confront the racism that underlies our history of land use planning and access to property ownership in America and in this region. Because the role of RMLUI has always been to convene thought leaders, to facilitate conversations, and to educate professionals, that’s where we’ve begun.

The Ideas RoundUP series will explore our land use agenda here at RMLUI, taking into account what we are learning about our policies as they relate both to containing a pandemic and promoting a socially just and sustainable community. See below for more information about the Ideas RoundUP. We hope you’ll join us in self-reflection and conversation.
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Ideas RoundUP

Conversations on Urban Planning, Pandemic, and Race

The RMLUI Ideas RoundUP is an effort to explore our shared land use agenda, taking into account what we are learning about our policies as they relate both to containing a pandemic and promoting a socially just and sustainable community.

These conversations are intended to be opportunities for the entire RMLUI community―land development professionals, community leaders, academic partners, and students―to come together in thoughtful dialogue about the problems we’re facing and how we improve our land use system to better address the inequities in our society.

Event Dates

June 30: Race, Equity & Land Use
July 14: Civic Engagement & Public Participation
July 28
August 11
August 25
September 8
September 22


2020 Western Places/Western Spaces Conference
Hot, Dry & Crowded: Planning for the Future

March 5 & 6, 2020

The West of the future will be warmer and more populous, and as a result, will face significant challenges with respect to our water supplies, our ability to withstand unpredictable weather patterns and extreme storm events, and our capacity to preserve our economy and our quality of life while adapting to the coming changes. The climate is changing, but we can do something about it.  

For RMLUI’s 29th Western Places/Western Spaces conference, we looked at the ways in which we can use design, planning tools, and creative approaches to better plan for a future that will be different from the known past. In addition, we considered how our built environments--using mixed use design, transportation infrastructure, and even building codes--can help reduce our impact on climate change and create a more comfortable and sustainable living environment.

To learn more about this year's event, please visit the Conference pages of this website and our event site.

Thank you to all of our sponsors for supporting this year's event; to all of our volunteers for making it all work; to our speakers for sharing their expertise; and to our attendees, who always make this a special event.


9th Annual Carver Colloquium

The Rights of Nature

Should rivers, mountains, and streams be given the same legal rights as a person? Historically, nature has been viewed as public or private property, and decisions about its use is decided accordingly. Rights of Nature advocates argue that nature should have a right to exist and thrive of its own.

This year's debate explored the ramifications of the Rights of Nature with guest speakers Laura Chartrand and Grant Wilson.

Visit the Carver Colloquium page to learn more about this and past events.

Brought to you through a partnership with the Sturm College of Law, the John A. Carver Jr. Chair, the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, and the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy.


RMLUI Home Study Courses

The 2020 Home Study Courses will be available soon.

Recorded during the Western Places/Western Spaces conference, the Home Study Sessions are presented by leading experts who address the latest issues and challenges facing Western communities. Topics include land conservation, housing, natural resources, public engagement, and recent changes in land use law and policy.

The Home Study Sessions also provide continuing educations credits for both lawyers and planners, making them an ideal way to maintain professional certification.

For more information please visit the Home Study page.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208