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The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a think tank based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, the organization integrates theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide. With locations in Cambridge, Washington, Phoenix, and Beijing, the Lincoln Institute is organized in seven major areas: Planning and Urban Form, Valuation and Taxation, International and Institute-Wide Initiatives, Latin America and the Caribbean, People's Republic of China, the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, and the Center for Community Investment.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
PresidentGeorge W. "Mac" McCarthy
BudgetRevenue: $32,393,553
Expenses: $20,846,995
(FYE July 2014)[1]
Address113 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-3400

The organization is currently headed by George W. McCarthy, previously director of Metropolitan Opportunity at the Ford Foundation. In July 2014 he succeeded Gregory K. Ingram, an urban economist and former director of evaluation for the World Bank.



The Lincoln Institute publishes books and Policy Focus Reports that reflect original research and also document conference proceedings. The current publications catalog lists almost 100 titles, and nearly 1,000 working papers are available online for free downloading. The quarterly magazine Land Lines features articles on a range of land use and tax policy topics. The Lincoln Institute also produces documentary films in the Making Sense of Place series: “Phoenix: The Urban Desert,” “Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City,” and "Portland: Quest for the Livable City,"[2] and supported the documentary series Shifting Ground produced by David Baron and airing on National Public Radio.[3]


The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy was founded in 1974, supported by the Lincoln Foundation, which was established in 1946 by John C. Lincoln. He was a successful industrialist in Cleveland, Ohio, who among other things patented processes for arc welding and founded the Lincoln Electric Co. The Lincoln Institute and the Lincoln Foundation merged into a single private operating foundation in November 2006. One of the Lincoln Institute’s founding objectives has been to address the links between land policy and social and economic progress first explored by Henry George in his book Progress and Poverty (1879).


The Institute is organized in three departments, two programs, and two centers:

  • Planning and Urban Form
  • Valuation and Taxation
  • International and Institute-Wide Initiatives
  • Program on Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Program on the People's Republic of China
  • Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy
  • Center for Community Investment

In December 2007, the Lincoln Institute and Peking University established the Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, located on the University’s Beijing campus. The center will play a continuing role in providing information and analysis in the current period of rapid urbanization in China.

Among the topics covered by the Lincoln Institute are land policy as it relates to property taxes, assessments, valuation, and tax limitation measures; local public finance; property rights; land conservation, climate change, and smart growth; the role of the university in urban environments; planning, land use regulation, and development incentives; and community development—including community land trusts, inclusionary zoning, and community benefit agreements.


The Institute works together with different international partners on projects, education and research.


  1. ^ "Lincoln Institute of Land Policy" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Publications". LILP. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-10-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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