DePasquale argues that the use of Transferable Development Rights (“TDRs”) programs can and
should be used in a regional capacity by coastal communities throughout the country in order to
prepare for sea-level rise.
The article follows TDR programs from their inception in 1916 New York City, walking the reader
through more modern day creations. The idea of using TDRs for coastal communities is not a
revolutionary idea;; however, the article proposes the use of these programs in a regional capacity,
thus evolving into more comprehensive and capable programs that can better withstand changing
Moreover, the article steps away from the premise of forcing people living in coastal communities —
by ways of mandatory programs—to take part in these TDR programs. Instead it suggests a voluntary
program that effectively bypasses any legal takings issues. This creates a model that is more robust
by advocating for the end of federal subsidization of flood insurance policies.
If regionally planned coastal TDR programs were created, they would have the potential to engender
greater environmentally efficient cities that garner stronger economies, which will no doubt bypass the
many problems of impending sea-level rise.
DePasquale, currently a third year law student, received a $2,000 prize and publication of his winning
paper in The Urban Lawyer, the law journal of the American Bar Association's Section of State &
Local Government Law.
DePasquale is the second Western New England Law student in the past three years to take top