Katrina Wyman is a Sarah Herring Sorin Professor of Law at NYU School of Law where she serves as Director of NYU Law School Environmental and Energy Law LLM Program. Please join the Georgetown Law Center and the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative in welcoming Professor Wyman as she presents her latest paper, "The Urban Environmental Renaissance" at the Georgetown Law Center on February 20th, 2020.
City governments were an important source of environmental protection in the United States from the 1800s until well into the 1900s. However, since Congress passed a series of landmark environmental statutes in the 1970s, scholars have primarily equated environmental law with federal law. To the extent that scholars consider subnational sources of environmental law, they typically focus on states, rather than cities. This article shines a light on the role of cities in contemporary environmental law. It argues that major U.S. cities are currently reviving cities’ historical role as leaders in environmental lawmaking and proposes mechanisms for expanding their scope to innovate within the framework that the 1970s federal environmental statutes established.