Law and Governance Research Group

The Law and Governance Research Group is an interdisciplinary research group with experience and expertise in urban planning and law. Lead by Moira O'Neill, a public law scholar and lecturer in planning and law, this group is collectively engaged in research projects at the intersection of urban planning, public health, local government, environment, and land use law. This group includes Professors Eric Biber, Jason Corburn, and Malo Hutson, along with graduate students from multiple disciplines.

Current Projects

Rethinking School Lunch Oakland: Comprehensive School Lunch Reform As a Pathway to Healthy Eating and Equitable Access to Healthy Food

This project examines the capacity for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), an urban school district within California, to be an agent of change through the implementation of a comprehensive school food reform initiative that will repurpose school district property to increase public benefits. This is a multi-stage qualitative study of a policy intervention that OUSD embarked on in partnership with the Center for Ecoliteracy (a national leader in the area of agro-ecology and school food reform). This research is funded by the Berkeley Food Institute, TomKat Foundation, and Stupski Foundation.


Identifying the Legal Drivers of Costs of Residential Development in California

Our goal is to develop a granular understanding of the specific legal and regulatory elements that produce obstacles to significant residential development in urban areas in California. We will produce qualitative and quantitative analyses of permitting and development patterns in urban jurisdictions state-wide. We are beginning with a pilot project in San Francisco to develop hypotheses.