Research Grants Available – APA

August 26, 2015

RE: Research Grants Available – Land Economics

To: APA members and researchers, faculty, authors, and land use professionals

The Land Economics Foundation (LEF) of Lambda Alpha International is seeking proposals that advance the field of land economics from qualified individuals, publications, non-profit organizations or institutions. The inspiration for Lambda Alpha was Professor Richard T. Ely (1854-1943), commonly called the “Father of Land Economics.”  As an “Honorary Society for the Promotion of Land Economics,” the membership of Lambda Alpha includes individuals from many parts of the world who have distinguished themselves in the various disciplines and activities relating to the use and re-use of land.

LEF is a not-for-profit charitable foundation created in 1965 through Lambda Alpha International to administer an investment fund which provides grants for research projects related to land economics. Typical grant amounts are $5,000-$15,000 with preference given to projects with multiple funding sources which can leverage the LEF grant. Multiple projects are funded each year.

The current priorities chosen by the LEF Board to guide its grant-approving activity are as follows:

Utilization of Benefit-Cost Analyses

LEF believes an improved understanding and usage of benefit- cost analysis will facilitate better urban decision-making through the funding of research projects that:

  • Educate urban decision-makers and their staff on the value of employing benefit cost analysis to help them make the best possible decisions given the limited resources at their disposal.
  • Provide concrete examples of benefit cost analyses and how they contribute to more sustainable decisions.
  • Reviews existing benefit-cost analyses with the objective of improving the quality and relevance of such analyses undertaken in the future.

Sustainable Infrastructure and Land Utilization

LEF believes that an analysis of the interconnectivity of infrastructure investments and planning policies will lead to more sustainable planning decisions through research projects that include:

  • Case studies of infrastructure investments where the land use planning framework facilitated the financial viability of the investments.
  • Case studies of infrastructure investments where the land use planning framework inhibited the financial and economic viability of the investments to the community.
  • Literature reviews of the relationship between infrastructure investments and land use planning.

Revitalization of Obsolete Urban Centers and Subareas

LEF believes that the study of declining urban areas or of specific subareas of cities can lead to policies and programs for revitalization; subsequently it is interested in funding research that:

  • Increases understanding of the causal forces and the implications of declining cities and sub-areas and policies and programs targeted at reversing decline.
  • Undertakes case studies of urban areas and/or subareas and assesses policies for dealing with the issue of decline.
  • Educates urban policy makers on the factors at work and possible policies and programs to revitalize or to stabilize areas characterized by decline.

LEF accepts research and related educational proposals on a continual basis and meets regularly to review and approve these proposals. You can view the guidelines at and apply on line at

Please consider applying for a research grant and circulate this letter to others in your school, organizations and research relationships who might be interested. We are always ready to answer questions on line or in person as well.


Jon B. DeVries, AICP, CRE
Vice-President, Research Committee
Land Economics Foundation, Lambda Alpha International
Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate
Walter E. Heller College of Business
Roosevelt University
425 S. Wabash Ave., WB1210
Chicago, IL. 60605-1394