AIA REVISED Position Statement 46 for consideration – Eminent Domain
46. Eminent Domain
The American Institute of Architects believes that eminent domain can be a necessary and appropriate tool for government to secure land for the reasonable implementation of publicly owned projects. Only under very special and unique circumstances should that tool be used for projects that will ultimately revert to private ownership. In these circumstances, eminent domain should be considered a tool of last resort and only be applied if there is a clear and compelling public need and benefit demonstrated and supported through an open, broad-based, and transparent community planning process. In all cases, eminent domain should be applied in ways that fairly consider the value of existing land uses and communities, while respecting individual citizens’ rights, and community history.
COMMENT: Because of the rise of BIM and open geospatial information, an eminent domain statement from architects should also address access to public vs private building and property information. Which final project delivery documents are public records? What rights does the public/government have to high quality design records for large scale planning – for example sustainability and energy studies?
IS YOUR ORGANISATION AN AGENCY OR INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT? from Archives New Zealand
Welcome to Basic Records Management Training by Oregon State Archives
Who has domain over intellectual property for the public? What are the obligations of information creators? Communities are now requesting public records out of architects and others whose work used to only be made and distributed for the Owner, permit office, and Contractor.
Now there is a need for construction documents, an architects product, to serve as public records. Large scale, long term claims are being made on architects intellectual property which may or may not be organized to serve these additional purposes yet.
Local, state, federal governments require some level of building records as part of their jurisdiction records regardless of who created and “really” owns the actual files. Fair realistic consensus has to be a two way street, if architects need to provide information meant to serve many, extended purposes, so do local jurisdictions – architects need access to the results of large scale planning and vice versa. The general public, in order to have a voice in public information policies, needs to be able to participate in the discussion process rather than simply being imposed on from above – yes you can have this, no you cannot have this. Who’s property is it? Who makes the building plans and extended purposes readable to a lay person?
The best nugget in the AIA draft statement is:
Only under very special and unique circumstances should that tool be used for projects that will ultimately revert to private ownership.
Public information, public semantic space, public domain.