Nestor M. Davidson

Albert A. Walsh Chair in Real Estate, Land Use, and Property Law; Faculty Director, Urban Law Center


photo of Nestor M. Davidson 240x240

Curriculum Vitae

SSRN (academic papers)


[email protected]

Office: Room 8-101
Office Hours: Mondays  3 - 4 p.m. and 8 - 9 p.m., and by appointment.


Areas of Expertise: Administrative/Regulatory Law/Government Agencies, Constitutional Law, Housing Law and Policy, Poverty Law/Social Welfare, Property, Real Estate, Zoning, and Land Use, State and Local Government Law, US Supreme Court

  • Nestor Davidson joined Fordham in 2011 and was named the Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law in 2017. Professor Davidson has published widely in urban law, property, and affordable housing law and policy. Professor Davidson founded and serves as the faculty director of the law school’s Urban Law Center and previously served as Fordham’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

    Professor Davidson practiced with the firm of Latham and Watkins, focusing on commercial real estate and affordable housing, and served as Special Counsel and Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Professor Davidson earned his AB from Harvard College and his JD from Columbia Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Representative Publications

    Articles and Essays

    Home Rulings, 2023 WIS. L. REV. 1735 (2023)

    Megalopolis Bound?, 24 THEORETICAL INQUIRIES L. 73 (2023)

    Innovation in Digitalization and the Future of Fair Housing, HARVARD JOINT CENTER ON HOUSING STUDIES

    Law in Place: Reflections on Rural and Urban Legal Paradigms, 50 FORDHAM URB. L. J. 201 (2023) (with Alan R. Romero)

    Do Local Governments Really Have Too Much Power? Understanding the National League of Cities’ Principles of Home Rule for the Twenty-First Century, 100 N.C. L. REV. 1385 (2022) (with Richard Schragger)

    Local Constitutions, 99 Tex. L. Rev. 839 (2021)

    Takings Localism, 121 Colum. L. Rev. 215 (2021) (with Timothy M. Mulvaney)

    Much Obliged: Moral Psychology and the Social Obligation of Property (An Essay in Honor of Gregory Alexander), 29 CORNELL J. L. & PUB. POL’Y 551 (2020)

    The Dilemma of Localism in an Era of Polarization, 128 Yale L.J. 954 (2019)

    Law and Neighborhood Names, 72 Vand. L. Rev. 757 (2019) (with David Fagundes) Reviewed by Rashmi Dyal-Chand in the Journal of Things We Like Lots (JOTWELL), June 24, 2019,

    Reprinted in DAVID L. CALLIES & J.B. RUHL, LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW, 2018-2019 ed. (2018)

    Affordable Housing Law and Policy in an Era of Big Data, 44 Fordham Urb. L. J. 277 (2017)

    Localist Administrative Law, 126 Yale L.J. 564 (2017)

    Resetting the Baseline of Ownership: Takings and Investor Expectations After the Bailouts, 75 Maryland L. Rev. 722 (2016)

    The Sharing Economy as an Urban Phenomenon, 34 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 215 (2016) (with John Infranca)

    Regleprudence – at OIRA and Beyond, 103 Geo. L.J. 259 (2015) (with Ethan J. Leib)

    The Mobility Case for Regionalism, 47 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 63 (2013) (with Sheila R. Foster)

    New Formalism in the Aftermath of the Housing Crisis, 93 B.U.L. Rev. 389 (2013)

    Property and Identity: Vulnerability and Insecurity in the Housing Crisis, 47 Harv. C.R-C.L. L. Rev. 119 (2012)

    Sketches for a Hamiltonian Vernacular as a Social Function of Property, 80 Fordham L. Rev. 1053 (2011)

    Property’s Morale, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 437 (2011)

    Property in Crisis, 78 Fordham L. Rev. 101 (2010) (with Rashmi Dyal-Chand)

    Leaps and Bounds, 108 MICH. L. REV. 957 (2010) (reviewing GERALD E. FRUG &


    Values and Value Creation in Public-Private Transactions, 94 Iowa L. Rev. 938 (2009)

    Property and Relative Status, 107 Mich. L. Rev. 757 (2009)

    Standardization and Pluralism in Property Law, 61 Vand. L. Rev. 1597 (2008)

    The Problem of Equality in Takings, 102 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1 (2008)

    Cooperative Localism: Federal-Local Collaboration in an Era of State Sovereignty, 93 Va. L. Rev. 959 (2007)

    Reprinted in 28 IMMIGR. & NATIONALITY L. REV. 167 (2007)

    Relational Contracts in the Privatization of Social Welfare: The Case of Housing, 24 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 263 (2006)

    Relational Contracts in the Privatization of Social Welfare: The Case of Housing, 24 YALE L. & POL’Y REV. 263 (2006)


    Casebooks and Treatises

    Property (Aspen Student Treatise Series, 6th ed. 2022) (with Joseph W. Singer)

    Property Law: Rules, Policies and Practices (8th ed. 2022; 7th ed. 2017; 6th ed. 2014) (with Joseph W. Singer, Eduardo M. Peñalver, and Bethany Berger)

    Cases and Materials on State and Local Government Law (9th ed. 2021) (with Richard Briffault and Laurie Reynolds)


    Edited Volumes

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE URBAN LAW CONFERENCE, City Square (editor, on-line collection of works in progress) (2022)

    Law and the New Urban Agenda (Routledge 2020) (co-editor, with Geeta Tewari)

    The New Preemption Reader: Legislation, Cases, and Commentary on the Leading Challenge in Today's State and Local Government Law (West Academic 2019) (co-editor, with Richard Briffault and Laurie Reynolds)

    The Legal Power of Cities: Global Perspectives in Urban Law (Routledge 2018) (co-editor, with Geeta Tewari)

    The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of the Sharing Economy (co-editor, with John Infranca and Michèle Finck) (Cambridge University Press 2018)

    Law Between Buildings: Emergent Global Perspectives on Urban Law (Routledge 2017) (co-editor, with Nisha Mistry) 

    Affordable Housing and Public-Private Partnerships (Ashgate 2009) (co-editor, with Robin Paul Malloy) 


    Books Chapters

    Toponymy in Legal Perspective, in NAMES, NAMING, AND THE LAW: ONOMASTICS, IDENTITY, POWER, AND POLICY (Routledge 2024) (with David Fagundes)

    Sharing in Cities: Why Here? Why Now?, in Modern Guide to the Urban Sharing Economy (Edward Elgar Publishing 2020) (with John Infranca)

    The Fair Housing Act's Original Sin: Administrative Discretion and the Persistence of Segregation, in PERSPECTIVES IN FAIR HOUSING (Penn University Press 2020) (with Eduardo Peñalver)

    The Place of the Sharing Economy, in THE CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF THE LAW OF THE SHARING ECONOMY (Cambridge University Press 2018) (with John Infranca)

    Property, Wellbeing, and Home: Positive Psychology and Property Law’s Foundations, in LAW AND THE PRECARIOUS HOME: SOCIO-LEGAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE HOME IN INSECURE TIMES (Hart Publishing 2018)


    Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Rucker: Public Housing as Housing of Last Resort, in THE POVERTY LAW CANON: EXPLORING THE MAJOR CASES (Marie Failinger & Ezra Rosser eds., University of Michigan Press 2016) 

    Notaries and Legal Professionals, in THE INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HOUSING AND HOME (2011)

    Crisis and the Public-Private Divide in Property, in THE PUBLIC NATURE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY (2011) (with Rashm Dyal-Chand)

    The Bullhorn and the Bell Jar: Hernando de Soto and Communication Through Title, in HERNANDO DE SOTO AND PROPERTY IN A MARKET ECONOMY (2010)

    Introduction, in Affordable Housing and Public-Private Partnerships (with Robin Paul Malloy) (2009)

    The Value of Lawyering Affordable Housing Transactions, in AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (2009)


    Other Works

    2023 Cooper-Walsh Issue: Local Government Structure Through a Legal Lens, Introduction, 50 FORDHAM URB. L. J. 603 (2023)

    Preemption of Police Reform: A Roadblock to Racial Justice, 94 TEMP. L. REV. 663 (2022) (with Marissa Roy and Rick Su)

    Local Governments “Pushing Back” in the Pandemic, in LOCAL POWER & POLITICS REV. Vol. 2 (2022) (with Sabrina Adler)

    Property’s Contingent Categorization, LAW AND POLITICAL ECONOMY (LPE) BLOG (2020) (blog symposium on HANOCH DAGAN, A LIBERAL THEORY OF PROPERTY (2020))

    NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, PRINCIPLES OF HOME RULE FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (2020) (with Richard Briffault, Paul Diller, Erin Scharff, and Richard Schragger)

    National League of Cities, Principles of Home Rule for the Twenty-First Century (2020) (with Richard Briffault, Paul Diller, Erin Scharff, and Richard Schragger)

    Much Obliged: Moral Psychology and the Social Obligation of Property (An Essay in Honor of Gregory Alexander), 29 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol'y (forthcoming 2020)

    The New State Preemption, the Future of Home Rule, and the Illinois Experience, 3 Illinois Municipal Pol’y J. 19 (2019) (with Laurie Reynolds)

    The Challenge of Regulating the Sharing Economy, Public Lawyer (2019) (with John Infranca)

    The States and Administrative Law, Panel Before the 2018 Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention (Nov. 15, 2018), in 98 Neb. L. Rev. 151 (2019) (with Christopher Green, Miriam Seifter, Judge Jeffrey Sutton, and Judge Michael Scudder)

    A Better Approach to Urban Opportunity, 27 J. Aff. Hous. & Comm. Dev. L. 449 (2019) (reviewing Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Collaborative Capitalism in American Cities: Reforming Urban Market Regulations (2018)


    The Sharing Economy and the Upside of Disrupting Local Governance, Harv. L. Rev. Blog (Nov. 21, 2017) (with John J. Infranca)

    Affordable Housing Law and Policy in an Era of Big Data, 44 FORDHAM URB. L. J. 277 (2017) 

    The Place of Flourishing Families, 43 Fordham Urb. L.J. 963 (2017) (with Clare Huntington)

    Nationalization and Necessity: Takings and a Doctrine of Economic Emergency, 3 Brigham-Kanner Prop. Rts. Conf. J 187 (2014)

    Towards Engaged Scholarship, 33 Pace L. Rev. 990 (2013) (one of several co-authors; John R. Nolon ed.)

    "What is Urban Law?" An Introductory Essay in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Fordham Urban Law Journal, 40 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1579 (2013)

    A Most Useful Ball of Thread, 21 J. Aff. Hous. & Comm. Dev. L. 285 (2013) (reviewing Navigating HUD Programs: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Labyrinth)

    Reprinted in THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING READER (Elizabeth Mueller & Rosie Tighe eds. 2012)

    Judicial Takings and State Action: On Rereading Shelley after Stop the Bench Renourishment, 6 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol'y 75 (2011)

    Fostering Regionalism: Comment on The Promise and Perils of "New Regionalist" Approaches to Sustainable Communities, 38 Fordham Urb. L.J. 675 (2011)

    Leaps and Bounds, 108 Mich. L. Rev. 957 (2010) (reviewing Gerald E. Frug & David J. Barron, City Bound: How States Stifle Urban Innovation)

    Elevate 2009: Climate Change and the New Frontiers of Urban Development, 80 U. Colo. L. Rev. (2009) (with William Shutkin)

    Comment, Vertical Learning: On Baker and Rodriguez’s Constitutional Home Rule and Judicial Scrutiny, 86 DENV. U.L. REV. 1425 (2009)

    Comment, Reconciling People and Place in Housing and Community Development Policy, 17 GEO. J. ON POVERTY L. & POL’Y 1 (2009)

    Comment, Rights as a Functional Guide for Service Provision in Homeless Advocacy, 26 ST. LOUIS UNIV. PUB. L. REV. 45 (2007)

    Comment, “Housing First” for the Chronically Homeless: Challenges of a New Service Model, 15 J. AFF. HOUS. & COMM. DEV. L. 125 (2006)

    Note, Constitutional Mass Torts: Sovereign Immunity and the Human Radiation Experiments, 96 COLUM. L. REV. 1203 (1996)

    Blog Posts

    The Sharing Economy and the Upside of Disrupting Local Governance

    Cities Must Govern: City Power in a Time of (Radical?) Change

Nestor Davidson Press Highlights

Tallahassee Democrat: Prof. Nestor Davidson Discusses Florida GOP Clamp Down On Blue Cities

POLITICONYC’s Affordable Housing Struggles with Rent Arrears NYC Mayor Appoints Professor Nestor Davidson as Rent Guidelines Board Chair

2023 AALS Conference Features Slate of Fordham Law Professors

Fordham Law School Ranks No. 23 in Scholarly Impact

Is NY’s Rent Law Unconstitutional? Second Circuit to Rule

Nassau Judge’s Mask Ruling Faces Long Odds to be Upheld, Experts Say

Fordham Law Scholars Featured in “Big Idea” Limited Video Series

High Court Union Case Could Impede Basic Access Rights

Law Schools Create Specialist Courses in Property and Sustainability

States Shouldn’t Hinder Local Gov’ts In COVID-19 Tenant Aid

Fordham Launches LL.M. in Real Estate

What It Takes to Preserve a Building Tied to Black History

Fordham Launches Online Privacy and Technology Law CLE Program

State Preemption and Local Responses in the Pandemic

New Book Explores the Role of Law in UN Goals for Sustainable Urban Growth

A Letter to the Editor

Reform Home Rule To Protect Cities From State Interference

Urban Law Journal Symposium Explores Issues of Accessibility in Cities

How California is Redefining Rent Control