Brown, M. Gordon. 2016. Access, Property and American Urban Space. New York & Abington, Oxon, UK: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.


Average annual economic productivity increases in the United States were 2.5 percent from the 1890s to 1978 but since 1978, they’ve been 1.5%, a 40 percent decrease. The U.S. economy became less entrepreneurial about the same time. In 1978, the firm entry rate was almost 15%. It was about 8% in 2011, a 50 percent decline in 35 years. Civic involvement also decreased. And the private debt growth deriving from mortgage lending increased significantly in the early 1980s. Over this same 40-year period, the economic status of the middle classes declined.

What happened? Post WWII suburban spatial patterns are fundamentally different from the core city street patterns established in the 18th century and significantly increased the time it takes to get from place to place. Access Property Space Essentials.pdf summarizes the key factors involved in the massive change in American urban form.


Brown, M. Gordon. 2017. Denver is Everycity: A Chronicle of Architecture, Urban Design and Real Estate. Charleston, SC: Create Space.


Though it has unique and quirky features and now has a more distinct identity, Denver’s built environment exemplifies American second-tier cities in many ways. It is a rich laboratory filled with experiments over the past 100 plus years mixing real estate, architecture and urbanism. This chronicle consists of newspaper columns and articles written from 1994 to 2004, a time of significant change.



  • Brown, M. Gordon and Charles C. Lee (2016), From savannas to settlements: exploring cognitive foundations for the design of urban spaces, Frontiers in Psychologysection Cognitive Science.| doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01607. (Shows how evolution in the savannas resulted in neurological cells that fire depending on the direction we look while moving and on vertical elements that restrict movement.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (2016), How to Measure the Effect of Access on Value. Real Estate Review, Fall.(For access takings, shows how to measure the before and after functional distance to determine substantial impairment between a destination on a parcel and locations on the street adjacent to it.)
    Download pdf.
  • Brown, M. Gordon and TjibbeTeernstra (2008), Examining investor perceptions of obsolescence and value through a behavioural economics lens,Journal of European Real Estate Research, 1:3, 267-290.(Identifies locations of structural vacancy in major Dutch cities and shows that many decisions by real estate investors have biases leading to overestimating value in these areas.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (2008), Evading economic reality: real property access takings and the slippery slope of legal language, International Journal of Law and Management, 50:6,285-300. (Shows how judicial decisions have created and avoided the pervasive problem of eliminating convenience in urban movement.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (2008), Proximity and collaboration: measuring workplace configuration,Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 10:1, 5-26.(Shows how what seem to be innovative spatial designs can have a significant impact on organizational productivity.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (2002), Healthy walkways: a guide for premises liability, Real Estate Issues, Counselors of Real Estate, Winter 2001/2002, 26:4, 28-36. (Provides a brief history of sidewalks, human, environmental and configuration factors affecting their use and the foreseeability of falling.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (2001), Choosing a company’s building design using the architectural design competition, Journal of Real Estate Research., 22:1/2, 81-106. (Shows when sponsoring a design competioin can improve decisions about developing a significant building and what the steps are inholding one.)
  • Brown, M. Gordon (1999), Design and Value: Spatial Form and the Economic Failure of a Mall, Journal of Real Estate Research, 17:2, 189-225.(Compares spatial patterns of two similar and geographically close speciality malls to show why one built for $32,000,000 was sold three years later for $7,000,000.)



  • American Real Estate Society Annual Meetings, Denver, St. Petersburg, Seattle, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Key West, Santa Barbara, Captiva Island.
  • European Real Estate Society Annual Conferences, Cracow, Poland; Eindhoven, Netherlands, Keynote: Opportunity in failure: toward a real science in real estate.
  • Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, October 2015. Public Lecture: Space? Property? Public? Private?
  • Nurtingen-Geislingen University, Geislingen, Germany. Honors seminar: Trying to be rational in making real estate decisions.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, 2014. RICS Americas Foresight Project for senior built environment and real estate executives and leaders.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, New York, March, May. Webinars: Professional and Ethical Standards in Context and Introduction to Behavioral Real Estate.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Counselors of Real Estate, Chicago, 2013. Retail’s details: diagnosing distressed retail space.
  • CNU XX (Twentieth Annual Congress of the New Urbanism), West Palm Beach, 2012. Space, property and the first urbanism.
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chicago, 2011. Public Private Partnerships: Infrastructure and Energy Transmission and Distribution.
  • Emirates Green Building Council Focus Day, Abu Dhabi, 2010. Green Building Education.
  • University of Missouri - Kansas City, Bloch School of Business, 2010. Fear and Loathing in Dubai & Abu Dhabi: a Lesson in Global Real Estate.
  • Business & Economics Society International, Lugano, Switzerland, 2008. Evading economic reality: access takings and the slippery slope of legal language.
  • Private urban governance & gated communities, University of Paris, Sorbonne, 2007. De facto private places: access morphology and governance.
  • The Center for American and International Law, Annual Program on Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain, Plano, Texas, San Francisco, 2006. Access takings: contexts, transformations and measures.
  • Urban Land Institute Real Estate Trends Conference, New York, November 2004. Spatial trends, transformations & modeling.