Sara C. Bronin

Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law
Sara Bronin
Office: Hosmer 223


  • Renewable Energy
  • Historic Preservation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Architecture and Built Environment
  • Property and Land Use
  • Planning and Zoning

Sara C. Bronin (formerly Galvan) is a Mexican-American architect and attorney whose scholarly research focuses on property, land use, historic preservation, and climate change law. As Gallivan Chair, she organizes public conferences and speaks frequently in the United States and internationally. She has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute, and she is the lead author of the land use volume of the forthcoming Fourth Restatement of Property. In 2009, she co-founded the Center for Energy and Environmental Law and served as faculty director until 2021. At UConn, she is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Public Policy, the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative (where she serves on the Advisory Committee), and the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and she serves on the grant-funded Transportation, Technology, and Society Research Group.

Professor Bronin received bachelor degrees in architecture and Plan II liberal arts honors from the University of Texas, a master’s degree from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and a law degree from Yale Law School. While in law school, she clerked for then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Professor Bronin is a past chair of the State & Local Government Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and she has chaired several Law School committees (including the Facilities Committee and the Academic Plan Committee). While at UConn, she has also been selected to be a Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center on Energy Policy, Distinguished Energy Law Scholar at Vermont Law School, a Visiting Professor at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University Law School and a Visiting Professor of Renewable Energy Law at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

Professor Bronin serves as an expert witness and as a consultant to cities, state agencies, and private firms. Among other projects, she served as one of the lead attorneys and development strategists for the 360 State Street project, a mixed-use, transit-oriented, LEED Platinum project in New Haven. Active in public service, Professor Bronin is an advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sustainable Development Code, a board member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, and the founder of Desegregate Connecticut. Previously, she led the nationally-recognized efforts of the City of Hartford to draft and adopt a climate change action plan, city plan, and zoning code overhaul. She also chaired the city's Energy Improvement District, Preservation Connecticut, Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, and Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative. 

Professor Bronin received the AIA’s Alice Washburn Award and two preservation awards for her design and rehabilitation of her Civil War-era brownstone in downtown Hartford.

Sara C. Bronin, Key to the City: How Zoning Rules Shape Our Lives (W.W. Norton & Co., forthcoming 2022)

Sara C. Bronin, Transportation and Land Use in Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, (2022) (with Michael Gerrard et al., eds.)

Sara C. BroninLaw's Disaster: Heritage at Risk, 46 Colum. J. Env't L. (2021)

Sara C. BroninWhat the Pandemic Can Teach Climate AttorneysStan. L. Rev. Online (2020).

Sara BroninRestatement (Fourth) of Property, with Henry E. Smith et al.

Sara C. BroninComprehensive Rezonings, 3 BYU L. Rev. 101 (2020) 

Sara C. BroninZoning for Families, 95 Ind. L. J. 1 (2019)

Sara C. Bronin, Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2018, 1st ed. 2014) (with Ryan M. Rowberry)

Sara C. Bronin, Land Use Regulation  (3d ed. 2020, 2d ed. 2016) (with Stewart Sterk, Eduardo Peñalver)

Sara C. Bronin, Rathkopf's the Law of Zoning & Planning (2014-present) (with Dwight H. Merriam)

Sara C. Bronin, Historic Preservation Law (2d ed. 2021, 1st ed. 2012) (with J. Peter Byrne)

Recent Faculty Notes
Sara Bronin Named in HBJ Power 50
Feb 23, 2021 -

Sara Bronin has been named in Hartford Business Journal 2021 Power 50, which aims to highlight private and public sector, nonprofit, higher education and healthcare leaders in Greater Hartford whose power and influence not only change the organizations they work for but the broader community. More information here

Sara Bronin to Speak at ULI Webinar
Jan 23, 2021 -

Sara Bronin will be speaking at the Urban Land Initiative Affordable Housing Series: Roadblocks & Opportunities. The series will discuss the roadblocks experienced by developers and municipalities, in their effort to bring much-needed affordable housing to suburban areas. Additional topics in the series will include zoning barriers, local approvals/PILOTs processes, and current trends in affordable housing financing. More information can be found here.

Sara Bronin to Lecture at Preservation Series
Jan 23, 2021 -

Sara Bronin will be lecturing at Preservation Connecticut's weekly noontime chat on January 27, 2021. Bronin will discuss how preservation and housing production can go hand in hand, and how preservationists can play an important role in advocating for statewide housing reform. More information can be found here.

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