What Constitutes a Public Purpose?

October 7, 2021


The Illinois Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without the payment of just compensation. The phrase “public use” includes what one would typically consider to be for the public:

  • New highways
  • Road widenings
  • Parks
  • Schools
  • Police and fire stations
  • Government buildings
  • Airports

However, “public use” can also include railroads, public utilities, the elimination of blight in a designated redevelopment area, and in some limited cases substitute property.

Defending the Right of Property Ownership