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Eminent domain (United States, the Philippines), compulsory purchase (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland), resumption (Hong Kong), resumption/compulsory acquisition (Australia), or expropriation (South Africa, Canada) is the power of a state or a national government to take private property for public use. However, it can be legislatively delegated by the state to municipalities, government subdivisions, or even to private persons or corporations, when they are authorized to exercise the functions of public character. The property may be taken either for government use or by delegation to third parties, who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, to economic development. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings and other facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads. However, it may also be taken for reasons of public safety, as in the case of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Some jurisdictions require that the condemnor make an offer to purchase the subject property, before resorting to the use of eminent domain.

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