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Evaluating Land-Use Restrictions concerning the Floor Area Ratio of Lots


  • Xiaolu Gao

    (Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

  • Yasushi Asami

    (Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo)

  • Wataru Katsumata

    (Urban Planning Department, National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management, Japan)


In Japanese city planning, the effective floor area ratio (FAR) of land lots, or housing density, is delimited by zoning and restrictions on the form of buildings (shape controls). To evaluate this system comprehensively, the authors analyze how the maximum allowable FAR (effective FAR) of residential lots affects land prices with a hedonic approach. Based on data on Tokyo, the analysis reveals that lots with an effective FAR of less than 110%, or between 170% and 210%, were significantly cheaper than those with an effective FAR of between 110% and 160%. The result for the low effective FAR group was explained by restrictions on floor space, and the result for the 170% to 210% group applied to areas with relatively unattractive landscape. Further examination showed that the FAR currently specified by zoning is more often effective when it is low, and that restrictions in the form of shape controls are more often effective when the effective FAR is high. These analyses provided criteria for evaluating the current land use control system. Based on the results, concrete proposals are made for improving the regulation system.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaolu Gao & Yasushi Asami & Wataru Katsumata, 2006. "Evaluating Land-Use Restrictions concerning the Floor Area Ratio of Lots," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 24(4), pages 515-532, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:24:y:2006:i:4:p:515-532

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    Cited by:

    1. Han, Wenjing & Zhang, Xiaoling & Zheng, Xian, 2020. "Land use regulation and urban land value: Evidence from China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    2. Tan, Ya & Wang, Zhi & Zhang, Qinghua, 2020. "Land-use regulation and the intensive margin of housing supply," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    3. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Zhi & Zhang, Qinghua, 2017. "To build above the limit? Implementation of land use regulations in urban China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 223-233.
    4. Fournier, Eric D. & Federico, Felicia & Porse, Erik & Pincetl, Stephanie, 2019. "Effects of building size growth on residential energy efficiency and conservation in California," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 240(C), pages 446-452.
    5. Jan K. Brueckner & Shihe Fu & Yizhen Gu & Junfu Zhang, 2017. "Measuring the Stringency of Land Use Regulation: The Case of China's Building Height Limits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 663-677, July.
    6. Jacek Batóg & Iwona Foryś & Radosław Gaca & Michał Głuszak & Jan Konowalczuk, 2019. "Investigating the Impact of Airport Noise and Land Use Restrictions on House Prices: Evidence from Selected Regional Airports in Poland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-1, January.
    7. Gluszak, Michal & Zygmunt, Robert, 2018. "Development density, administrative decisions, and land values: An empirical investigation," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 153-161.
    8. Xiaoyong Zhang & Zhengchao Chen & Yuemin Yue & Xiangkun Qi & Charlie H. Zhang, 2019. "Fusion of Remote Sensing and Internet Data to Calculate Urban Floor Area Ratio," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-1, June.

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