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Leveraging land to enable urban transformation : lessons from global experience


  • Lozano-Gracia, Nancy
  • Young, Cheryl
  • Lall, Somik V.
  • Vishwanath, Tara


Around the world, in both developed and developing countries, policy makers use a variety of tools to manage and accommodate urban growth and redevelopment. Government officials have three main concerns in terms of land policy: (i) accommodating urban expansion, (ii) providing infrastructure, and (iii) managing density. Together, the planning for infrastructure and urban expansion, land use, and density policies combine to shape the spatial structure of cities. This paper reviews global experience on using land based instruments to accommodate urban development and financing infrastructure. The review suggests that urban transformation is most efficient when land markets are fluid, particularly when they are grounded in strong institutions that (i) assign and protect property rights, (ii) enable independent valuation and public dissemination of land values across uses, and (iii) enable the judicial system to handle disputes that may arise in the process.

Suggested Citation

  • Lozano-Gracia, Nancy & Young, Cheryl & Lall, Somik V. & Vishwanath, Tara, 2013. "Leveraging land to enable urban transformation : lessons from global experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6312, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6312

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chris Maher, 1989. "Information, Intermediaries and Sales Strategy in an Urban Housing Market: The Implications of Real Estate Auctions in Melbourne," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 26(5), pages 495-509, October.
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    3. David E. Dowall, 1992. "Benefits of Minimal Land-Use Regulations in Developing Countries," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 12(2), pages 413-423, Fall.
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    5. Ling-Hin Li & Xin Li, 2007. "Land Readjustment: An Innovative Urban Experiment in China," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(1), pages 81-98, January.
    6. Joshi, Kirti Kusum & Kono, Tatsuhito, 2009. "Optimization of floor area ratio regulation in a growing city," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 502-511, July.
    7. Joseph T.L. Ooi & C.F. Sirmans & Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 2006. "Price Formation Under Small Numbers Competition: Evidence from Land Auctions in Singapore," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 51-76, March.
    8. Yinger, John, 1998. "The Incidence of Development Fees and Special Assessments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 23-41, March.
    9. Rothkopf, Michael H & Teisberg, Thomas J & Kahn, Edward P, 1990. "Why Are Vickrey Auctions Rare?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 94-109, February.
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    11. Quan, Daniel C, 1994. "Real Estate Auctions: A Survey of Theory and Practice," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 23-49, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank & International Monetary Fund, 2013. "Global Monitoring Report 2013 : Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13330, March.
    2. Dinkelman, Taryn & Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam, 2015. "Migration, congestion externalities, and the evaluation of spatial investments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 189-202.
    3. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lall, Somik V., 2015. "Cities in Developing Countries," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.

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    Public Sector Management and Reform; Public Sector Economics; Municipal Financial Management; Regional Governance; Urban Governance and Management;

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