The course highlights the role land policy and land-based financing play in the development of equitable and fiscally healthy communities in developed and developing countries. The presentation and analysis of global cases on land value capture, community land trusts, and land readjustment, among other land policy and financing tools, will demonstrate why and how land markets and creative land policy approaches are relevant to planners, urban designers, and risk managers, especially as they pursue sustainable, equitable urban development goals. The course identifies the relationship between planning regulations, property rights, infrastructure investments, and land value increments and the synergies that can be created at the local level to sustain municipal finances and the investments needed to battle climate change and informality, among other transcendental policy issues.
The course delves into the technical and political debates unleashed in communities seeking to attain a greater balance between those who bear the costs of urbanization and those who benefit from it, especially as those costs and benefits are manifested in land values, housing affordability, access to economic opportunities, and exposure to environmental risks. Each section of the course asks questions about the possibilities and limits of land policy and land-based financing to achieving just, equitable, and generative urban aims. In the process, the readings and discussions offer a closer examination of the role government, the private sector and organized sectors of civil society play in shaping urban outcomes and quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. The second half of the class will focus primarily on management and implementation issues that emerge from cities that have rolled out innovative land policy and financing tools, especially those that support land value capture.