Capturing the unearned increment: urban planning, land value capture and financialization 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2025


Infrastructural regeneration is key in today's cities, but taking action is often hampered by the scarcity of public resources on which it typically depends. Recently, policy and scholarship have put faith in land value capture (LVC) instruments to overcome this 'infrastructure gap'. Through such instruments, funds are acquired by recouping the increases in land values resulting from public actions. Though expected to bear fruit, LVC carries the risk of deepening the broadly studied adversities stemming from the 'financialization' of the city. In this research, I intend to bridge the gap between financialization and LVC literature by scrutinizing and comparing how LVC instruments affect planning processes and spatial outcomes in four international cases. Based on an institutionalist approach, I employ the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to understand for each case how the governance networks surrounding LVC instruments operate, and how financialization plays a part. In-depth interviews and document analysis will provide the data for the analysis. Afterwards, I compare the findings through qualitative comparative analysis. This research will result in a) a categorisation of key benefits and pitfalls following LVC practices and b) insights into how financialization occurs in LVC practice.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project