Cities worldwide but in the U.S. in particular are struggling with a dilemma: the need for planning and investing in infrastructure, but at a time when fiscal constraints are greater than ever. How can infrastructure be financed -- through existing charges such as the gas tax, an infrastructure bank, or through public-private partnerships? An additional alternative that is garnering attention is using value capture to finance local infrastructure, transportation projects, and urban redevelopment.
The concept of value capture is based on engaging the private sector to contribute to the cost of major infrastructure and related urban development projects in anticipation of the increase in property values around the projects. The approach has been used in Latin America and Europe, and has recently received more attention in the United States as the federal, state, and local governments continue to struggle with severe fiscal strains. Some similar instruments that have been used in the U.S., including Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). In that case, private owners pay for services like maintenance, in recognition that a clean street or well-run downtown park can have a positive impact on property values.
“Prospects For Land Value Capture,” the Lincoln Institute's 6th annual Land Policy Conference at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge May 22-24, will explore recent experience and analysis in value capture with leading scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. The conference begins with a presentation by Richard Henderson, executive vice president at MassDevelopment and formerly director of planning and development at Massport, on the use of value capture in the development of the South Boston Waterfront, and continues with a keynote address delivered by Susan S. Fainstein, Professor at Harvard University, on the subject of “Value Capture and Justice.”
“We hope to explore past and present experiences with the use of value capture, given its urgent relevance to today’s tight fiscal conditions and pressing need to fund infrastructure investment and maintenance,” said Gregory K. Ingram, president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, who will open the conference with a welcome and introductory remarks.
New research and data analysis and a wide-ranging discussion will be featured on topics including:
-- The concept of “takings and givings” in the context of property rights
-- Realizing land value through public land leasing
-- Business and community improvement districts
-- Land pooling and land assembly, involving property owners in development
-- Inclusionary housing and community land trusts
-- Airport improvement fees and other transport infrastructure financing
-- Charging nonprofit institutions for public services
More detail on the agenda is available here.