Town Planning Review

Property rights and the 'transfer of development rights': Questions of efficiency and equity

Town Planning Review (2007), 78, (1), 41–60.

Abstract

In comparison with other fields such as air or water where tradable permits apply, land has some quite distinct properties, not least because of the many entangled legal instruments that govern its use. Property law varies widely from one country to another, particularly so in the case of development law. It is necessary to understand the relationship between property law, urban development regulations and tradable permits, with particular reference to the differences between legal systems of the type found in North America and those common in Western Europe. This paper describes how the system of transferable development rights (TDR) operates in two countries – the USA and France. Based on the analysis of these experimental schemes, a number of conclusions are drawn over the value of the system, its effectiveness in reaching its goals, and the conditions required for it to operate satisfactorily.

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Author details

Renard, Vincent