Town Planning Review

Something between 20 and 50 per cent: understanding heterogeneous implementation of added value capture in Switzerland

Town Planning Review Ahead of print, 1–24.


When handling planning-related changes in land values, most planning systems are somewhat imbalanced. Whereas reduction of values (e.g. regulatory takings) are compensated fully, value increments remain to the landowners most often. Scholars and politicians have claimed to introduce an instrument to capture this added value to counterbalance this imbalance. Switzerland is one of the few countries that has actually introduced such an instrument in planning law. National legislators state that planning advantages are to be compensated at a rate of at least 20 per cent of planning-related advantages (Article 5 SPA). However, municipalities are granted discretion to shape the instrument, e.g. by defining a capture rate of 50 per cent. The present study aims to understand which contextual factors most influence municipalities to use the discretion granted. Based on a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) of a representative set of thirty-three municipalities within the Canton of Bern, we examined five contextual factors (political, socio-economic, land managerial, administrative and financial) and their influence on the actual implementation of added-value capture. Our analysis shows that the professionalism of the local administration has the most substantial influence on the actual shape of the instrument’s implementation.

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Author details

Hengstermann, Andreas

Viallon, François-Xavier