Cities and the Urban Land Premium
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Cities and the Urban Land Premium

Henri L.F. de Groot, Gerard Marlet, Coen Teulings and Wouter Vermeulen

After a long period of suburbanisation, cities have been in vogue again since the 1980s. But why are people prepared to spend far more money on a small house in the city than on a large house in the countryside – and why doesn't this apply to all cities? This book shows that the appeal of the city in the 21st century is not only determined by the production side of the economy, but also by the consumption side: its array of shops, cultural activities and, for example, an historic city centre. All these factors not only translate into land prices that are worlds apart but, in terms of production, into different wages for urban and rural citizens. This book maps out these differences.
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Chapter 7: Agglomeration benefits and spatial planning policy

Henri L.F. de Groot, Gerard Marlet, Coen Teulings and Wouter Vermeulen


What would have happened without a specific overspill policy? Amsterdam would have grown into a mammoth city with 1 to 1.5 million inhabitants . . . Eventually, the part of the Noord-Holland province around Amsterdam would have turned into a car city, something like Los Angeles. Roel De Wit, 2007. Amsterdam would have grown into a city with millions of inhabitants if the later Prime Minister, Joop den Uyl, had had his way in the 1960s. As the alderman for, amongst other things, urban development and public works, he aspired to large-scale expansion, both by developing land in surrounding municipalities and by drastic restructuring of the historical city centre. In his biography, Annet Bleich (see further reading) referred to a ‘Manhattan by the Amstel river’. His appointment as Minister for Economic Affairs in the Cals administration in 1965 put a stop to his plans. Joop den Uyl was succeeded as alderman by Roel de Wit, who focused on Purmerend instead, at that time still a provincial town with about fifteen thousand inhabitants. This was the beginning of the so-called ‘overspill policy’ or ‘growth centre policy’, which restricted growth at the fringe of the large cities for the benefit of more distantly located, sometimes newly designed, centres of urban growth.

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