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Market Interventions for Sustainable Cities

Understanding land markets

Article image

SA Cities Network, Nicola King , Mark Napier

01 January 2015

South African Cities Network


Urban LandMark Librarian, Mark Napier

Book chapter

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Urban LandMark

South Africa

The focus of this paper by Nicola King and Mark Napier is on understanding the land market in the context of the sustainable cities debate. Why does the market fail, and how can we develop better-informed interventions? 


The paper considers how policies, developmental interventions and land-use patterns affect spatial development (in the context of divergent local needs and green economy objectives) and how they could contribute to the creation of more sustainable cities.

King and Napier considered the concepts of land market distortion, the nature of land markets, the concept of equity and fairness in the land market, and a range of possible interventions that could be used to improve efficiencies.

The paper contains a framework for sustainable urban land markets, based on the interventions identified, and concludes that achieving socially desirable outcomes will be a complex and challenging task because of the intricacies of the land market system.

This resource is based on an excerpt from SA Cities Network’s Urban Land Paper Series Vol 1


Website References

Built environment



Land markets

Land use planning


South Africa

Spatial development


Sustainable land use



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