Download Land and the City: Patterns and Processes of Urban Change PDF

TitleLand and the City: Patterns and Processes of Urban Change
ISBN 139780203307113
File Size4.0 MB
Total Pages238
Table of Contents
                            Book Cover
List of figures
List of tables
Document Text Contents
Page 1


Page 119



sales and leases. By 1990, however, high interest rates and flagging business
confidence forced a slowdown and a number of smaller property companies
found that their rental income no longer covered even their interest payments.
Many development schemes were quietly abandoned, postponed or cut back.

During the 1980s, development activity in London was concentrated into
relatively few hands. In particular three developers, and their companies, have
dominated the largest schemes, including those at Broadgate (Liverpool
Street), King’s Cross and Canary Wharf in the Docklands. They are Godfrey
Bradman, Stuart Lipton and Paul Reichman, with their companies
Rosehaugh, Stanhope, and Olympia and York. Between them they are having
a greater impact upon London’s built environment than anybody since John
Nash (Knobel 1988). Olympia and York, based in Canada, has major
holdings in Toronto, Boston, San Francisco and the World Financial Center in
Manhattan, although even companies of this size are not immune to the
effects of a slowdown in development activity such as that of the early 1990s.
In May 1991, the combined effects of a business recession, falling rents and
an oversupply of office space in London, resulted in the company postponing
further development at the partially completed Canary Wharf complex,
Europe’s largest office development. In May 1992 Olympia and York filed for
relief from creditors under both Canadian and US bankruptcy laws.

The development industry has been becoming increasingly international
for nearly three decades. In the case of Britain a slowdown in rental return
and a tightening of competition in London in the mid 1960s caused domestic
development companies to look first to provincial cities and then overseas,
notably to Europe, North America and Australia. Elsewhere, the
accumulation of wealth in the Middle East and a recent relaxation of financial
regulations in such countries as Japan and Sweden, have encouraged these
countries to become major players in a worldwide property and development

In the late 1980s, the London property market saw heavy investment from
overseas. Between 1985 and 1989, foreign investment in central London
increased tenfold (Financial Times, 31/8/90). The Japanese were particularly
active and Britain became Japan’s main target within Europe, attracting
investment of $4,631 million in 1989, compared with $1,577 million in
France, $182 million in Spain and $66 million in Germany (Estates Gazette,
9022, 1990). In 1989, Japan was responsible for 43 per cent of all overseas
investment in London, but Scandinavian and European Community interests
were also strongly represented. This Japanese interest is a reflection of limited
opportunities, high competition and the introduction of capital gains taxes in
their domestic market. The Tokyo stock market is underpinned by
exceptionally high land values which saw particularly rapid increases in the
1980s—Figure 5.1. Many analysts feel that land and property prices there are
artificially high and there are now moves to reform land laws and taxes.

In the USA and Canada too, the Japanese have been particularly active,

Page 120



driven by the growth of their economy, the strength of the yen and a high
national savings rate. Japan is now the largest foreign landlord in the USA
(Wharf 1988). By 1987, Japanese firms owned approximately 9 million square
feet of office, commercial and hotel floorspace in New York alone, Table 5.4,
even the Rockefeller Center is now owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation.
Almost one-third of downtown Los Angeles is owned by the Japanese and
they are increasingly buying houses on the West Coast. To date this
investment has not been unwelcome, and nearly every US state maintains a
liaison office in Tokyo.

It is Australian cities, however, which most clearly demonstrate the
internationalisation of land and property investment. Since the mid 1960s,
British investment has been significant, but the 1980s saw foreign involvement
raised to a massive new level, especially by Japanese and other South East
Asian investors. Urban land in Australia is largely in private hands, but, as
elsewhere, the distribution is uneven, and a small number of insurance and
finance companies play a dominant role—Table 5.5. Important questions have
been raised about the domination of Australian cities by finance capital,
especially in terms of links between organisations and the representation of
property interests on city councils (Kilmartin and Thorns 1978). By 1973,
14.2 per cent of Sydney’s CBD buildings were foreign owned (Adrian and
Simpson 1986) and in 1976 a Foreign Investment Review Board was
established to control overseas investment. After 1980, a new wave of
investment flowed into Australian cities from Japan, Hong Kong and
Singapore. This took two forms: relatively small investments in residential
property which do not show up in official statistics, and large investments in
commercial real estate (Thrift 1986). South East Asian investors see Australia

Source: Financial Times: 3/10/90

Figure 5.1 Commercial land prices: Japan, 1970–90

Page 237



policies 11, 91; degree of
urbanisation 1, 9, 60–5, 89–91;
demand and supply for land 11, 12,
17, 73–5; extent and use of urban
land 43–57, 63, 65–9; home
ownership and housing market 3,
88–9, 107–8, 184–5; industrial
decline 10, 89–91, 178–80; land
policy 11, 41, 125, 127–32, 137–9,
140; land prices and values 56, 100;
ownership of land 3, 55–6, 93–123
passim, 137; planning controls 34–7,
38, 131, 133–4, 187; public
intervention 32, 33–5, 36, 37–40,
48–9, 187; public–private sector co-
operation 120–2, 128, 138;
redevelopment 125, 127–32, 137–9;
taxation 40–1, 135–6; vacant and
derelict land 150–6, 158–9, 163–76

United Nations Organisation, Global
Review of Human Settlements 1, 60–2, 65

United States 7, 8, 11, 25; change of
land use 3, 70–1, 89;
counterurbanisation 9, 180–1; degree
of urbanisation 1, 60–4, 88; ‘Edge
Cities’ 191; Geological Survey 46,
48; industrial decline 10, 88; land
policy 124, 126, 134, 144–8;
ownership of land 94, 95, 104–5,
107; public intervention 16, 33,
35–9, 41, 128; redevelopment 125,
128–9, 139; taxation 40–1, 135;
urban land use 65–6; vacant and
derelict land 157–8, 168, 170, 175;
zoning 37–9

universities 99, 182
Urban Development Action Grant,

USA 175
urban development corporations 33–4,

113, 120–2, 137–9, 172–3
urban fringe 126–7, 179, 181, 190–4; see

also out-of-town businesses
urban growth 70–3, 84, 117, 183–4, 189,

190; related to population size 61,

urban land: changes 3, 9–12, 75–92;
composition 65–70; definition of
44–5; density 60–1, 62, 79, 189;
extent 1–2, 53, 54, 60–5; landed
property owners of 99–100; nature
of 45; patterns of use modelled
17–32, 41; regional distribution

England and Wales 65; and taxation
39–41; use 22, 43–57; use for
transport 79–80, 89

‘Urban Policy Agenda’, USA 144
urban renewal 75–9, 89, 160–1, 165;

USA 144; W.Germany 141; see also
development; land restoration;

urban sprawl 131, 140, 189
Urbanistic Law (1942), Italy 143
use value of land 15–16, 18, 31, 95
USINOR steelworks, Denain 174
USSR see Russia

vacant and derelict land 150–76; causes
of 159–70; defined 150–1; docklands
166–9, 172; extent 151–5; in France
156–7, 174; and industrial decline
85–6, 160–1, 165–6; public sector
151, 154, 163–4; in UK 150–6,
158–9, 170–4; surveys of 54; in UK
150–6, 158–9, 170–4; in USA 157–8,
175; in W. Germany 157, 174–5; see
also land restoration

value of land 56, 67, 90, 162–3;
industrial 75; use or exchange 15–16,
18, 31, 95

Vancouver 168
Vermont 64, 145, 147
Veterans Administration, USA 139
Ville Radieuse, France 7
Vining, D.R. and Strauss, A. 9
Virginia 64, 80, 91, 146, 158
Von Thunen, J. H. 18

Wakeford, R. 145
Ward, C. 188, 189
Washington, DC 37, 146, 191
wasteland see vacant and derelict land
water supply 40, 89
Watson, G. 155, 165
Watts, H.D. et al. 165
wealth tax 135
Weber, Melvyn 188
welfare, private sector 187–8
Wells, H.G. 180
Wendt, P.F. 16
West Germany: changes in land use 71;

degree of urbanisation 60, 61, 62,
63, 64, 65; industrial decline 10, 165;
land policy and planning control 11,
35, 36, 135, 136, 141; ownership of

Similer Documents