Module 3, Assignment 5

Module 3, Assignment 5

1. Learn about these two projects developed by activists concerned about high housing costs and homelessness in cities with vacant land in Australia and New York.

  • I Want to Live Here” campaign. Investigate how young activists in Melbourne, Australia have surveyed areas from the seat of a bike, recording vacancies and then cross referencing them via google earth. The findings show there is over two years worth of auctionable property in the region, disproving the fallacy that ‘land supply’ is the cause of affordability pressures. What trends can you see from the photos?
  • Outrageous housing costs! Sky-high taxes! Deteriorating public services! Poverty... homelessness... urban decay... So why does New York City have 22.2 square miles of vacant land? Learn what land rights and land value capture activists are discovering about a great city with great problems by exploring their website.

2. Call public officials in your city or region and find out who is responsible for planning. Ask if there is a website with planning information. Compose questions about planning. Contact the planners and ask them your questions. Ask if they are aware of the benefits of land value capture (also sometimes called “land value taxation”) and its relevance to planning. If they are, ask them if they are actively working with public finance and budget directors to implement this policy. If they are not aware of this approach, send them information about it by email or post. Call them back in a few days and ask if they have any questions or any interest in more information. If the planners have questions you cannot answer, note these, then get back to your course facilitator who will assist you with answers and possible next steps.