Land Value Capture and Social Benefits: Toronto and São Paulo Compared
This research compares land value capture in São Paulo, Brazil and Toronto, Canada. LVC refers to the public sector’s recovery of part or all of the land value increments through taxes, fees, exactions or through improvements to benefit the community. While privately-held land often increases in value due to public investments in infrastructure, economic development, changes in land use or population growth, a justice-oriented rationale holds that such profit should belong to all city inhabitants. In São Paulo, a tool called outorga onerosa do direito de construir (OODC) allows developers to pay for development rights in exchange for social goods and local urban services. In Toronto, the tool known as Section 37 allows developers to trade development rights for cash or in-kind contributions. When viewed from the perspective land value capture, the case of OODC in São Paulo provides an interesting juxtaposition to the case of Section 37 in Toronto. Using land value capture, municipalities may both promote social benefits and gain a strategy to further urban development and infrastructure.
This project was a joint initiative of the University of Toronto (Global Cities Institute) and the University of São Paulo (Institute of International Relations). As cities – especially global cities – take on more and more important powers and functions, they begin to operate at levels of government and geography that transcend the local context in which they are embedded. These initiatives and programs are often called “paradiplomacy.” The project funded two meetings in each city to compare the cities in terms of governance, their general role as subnational governments in international relations, and the kinds of initiatives they have been taking which transcend or overlap with their local functions.
See GCI’s report on events in São Paulo in December 2014 here, in Toronto in April 2015 here, more information on the University of Toronto-University of São Paulo research partnerships here, and an article mentioning the UofT-USP project here.
This research explored the impact of the graduate-level community-engaged learning (CEL). The research had the objective to investigate the impact of the CEL experience on the knowledge and skills (both theoretical and applied) of graduate students and to examine the impact of the work of graduate service learning on students within the relevant communities. The research explored how CEL may be deepened in graduate education.
Through work at Toronto Community Housing and later at Canadian Policy Research Networks, I explored links between food security and housing, with a particular focus on community food security, an alternative approach for dealing with food insecurity that applies participatory community development strategies.
To read Towards Food Security Policy for Canada’s Social Housing Sector, click here.
To read the Toronto Community Housing Community Gardening Manual, click here. To see the Resource Guide, click here.
Through work at UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) in Rio de Janeiro, I produced an evaluation tool to measure the Millennium Development Goals for community-based organizations working in self-built housing. This tool included indicators to raise awareness on the MDGs and to promote debate on the social production of habitat and local development.