Does Comprehensive Land-Use Planning Improve Cities?

Keith R. Ihlanfeldt


Comprehensive land-use planning is growing in popularity among U.S. state and local policymakers. This popularity is based on the belief that planning enhances community welfare; however, there is little empirical evidence in support of this belief based upon U.S. data. This paper uses unique data from the state of Florida to estimate the effect on house value of a local community’s commitment to comprehensive planning. If planning enhances community welfare, this should be reflected in higher housing values. The results suggest that a balanced budget expansion in per capita comprehensive planning expenditures enhances community welfare. (JEL H72, R52)

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