Capturing the value of location

imageThe Hudson Yards development in New York City used a TIF-like district to help fund transit, though it’s an “unfavorite” example of value capture for Deborah Salon. (Image: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, Flickr)

When people and businesses have more direct access and connections to each other that increases productivity which in turn creates value. When transit is used to create those connections, some of that value can be captured to help fund transit. That’s the idea behind value capture.

While value capture is used around the world—and in some cases like Hong Kong it’s used to such an extent that the transit system turns a profit—the practice is receiving more attention in the U.S. as a new strategy to fund transit. Value capture can be a powerful tool, but it’s not necessarily appropriate in every circumstance.

This month on Building Better Communities with Transit we chat with Professor Deborah Salon of Arizona State University about value capture and her research on the topic. Deborah talks about the difference between location value capture and land value capture—it’s not just about real estate—and how institutional structure, entrepreneurship, and creativity play into successfully using value capture. We also chat about where location value capture shouldn’t be used and whether certain mechanisms such as TIF take too much value for individual projects.

Building Better Communities with Transit is intended to provide more support to communities and local leaders who are working to catalyze new development around transit, give more people access to public transportation, increase access to opportunity, and build robust local economies. You can find this episode—and all of our previous episodes—on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Checkout all the episodes at’s podcast page. A new episode is released every month!

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