chapter  4
20 Pages

Urban Property Development

ByMark Deakin

Remarkable as it may seem, urban property development and sustainable development are matters that have not previously been linked together and, what is more, the connection which this in turn has to sustainable urban development remains unclear. One of the main reasons for this lies with the tendency to see urban property development as an exclusively technical exercise, linked to property market analysis, valuation and investment appraisal. As has recently been pointed out, this traditional representation of urban property has tended to limit our understanding of the development process to the analysis and pricing of market transactions without due knowledge of the environmental, economic or social structures forming the substance of urban property development. Wishing to break free from the limitations of purely market-based representations of urban property, a number of researchers have called for us to transform our understanding of the development process and base urban property development on a knowledge of its environmental, economic and social content. The challenge which this poses is considerable, for in responding to the call for us to break free from the conventions of urban property and transform our understanding of the development process, it is noticeable that the resulting representation of urban property development suggests little is still known about the environmental, economic, or social content of this process. As the majority of researchers point out, this is unfortunate because it limits not only our understanding of urban property, but also our knowledge of how the development process relates to the discourse on sustainable development-how in that sense urban property development breaks with conventions-be it of the traditionalist, or more radical, positions-and becomes sustainable.