Selected Land Use Theory
- Locational versus land use explanations of spatial structure
- Three-dimensional 'space' versus two-dimensional 'land' (Kohl)
- Land as a source of wealth: Population and urban growth (Henry
- Rent & Utility: dependent variables in land use models
- David Ricardo's fertility rent
- Johann Heinrich von Thünen
1819: first draft of "The Ideal State"
1826: first edition
1842: second edition
- The Thunen Model
- (Initial) Assumptions
- Objective Function: Maximization of rent (per unit of
- Transportation & Transport Costs: linear transport
cost/ distance function
- Production/ cultivation: single products/ spatially
uniform cost structures
- Markets: at center only; given prices
- (Linear) location rent gradient for one crop:
- Several competing crops,
all with linear rent functions
- Conditions for zone/ring formation
- Characteristics for center-proximic vs. peripheral
- Several centers, boundaries of resource hinterlands,
- Substitution among inputs, variable land use intensity
disaggregating the cost function and allowing for transport costs and
(spatial) price variations for inputs:
- labor (wage rates)
- monetary capital (interest rates variable in space?)
- capital goods & material inputs
- purchased at center (or elsewhere)
- produced on premises (spatially variable
- Farm size, scale economies, organizational considerations
- Multiple crops/ joint production; "interculture";
- Technological change
- in transportation
- in production (intensity increasing or decreasing or
neutral technological change)
- Labor-saving, capital-saving, land-saving etc.
- Technological change overcoming physical factors
- Population growth or decline, demand changes, price variations
- A dynamic von Thunen model with market uncertainty and
recursive adjustments over time; (see Day & Tinney)
- Insights gained, principles derived, applications, critique
- Readings in Agricultural Location & Land
- Urban Land Use, the Alonso Model
- Determinants of urban land use
- Basic indifference functions (Alonso, Ch.4, pp.59-61)
- Derivation of bid price surfaces for households (Alonso, pp.62ff)
- Location of urban businesses
- Third dimension, urban "space"
- Insights gained, applications, extensions, critique
Internet Sites Related to Land Use:
The Land Institute
The Land Institute has worked for over 20 years on the problem of
agriculture. Our purpose is to develop an agricultural system with the
ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that
from annual crops.
- Lincoln Institute of Land
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, is a nonprofit and tax-exempt educational institution
established in 1974. Its mission as a school is to study and teach about
land policy, including the economics of land use. Integrating the theory
and practice of land policy and understanding the forces that influence it
are the major goals of the Institute.
The focus of programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is on three
broad areas of land and land-related tax policy. These are: Land values,
ownership & property rights; taxation of land & buildings; land use &
Agricultural Location and
Urban Economic Geography &
Guide Home Page
Problems: Land Consumption and Threat to Farmland.
The agricultural landscape which surrounds most of our cities and towns is
being converted to development at a still accelerating rate. Farmland is
lost as subdivisions and malls with large parking lots are built. Asphalt
Graduate Urban Economics Course Outline
Urban Economics (Spring 1996) Course Outline. This
course will treat the set of topics typically covered in a
graduate urban economics course. (Bibliography!)
Editorial: Soccer fields forever or farms
for the future?
Seattle Times, Sunday, April 6, 1997.
No rosy sunset in the Growth Management Act
[Seattle Times, Tuesday, March 11, 1997]
House Bill 2244, the Legislature's look at the state Growth Management Act
(GMA), gets too far ahead of itself with a recommendation that
controversial hearings boards go out of business in December 1999
Abrams, Charles. "The Use of Land in Cities," Scientific American,
September 1965, pp.151ff.
Harrison S. Campbell, Jr.,
Residential Land Use 
Fujita, M., "Urban Land Use Theory," in Location Theory (Fundamentals of
Pure and Applied Economics, Vol.5), (1986),
73-149, Section 1. (A good survey)
Platt, Rutherford H., Land Use and Society: Geography, Law, and Public
Policy. Island Press, 1996. (Paperback, $30.--)
- A surplus (profit) or 'residual' accruing to a factor of
production; here: accruing to land; resulting from some advantage, e.g.
from a locational advantage.
- Rent Gradient
- A representation of the decline in rent with
distance from market (center).
- Intensive Agriculture
- System of farming characterized by
relatively high levels of factor inputs (capital [including fertilizer]
and/or labor] per unit of land.
- Bid Price / Bid Rent Curve/Function
- A set of combinations of land
prices and distances among which the individual (or firm) is indifferent;
describes prices that the household (firm) would be willing to pay at
varying locations in order to achieve a given level of satisfaction
(utility/ profits). Bid price functions represent hybrid
combinations of indifference surfaces and budget constraints.
Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Urban Planning (Courses & Programs)
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