Exploring How Land-Based Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation Intersect with Property Values and Municipal Finance

The impacts of climate change are being felt across the world through increased flooding, extreme heat, persistent drought, and more powerful wildfires and storms. Communities must find ways to adapt and integrate climate resilience measures into everyday decision- making. Implementing these land-based adaptations will be more effective if the strategies are linked with other objectives to create co-benefits and manage trade-offs.  

The Lincoln Institute issued a call for research proposals to expand our understanding of how land policy and land-based approaches to climate change adaptation intersect and interact with topics and issues within four of the institute’s high-level goals: low-carbon, climate-resilient communities and regions; fiscally healthy communities and regions; efficient and equitable tax systems; and functional land markets and reduced informality.  

The commissioned research papers offer findings that can inform public policy and practice across a diverse set of topics, including climate-informed zoning, land value capture, green infrastructure, and more. 

Research Papers

The Effects of Flood Buyouts and Green Infrastructure on Nearby Property Values 

Ryun Jung Lee, Wayne Day, Alexander Abuabara, Galen Newman, and Walter Peacock 

This paper identifies the effects of flood buyout activity and tree canopy coverage on nearby property values in Harris County, TX. The results point to the possibility of a reduction in the local tax base as a result of the low maintenance of flood buyout properties. 

Willingness to Pay for Climate Adaptation: International Case Studies on Private Developers’ Preparedness to Contribute to Urban Climate Adaptation 

Erwin van der Krabben, Alexander Lord, James H. Spencer, and Stephen Buckman 

This study uses a comparative case study approach of three cities – Charleston (United States), Liverpool (United Kingdom), and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) – to analyze the current and prospective role of land value capture and real estate developer contributions in inclusive urban climate adaptation strategies. 

Green Infrastructure, Home Values, Land Value Capture, and Equitable Property Assessment 

Jeffrey P. Cohen, Michael Dietz, and Yuchen Huang 

This research paper highlights the current and projected impacts of green infrastructure on housing prices in New Haven, Connecticut, and how the resulting rise in property values could be used to fund additional projects. 

Effects of Flood Hazard on Property Prices in Cape Town, South Africa 

Claus Rabe and David Karpul 

This paper investigates the impact of flood risk on residential property prices in Cape Town, South Africa, and examines flood mitigation projects proposed for two low-density suburbs. 

The Case for Climate-Informed Zoning: A Study of Fiscal Impact in Norfolk, VA  

Katherine Burgess, Michael Rodriguez, Jordan Howard, Jared Klukas, and Megan Wright 

This report examines the economic and social impact of resilience zoning in Norfolk, Virginia, which offers a cutting-edge example of climate-informed policy through the adoption of two land use plans. 

Can Removing Development Subsidies Promote Adaptation? The Coastal Barrier Resources System as a Natural Experiment  

Hannah Druckenmiller, Yanjun (Penny) Liao, Sophie Pesek, Margaret Walls, and Shan Zhang 

This study focuses on one approach to discouraging development in risky areas: eliminating implicit public incentives for development, such as infrastructure investments, disaster assistance, and subsidized federal flood insurance.  

Climate Mitigation, Land Value

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