The archipelago of value: space, expertise and the politics of land value capture in contemporary Paris

Authors: Martine Drozdz*, CNRS LATTS UMR8134
Topics: Urban Geography, Europe, Economic Geography
Keywords: LVC ; Land ; value_capture ; valuation ; expertise ; experts ; Paris
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 34
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Over the last thirty years, the development of urban and infrastructural development projects in many cities went hand in hand with the creation of new financial and legal technologies in order to “unlock” and capture potential sources of rising values in the built environment. The circulation of these new tools contributed to transforming practices and modes of reasoning not only among real estate professionals but also within municipal and state administrations, who eagerly or reluctantly, started to experiment with these new instruments. Traditional expertise in architecture and the design of urban projects would, insidiously or straightforwardly, be put in competition with other rationales that colonised, or even overtook, previous forms of knowledge, codification, and representation of the built environment and its value. This paper reflects on this transformation in central Paris, using a large-scale urban development project as a focus. By using a grounded approach, attentive to the various rationalities of experts involved in the definition of the project over the course of its development over three decades, the paper exposes the logics, practices, and instruments used to increase and capture the land value rises within the constraints of the Paris context. Exploring with a geographical lens the politics of knowledge around these arrangements, it shows how the current building code, spatially fragmented, reflects diverging conceptions of value among experts, and how this competition has led to the coexistence, within the same project, of different value capture configurations.

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