Explaining Value Capture Implementation in New York, London, and Copenhagen: Negotiating Distributional Effects

Simon van Zoest*, Tom A. Daamen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Value capture (VC) is widely cited as a method for local authorities to provide urban public goods to their cities in the face of fiscal stress. Its application in practice however remains limited. In this article, we aim to explain the implementation process of VC as a strategy to fund public transportation infrastructure through case studies in London, New York, and Copenhagen. Adopting a theory of gradual institutional change, we argue that the implementation of VC depends on the capacity to change distributional institutions that are inherently contested. Particularly relevant is the role of the beneficiary, whose support of VC is necessary but not likely. Our results show that a strategic urban development project can act as a driver to overcome this barrier, but that this driver can, simultaneously, also hinder the institutionalization potential of a VC strategy. We therefore suggest that, for VC strategies to become more commonplace, sharing value uplifts among beneficiaries must become more commonplace too.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Online First version.


The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Foundation for Area Development Knowledge (Stichting Kennis Gebiedsontwikkeling) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.


  • institutional change
  • physical infrastructure
  • urban development
  • urban public policies
  • value capture


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