Financialising space through transferable development rights

14th Jun 2017

Financialising space through transferable development rights: Urban renewal, Taipei style

new article available Online First by Daniel You-Ren Yang and Jung-Che Chang


This research investigated the uneven geography of gentrification and the derived community-based conflicts in Taipei’s urban renewal after 2006, which has chiefly been boosted by transferable development rights (TDR). In this context, we argue that TDR has developed a monetary function, and we introduce the notion of strategic monopoly rent to reconceptualise TDR. Accordingly, we propose an institutionalised rent gap model from the perspective of investigating the institutional increase and social dispossession of the rent gap, which have been boosted by the financialised TDR and strategically structured by the state and developers under the regulation of property rights exchange. This system appreciates the potential ground rent and depreciates the building value institutionally – a practice not related to the actual occurrence of its physical deterioration. Landowners are either encouraged or coerced to participate in the distribution of the enlarged rent gap. Two forms of the social dispossession of ground rent have occurred, including the dispossession of the landowners as a whole by the developer and the dispossession of one landowner by another. We argue that the gentrification system has produced the mal-effects of surging housing prices, enclosure, dispossession, displacement and social antagonism.

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