Common Value: Transferring Development Rights to make room for water

Besmira Dyca, Kevin Muldoon-Smith, Paul Greenhalgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


In 2019 floods made up 49 % of disasters and 43 % of disaster related deaths globally. Flooding is also the costliest natural disaster, with yearly estimated losses of $36.3 billion. In order to counter these challenges, the flood risk management (FRM) narrative is evolving towards integration of blue/green infrastructure (BGI), using projects that harness nature and mimic natural processes. However, there is very little research into how BGI-related innovations will be mainstreamed, nor, particularly, how they will be funded. In order to reflect upon this situation, this paper analyses current academic literature and international best practice in BGI and Land Value Capture (LVC) instruments - to form a novel conceptual framework that is designed to act as a staging post for new research into BGI and its practical delivery. Specifically, this analysis focuses on the Transferable Development Rights (TDR) instrument, which has enabled some planning authorities to successfully push forward their environmental agendas, through land conservation, including in flood prone areas. This gap in knowledge has multiple significance. Firstly, land management decisions related to BGI can have deep distributive-justice implications that need to be addressed. Secondly, there is an immediate need to pay for such FRM measures across the world. Thirdly, this financial imperative takes place against an international backdrop of reduced government funding in a time of deep structural change and Covid-19 pressure. Findings in this paper suggest that TDR has the potential to be a successful conduit for managing all three conditions. Yet, the success of TDR is closely linked to the specific legal, market and urban development contexts, which further research should explore within the framework of BGI implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-320
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Early online date13 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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