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RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

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  • Wetzel Dave
    A New Mobility Café member wrote: I agree with Professor David Begg s suggestion that the congestion charge extends to all roads within the M25. Were this to
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
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      A New Mobility Café member wrote:
      "I agree with Professor David Begg's suggestion that the congestion charge
      extends to all roads within the M25. Were this to happen more people may
      consider working, shopping and seeking entertainment within cycling distance
      of where they live, thus revitalising communities, high streets and
      improving people's general health. With the result that London would become
      a more pleasant place."

      I also agree, but congestion charging is not the only way to achieve this
      result.

      Land speculation, (i.e. withholding valuable town and city sites and
      buildings from use - denying communities jobs and affordable homes) is
      rewarded with ever increasing land prices. If these sites were brought into
      use, we would witness our communities becoming more sustainable. But how to
      achieve this?

      ANSWER:
      The payment of an Annual Land Value Tax (or Location Benefit Levy) on all
      sites would create an incentive for landowners and speculators to use their
      land, or allow others to do so.

      It could also provide transit authorities with the funds they need to
      improve transport and cycling conditions. After all, transit and improved
      environments create higher land values - so why not collect it - instead of
      giving it as an unearned gift to landowners?

      Happy New Year,

      Dave

      Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.




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    • Wetzel Dave
      Hi Clive, Many thanks for your contribution to this debate. You say: The location of land is supreme in decision making for business and land is only held
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
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        Hi Clive,
        Many thanks for your contribution to this debate.

        You say: "The location of land is supreme in decision making for business
        and land is only held back from the community where, local planning
        departments and councillors refuse to grant permission for schemes
        considered financially viable by developers. That commitment to develop
        directly reflects demand. Where demand is not reflected in supply; prices
        rise."

        1. Land is a finite resource. Any particular site can not be replicated by
        utilising any amount of labour or capital. So, each site enjoys a unique
        scarcity value created by Mother Nature. It is this location value that a
        Land Value Tax would collect annually.

        2. I can point you to many sites where planners have granted permission but
        the landowner chooses not to develop. There are also many brownfield sites
        where the landowner sits on a rising asset rather than seek planning
        permission and develop.

        You also write: "But this reflects the property cycle and change that and
        the market will falter. Canary Wharf and other centres would never have been
        developed."

        There is no reason why there should be a business cycle which I believe is
        predicated on "the property cycle". Robinson Crusoe didn't down tools every
        18 years or so and claim he couldn't hunt, he couldn't fish, he couldn't
        cultivate, he couldn't erect a new shelter - because his island was in the
        slump of the property cycle!

        Similarly, with Land Value Tax, we remove the distortions of the land market
        so that the property cycle (and hence the business cycle) is evened out.


        Happy New Year,

        Dave
        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
        Windsor House. 42-50 Victoria Street. London. SW1H 0TL. UK
        Tel: 020 7126 4200
        Intl Tel: +44 207 126 4200

        PA: Vicky Jennings 020 7126 4081
        Windsor House is close to New Scotland Yard. Buses 11, 24, 148 and 211 pass
        the door. (507 passes close by).
        Nearest Tube: St. James's Park Underground station.
        Nearest mainline stations: Waterloo and Victoria (Both a walk or short bus
        ride).
        Public cycle parking available outside Windsor House.



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Clive Harriss [mailto:clive@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:44 AM
        To: Wetzel Dave
        Subject: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

        David

        I'm a massive cycling enthusiast, tour de France spectator and mountain
        biker, with 12 bicycles, 3 tour de France team copies, and cycling is not a
        viable alternative. Even motor cyclists leave their bikes at home in bad
        weather

        The location of land is supreme in decision making for business and land is
        only held back from the community where, local planning departments and
        councillors refuse to grant permission for schemes considered financially
        viable by developers. That commitment to develop directly reflects demand.
        Where demand is not reflected in supply; prices rise.

        Holding onto land, without the benefit of planning is worthless. Speculating
        that planning will be granted in the future, shows foresight and stops
        futile development of land for purposes not in high demand, or substantial
        under development in the short term of an irreplaceable asset, that could be
        better utilised later. Sites are rarely left "fallow" on purpose. Again
        short term uses which are in high demand are often refused by planners or
        councils. The Olympic area will need concrete production, crushing and
        screening sites. Open storage for building materials and plant. Short term
        office and residential accommodation. Parking for workers and transportation
        vehicles. Any developing area needs these things, but often they are refused
        permission by the local authorities. This forces up land prices for these
        uses making land unavailable for development, because it's worth more for
        the support industry for development. So ultimately the materials, and
        products needed to build have to be transported further from these limited
        sites and temporary unattractive but necessary uses become permanent,
        detracting from an areas appeal for residential uses, forcing workers with
        freedom of choice and movement to move away from these locations, pushing
        prices up in other locations as residential demand increases in alternative
        locations.

        But this reflects the property cycle and change that and the market will
        falter. Canary wharf, and other centres would never have been developed.

        Regards
        Clive

        Clive B. Harriss
        Partner Business Space Agency
        Thomas Clive & Co
        49 High Street
        Harrow on the Hill
        Middlesex
        HA1 3HT
        Tel 020 8423 2130

         

         


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Wetzel Dave [mailto:Davewetzel@...]
        Sent: 04 January 2006 10:09
        To: 'NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

        A New Mobility Café member wrote:
        "I agree with Professor David Begg's suggestion that the congestion charge
        extends to all roads within the M25. Were this to happen more people may
        consider working, shopping and seeking entertainment within cycling distance
        of where they live, thus revitalising communities, high streets and
        improving people's general health. With the result that London would become
        a more pleasant place."

        I also agree, but congestion charging is not the only way to achieve this
        result.

        Land speculation, (i.e. withholding valuable town and city sites and
        buildings from use - denying communities jobs and affordable homes) is
        rewarded with ever increasing land prices. If these sites were brought into
        use, we would witness our communities becoming more sustainable. But how to
        achieve this?

        ANSWER:
        The payment of an Annual Land Value Tax (or Location Benefit Levy) on all
        sites would create an incentive for landowners and speculators to use their
        land, or allow others to do so.

        It could also provide transit authorities with the funds they need to
        improve transport and cycling conditions. After all, transit and improved
        environments create higher land values - so why not collect it - instead of
        giving it as an unearned gift to landowners?

        Happy New Year,

        Dave

        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.




        ****************************************************************************
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        any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be
        advised that you have received this email in error and that any use,
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        If you have received this email in error please notify
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        This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the
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        The contents of the e-mail and any transmitted files are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Transport for London hereby exclude any warranty and any liability as to the quality or accuracy of the contents of this email and any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly prohibited.

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      • Terence Bendixson
        Dave Maybe you ought to sit in the bath for a bit and ponder on your statement Land is a finite resource. Any particular site cannot be replicated by using
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
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          Dave

          Maybe you ought to sit in the bath for a bit and ponder on your statement
          'Land is a finite resource. Any particular site cannot be replicated by
          using any amount of labour or capital.'

          While you statement may be strictly true as a theory, in practice house
          buyers, developers and others usually have a choice of sites offering
          virtually the same characteristics. For instance, give me a budget and I
          will produce you a fistful of houses on sale in London that are very similar
          in space, surroundings and accessibility.

          Further more the Dutch have, by expanding considerable labour and capital on
          polders, increased their supply of land.

          Should we not expect that, whether government imposes land value taxes or
          road user charges, people will seek to minimize the amount they have to pay
          by moving out from cities to more rural districts. Urban land prices would
          then fall, attracting people back again until some new equilibrium
          established itself.

          Regards

          Terence Bendixson
          University of Southampton

          -----Original Message-----
          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of Wetzel Dave
          Sent: 04 January 2006 12:27
          To: 'Clive Harriss'
          Cc: 'Land Café ( lc1)'
          Subject: [LandCafe] RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

          Hi Clive,
          Many thanks for your contribution to this debate.

          You say: "The location of land is supreme in decision making for business
          and land is only held back from the community where, local planning
          departments and councillors refuse to grant permission for schemes
          considered financially viable by developers. That commitment to develop
          directly reflects demand. Where demand is not reflected in supply; prices
          rise."

          1. Land is a finite resource. Any particular site can not be replicated by
          utilising any amount of labour or capital. So, each site enjoys a unique
          scarcity value created by Mother Nature. It is this location value that a
          Land Value Tax would collect annually.

          2. I can point you to many sites where planners have granted permission but
          the landowner chooses not to develop. There are also many brownfield sites
          where the landowner sits on a rising asset rather than seek planning
          permission and develop.

          You also write: "But this reflects the property cycle and change that and
          the market will falter. Canary Wharf and other centres would never have been
          developed."

          There is no reason why there should be a business cycle which I believe is
          predicated on "the property cycle". Robinson Crusoe didn't down tools every
          18 years or so and claim he couldn't hunt, he couldn't fish, he couldn't
          cultivate, he couldn't erect a new shelter - because his island was in the
          slump of the property cycle!

          Similarly, with Land Value Tax, we remove the distortions of the land market
          so that the property cycle (and hence the business cycle) is evened out.


          Happy New Year,

          Dave
          Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
          Windsor House. 42-50 Victoria Street. London. SW1H 0TL. UK
          Tel: 020 7126 4200
          Intl Tel: +44 207 126 4200

          PA: Vicky Jennings 020 7126 4081
          Windsor House is close to New Scotland Yard. Buses 11, 24, 148 and 211 pass
          the door. (507 passes close by).
          Nearest Tube: St. James's Park Underground station.
          Nearest mainline stations: Waterloo and Victoria (Both a walk or short bus
          ride).
          Public cycle parking available outside Windsor House.



          -----Original Message-----
          From: Clive Harriss [mailto:clive@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:44 AM
          To: Wetzel Dave
          Subject: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

          David

          I'm a massive cycling enthusiast, tour de France spectator and mountain
          biker, with 12 bicycles, 3 tour de France team copies, and cycling is not a
          viable alternative. Even motor cyclists leave their bikes at home in bad
          weather

          The location of land is supreme in decision making for business and land is
          only held back from the community where, local planning departments and
          councillors refuse to grant permission for schemes considered financially
          viable by developers. That commitment to develop directly reflects demand.
          Where demand is not reflected in supply; prices rise.

          Holding onto land, without the benefit of planning is worthless. Speculating
          that planning will be granted in the future, shows foresight and stops
          futile development of land for purposes not in high demand, or substantial
          under development in the short term of an irreplaceable asset, that could be
          better utilised later. Sites are rarely left "fallow" on purpose. Again
          short term uses which are in high demand are often refused by planners or
          councils. The Olympic area will need concrete production, crushing and
          screening sites. Open storage for building materials and plant. Short term
          office and residential accommodation. Parking for workers and transportation
          vehicles. Any developing area needs these things, but often they are refused
          permission by the local authorities. This forces up land prices for these
          uses making land unavailable for development, because it's worth more for
          the support industry for development. So ultimately the materials, and
          products needed to build have to be transported further from these limited
          sites and temporary unattractive but necessary uses become permanent,
          detracting from an areas appeal for residential uses, forcing workers with
          freedom of choice and movement to move away from these locations, pushing
          prices up in other locations as residential demand increases in alternative
          locations.

          But this reflects the property cycle and change that and the market will
          falter. Canary wharf, and other centres would never have been developed.

          Regards
          Clive

          Clive B. Harriss
          Partner Business Space Agency
          Thomas Clive & Co
          49 High Street
          Harrow on the Hill
          Middlesex
          HA1 3HT
          Tel 020 8423 2130

           

           


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Wetzel Dave [mailto:Davewetzel@...]
          Sent: 04 January 2006 10:09
          To: 'NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com'
          Subject: RE: [NewMobilityCafe] walking and cycling in London

          A New Mobility Café member wrote:
          "I agree with Professor David Begg's suggestion that the congestion charge
          extends to all roads within the M25. Were this to happen more people may
          consider working, shopping and seeking entertainment within cycling distance
          of where they live, thus revitalising communities, high streets and
          improving people's general health. With the result that London would become
          a more pleasant place."

          I also agree, but congestion charging is not the only way to achieve this
          result.

          Land speculation, (i.e. withholding valuable town and city sites and
          buildings from use - denying communities jobs and affordable homes) is
          rewarded with ever increasing land prices. If these sites were brought into
          use, we would witness our communities becoming more sustainable. But how to
          achieve this?

          ANSWER:
          The payment of an Annual Land Value Tax (or Location Benefit Levy) on all
          sites would create an incentive for landowners and speculators to use their
          land, or allow others to do so.

          It could also provide transit authorities with the funds they need to
          improve transport and cycling conditions. After all, transit and improved
          environments create higher land values - so why not collect it - instead of
          giving it as an unearned gift to landowners?

          Happy New Year,

          Dave

          Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.




          ****************************************************************************
          *******
          The contents of the e-mail and any transmitted files are confidential and
          intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
          addressed. Transport for London hereby exclude any warranty and any
          liability as to the quality or accuracy of the contents of this email and
          any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be
          advised that you have received this email in error and that any use,
          dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly
          prohibited.

          If you have received this email in error please notify
          postmaster@....

          This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the
          presence of computer viruses.
          ****************************************************************************
          *******


          ****************************************************************************
          *******
          The contents of the e-mail and any transmitted files are confidential and
          intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
          addressed. Transport for London hereby exclude any warranty and any
          liability as to the quality or accuracy of the contents of this email and
          any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be
          advised that you have received this email in error and that any use,
          dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly
          prohibited.

          If you have received this email in error please notify
          postmaster@....

          This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the
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        • Jeffery Smith
          ... Don t expect that, since it s never happened. Rather, expect what has happened. Taxing or feeing land does not change how much one pays but to whom -
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
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            On Jan 4, 2006, at 10:29 AM, Terence Bendixson wrote:
            >
            > Maybe you ought to sit in the bath for a bit and ponder on your
            > statement 'Land is a finite resource. Any particular site cannot be
            > replicated by using any amount of labour or capital.'
            >
            > While you statement may be strictly true as a theory, in practice
            > house buyers, developers and others usually have a choice of sites
            > offering virtually the same characteristics.
            > Further more the Dutch have, by expanding considerable labour and
            > capital on polders, increased their supply of land.
            >
            > Should we not expect that, whether government imposes land value taxes
            > or road user charges, people will seek to minimize the amount they
            > have to pay by moving out from cities to more rural districts. Urban
            > land prices would then fall, attracting people back again until some
            > new equilibrium established itself.

            Don't expect that, since it's never happened. Rather, expect what has
            happened. Taxing or "feeing" land does not change how much one pays but
            to whom - one's community vs. a vacating owner. Even now, paying prices
            rather than taxes or land dues, people prefer central cities, as
            evidenced by higher site values there. And while different sites
            constantly come onto market, land is still much less flexible in supply
            than either labor or capital, both of which are vastly more mobile.

            Happy New Year!

            SMITH, Jeffery J., President, Forum on Geonomics
            3604 SE Morrison St, Portland Oregon 97214 USA
            503/234-0809; jjs@...; www.geonomics.org
            Share Earth's worth to prosper and conserve.
          • ADuffield1@aol.com
            In a message dated 04/01/06 21:41:09, t.bendixson@pobox.com writes:
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              In a message dated 04/01/06 21:41:09, t.bendixson@... writes:

              << Further more the Dutch have, by expanding considerable labour and capital
              on

              polders, increased their supply of land.

              >>

              Surely the Dutch have "improved" a natural resource formerly known as the sea
              bed? The resource has been changed by adding value. It has not "increased" in
              supply. An equivalent value (arguably) was removed the coastal fisheries in
              the process. Discuss.

              Andrew Duffield
            • Edward Dodson
              Ed Dodson (U.S.A.) responding... Terence Bendixson wrote: ... in practice house buyers, developers and others usually have a choice of sites offering virtually
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 4, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Ed Dodson (U.S.A.) responding...
                Terence Bendixson wrote:

                ... in practice house
                buyers, developers and others usually have a choice of sites offering
                virtually the same characteristics. For instance, give me a budget and I
                will produce you a fistful of houses on sale in London that are very similar
                in space, surroundings and accessibility.

                Ed Dodson here:
                Yes, this is certainly true, with a degree -- greater or lesser -- of
                constraint based on neighborhood characteristics. A parcel of land located
                in an historic district or one with unique locational characteristics will
                command a premium because of these surroundings. Moreover, the improvement
                thereon may be viewed by the larger society as a collectible, with
                restrictions on what changes, if any, may be made to the building by the
                owner. If one is talking about housing and other buildings without any
                unique characteristics (e.g., the suburbs of most U.S. cities and, I
                suspect, those of the U.K. as well) there are many options for buyers to
                choose from. At the same time, in virtually every metropolitan area I am
                familiar with there is a shortage of affordable housing. Wherever there is a
                strong economy and plentiful employment, land hoarding/speculation holds
                supply from development and drives up land prices. What we have come to call
                "workforce housing" here in U.S. is in serious short supply; only by huge
                public subsidy are housing units affordable to working families with incomes
                even at multiples of the area median income minimally being produced.

                ****

                Further more the Dutch have, by expanding considerable labour and capital on
                polders, increased their supply of land.

                Ed Dodson here:
                Well, yes, but only sort of. By converting sea floor to dry land, the
                community has created value as much as area. Ideally, the Dutch should have
                made these new locations available to users under a competitive leasing
                arrangement that adjusted annual lease payments periodically based on
                current market conditions. From what I have read, this approach was not
                taken. Perhaps someone in the Netherlands can shed light on what has
                occurred over time.

                ****

                Should we not expect that, whether government imposes land value taxes or
                road user charges, people will seek to minimize the amount they have to pay
                by moving out from cities to more rural districts. Urban land prices would
                then fall, attracting people back again until some new equilibrium
                established itself.

                Ed Dodson here:
                The U.S. experience with sprawling development and movement of population
                from the urban centers outward is not more complex than what one might
                expect. Many land investors have very deep pockets. If their carrying costs
                are low, they will acquire and hold land parcels for many years, decades
                even. Another aspect of this is absentee ownership by heirs, the children or
                grandchildren of long-term residents; once the elderly die, the property is
                converted to an investment property ("milked" for cash flow and
                depreciation) and often left to deteriorate until condemned and left vacant.
                In parts of our cities where the housing stock was building for workers in
                factories no longer present, the process of revitalization is prevented
                until the entire area is virtually abandoned and, with huge public subsidy,
                large-scale redevelopment can be undertaken.

                A good example of what all of these dynamics does to communities is the
                Watts section of Los Angeles. At the time of the riots in the late 1960s,
                land was sitting idle (and unemployment up around 75-80%) even as land
                prices asked by absentee owners prevented profitable development of any
                sort. This is more the norm than the exception.
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