Forty years of modelling rapid transit’s land value uplift in North America: moving beyond the tip of the iceberg

Christopher Donald Higgins, Pavlos S. Kanaroglou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Identifying and measuring the land value uplift (LVU) impacts of rapid transit are important for a number of reasons. However, despite the general notion that rapid transit does confer positive LVU benefits, our comprehensive and critical review of more than 130 analyses across 60 studies completed in North America over the past 40 years finds significant heterogeneity in research outcomes, leaving many significant questions unanswered. Beyond high-level differences in study inputs, we argue that a fundamental source of variability is a lack of empirical specificity from the use of proximity as the dominant way in which LVU benefits are captured. This use of a proxy leads to the potential for omitted variables and unobserved relationships, and exposes previous work to the potential for misvalued results. To overcome this issue, we outline recommendations for future research, namely a recognition of relative accessibility and the possibility of LVU impacts from transit-oriented development. Incorporating measures related to these factors into LVU models can reveal their implicit prices, resulting in research that is more theoretically inclusive, empirically comprehensive, comparable, and able to provide important information to inform policy analysis and prescription.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-634
Number of pages25
JournalTransport Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • accessibility
  • hedonic model
  • land value capture
  • Land value uplift
  • rapid transit
  • self-selection
  • transit-oriented development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation

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