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Landbanking in Red Deer Watson, Kenneth Frank

Abstract

This thesis is about "landbanking". The case study of Red Deer was chosen to illuminate the concept rather than vice versa. The case of Red Deer is interesting in itself but has a wider importance because the Federal Government in Canada and several Provincial Governments have recently pledged massive financial support of local "landbanks". This study is not a micro-empirical study of a particular land market but is concerned with a certain policy and its market implications. The focus is on landbanking as a system of urban land conversion in which government agencies play a direct and active role instead of a passive regulatory role. Landbanking has been a particularly confused and contentious topic, the first three chapters of this thesis attempt to clear away this confusion by an analysis of the concept and the relevant literature. Several distinct "schools of thought" on landbanking are identified and several erroneous conceptions are refuted. The economics of landbanking and particularly those issues relevant to a cost-benefit analysis are examined in depth in the methodology chapter. The next three chapters are a detailed case study of the Red Deer landbank from its inception to December 31, 1972. The legal framework of its operation, the administration of the program, the financial history of the program, and the policies that structured the landbank are examined. Example subdivisions are analysed. The final chapter, is a cost-benefit evaluation of the landbank which relies on the conceptual base established in the earlier chapters and the empirical data gathered in the case study.

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