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Research Seminars & Workshops @ IRES

Shaking up Christchurch: The 2011 Earthquakes and Barriers to Urban Growth

Assoc Prof Fu Yuming
Department of Real Estate, NUS

Date: 12 October 2016 (Wednesday)
Time: 1.00pm - 2.30pm
Venue: School Conference Room

Durable buildings and land use externalities often impede efficient urban growth. Recent literature shows that major disasters, such as the Great Boston fire of 1872 and the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, created valuable redevelopment opportunities to mitigate urban growth inefficiencies. Corroborating these studies, we find evidence of economic gains from anticipated neighborhood redevelopment in the aftermath of major earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011. Seismic hazards, which cause building obsolescence, raised land values in central neighborhoods with old housing stocks and in high-amenity neighborhoods where land subdivisions are less constrained. In the central area unaffected by seismic hazards, old neighborhoods have lower land values, consistent with the presence of negative externalities from inefficient land uses.

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