South America provides a wealth of value capture case studies (see this UN/Lincoln Land Institute lecture for one example discussion). Recently, the folks over at CityLab, formerly Atlantic Cities, have posted a description of Brazil's most celebrated value capture mechanism. Brazil allows the designation of areas where building rights can be sold to developers and the proceeds reinvested in the same designated area. Transportation infrastructure, including transit, has been one favored investment option. According to CityLab, proposals to modify the mechanism include changes to the expenditure restrictions such that money can be spent on transit outside of the designated area, presumably on transit centers/services that would ultimately benefit the area. It seems like a decent idea in theory but certainly could open Pandora's box in practice. Let's watch and see what happens.
Ian Carlton is a transportation and land use expert specializing in transit-oriented development (TOD). He helps clients - including transit agencies, planning departments, and landowners - optimize real estate development around transit.
Special thanks to Burt Gregory at Mithun for permission to use the Portland Streetcar image above.