‘Urban land economics deals with the processes and patterns of land utilisation’, according to an older textbook,1 which points out that it is part of land economics, which is in turn part of economics as a whole. However, land economics as a subject covering all forms of land use has not (probably unfortunately) developed in the way envisaged by the inter-War pioneers in the USA, so that ‘urban economics’ may be considered a preferable term to ‘urban land economics’. The latter term is certainly misleading if it implies a merely two dimensional approach: the economics of buildings are an integral part of its subject matter. However, ‘urban land economics’ has come to indicate a certain type of emphasis. It is primarily concerned with the way in which buildings are developed, managed and used, and is associated with the institutional inclinations of the ‘Wisconsin School’.2 This approach does not disparage economic theory. But it tries to combine simple theory with an analysis of institutional factors; it does not, for example, regard as particularly useful the ‘new urban economics’ which constructs an elaborate but purely theoretical edifice, with no discussion of the laws or institutions of the. ‘real world’ (Chap. 6). We will therefore retain the term ‘urban land economics’.
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