"Who Pays, Who Benefits, Who Decides? Property Developers and the Political Economy of Urban Growth," presented by Carol E. Heim, professor of economics.
Property developers reap a return sometimes called "development gain," which is over and above the ordinary rate of profit. They often use legal and political means to increase their share of economic value created through urban development. Their interests are sometimes, but not always, in alignment with the public good. Historical research on the boom cities of Chicago and Phoenix, particularly concerning infrastructure finance, illustrates their goals and activities. Examination of current policy issues in cities such as Houston and Miami, which are facing severe impacts of natural disasters and climate change, also provides opportunities to explore the role of developers in U.S. cities and suburbs