by topics

Topic: Land development


Asian Development Bank

‘The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through loans, grants, research and technical assistance to its member countries, as well as investments in private companies.’ (Regional Knowledge Center, 2016)


Asian Infrastructure Development Bank

‘The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a new multilateral development bank founded to bring countries together to address the daunting infrastructure needs across Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB commenced its operation in January 2016 and has now grown to 77 approved members from all over the world. Its mission is to improve economic and social development in Asia by investing in high quality, financially viable and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.’ (Inter-American Development Bank 2017)


Belt and Road Initiative

‘The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposes developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with the intention of promoting economic cooperation among countries along the proposed routes. The Initiative has been designed to enhance the orderly free-flow of economic factors and the efficient allocation of resources. It is also intended to further market integration and create a regional economic cooperation framework of benefit to all.’(HKTDC, n.d.)


Bid rent

The amount land users are willing to pay for land on the basis of its distance from the Central Business District in a given city (O’Sullivan, 2012, p.128-130).


Build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT)

A project delivery mechanism in which a government entity grants to a private sector party the right to finance, design, construct, own and operate a project for a specified number of years. (Thomson Reuters, 2019)


Building Information Modelling (BIM)

‘Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.’ (Autodesk, 2019)


Circular economy
‘The circular economy aims to keep products and materials at maximum value and utility at all times. This is done through a combination of extending product lifetimes through reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing; increasing resource use intensity through sharing and product service system business models (such as leasing, instead of buying, business models); and recycling materials at the end of their life’ … ‘The circular economy draws its conceptual foundations from a number of existing theories and concepts that use biological systems as models for understanding industrial processes. These include industrial ecology, cradle to cradle, biomimicry and other notions of closing and slowing loops of production’ (Sharpe & Giurco, 2018, p.21).


Cost-benefit ratio

‘A benefit-cost ratio (BCR) is an indicator used in cost-benefit analysis to show the relationship between the relative costs and benefits of a proposed project, expressed in monetary or qualitative terms. If a project has a BCR greater than 1.0, the project is expected to deliver a positive net present value to a firm and its investors.’ (Hayes, 2019)


Development control
  1. An urban management process that ‘ensures the persistent growth and management of settlements with orderliness, improved settlement reflection, healthy and aesthetics. It also ensures that the environmental challenges as a result of settlement growth can be reduced to bearable levels’ (Vivan, Kyom, Balasom, 2013)
  2. The process of considering and granting or refusing permission for development. (Huxley, 2009, p.193)


Feasibility study

‘A feasibility study is an analysis that takes all of a project's relevant factors into account—including economic, technical, legal, and scheduling considerations—to ascertain the likelihood of completing the project successfully. Project managers use feasibility studies to discern the pros and cons of undertaking a project before they invest a lot of time and money into it. Feasibility studies also can provide a company's management with crucial information that could prevent the company from entering blindly into risky businesses.’ (Kenton, 2019a)


Financial viability

‘Financial viability is the ability to generate sufficient income to meet operating payments, debt commitments and, where applicable, to allow growth while maintaining service levels.’ (The Registrar of Community Housing, 2010, p.2)


Foreign direct investment

‘Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets, including establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company. Foreign direct investments are distinguished from portfolio investments in which an investor merely purchases equities of foreign-based companies.’ (Chen, 2019)


Green belts

Planning designation applying to specified areas at the edges of some towns and cities … which acts to preserve the openness of the countryside by restricting the type and scale of development which can be undertaken in rural locations around the main settlement. The designation was introduced after the Second World War amidst concerns that large tracts of countryside were being lost to urban sprawl as towns and cities spread outwards. (Manley, Foot & Davis, 2019)


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

‘Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a broad measurement of a nation’s overall economic activity. GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. GDP includes all private and public consumption, government outlays, investments, additions to private inventories, paid-in construction costs and the foreign balance of trade (exports are added, imports are subtracted). It may be contrasted with Gross National Product (GNP), which measures the overall production of an economy's citizens, including those living abroad, while domestic production by foreigners is excluded. Though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis, it can be calculated on a quarterly basis as well (in the United States, for example, the government releases an annualized GDP estimate for each quarter and also for an entire year).’ (Chappelow, 2019)


Gross Floor Area (GFA)

‘The Gross Floor Area of a building, as defined in Building (Planning) Regulation 23(3)(a), shall be “the area contained within the external walls of the building measured at each floor level (including any floor below the level of the ground), together with the area of any balcony in the building, which shall be calculated from the overall dimensions of the balcony (including the thickness of the sides thereof), and the thickness of the external walls of the building”’ (HKIS, 1999, p.10).


Land acquisition

‘The term 'land acquisition' means forcible acquisition of land from an unwilling seller and is distinct from a land purchase from a willing seller.’ (DownToEarth, 2015)


Land development

‘Land development refers to the conversion of land for the purpose of residential, commercial, industrial, or other activities.  Land development can be described by the type of land use in an area, as well as the characteristics of the development e.g. residential density.  Land development is an intermediate impact that results in a variety of other impacts on the physical environment which can potentially include the loss of sensitive habitats.  It is also associated with a demand for travel to and from the developed site, which in turn affects the transportation system.’ (Nilai Harta, 2015)


Land disposal units

‘The term ‘land disposal units’ is used to refer to land-based disposal facilities and includes landfills, surface impoundments, waste piles, land treatment units, injection wells, salt dome formations, salt bed formations, underground mines, and underground caves.’ (Rosenfield & Feng, 2011, p.161)


Land exchange

‘Development can also be permitted by means of a land exchange, whereby a land owner can surrender an existing land holding and be granted a new site, normally in site, to which modern conditions apply so that development will meet up-to-date planning requirements. Land exchanges also attract premium.’ (Legislative Council Secretariat, 1997, p.15)


Land use zoning

‘Zoning is a planning control tool for regulating the built environment and creating functional real estate markets. It does so by dividing land that comprises the statutory area of a local authority into sections, permitting particular land uses on specific sites to shape the layout of towns and cities and enable various types of development. Zoning has a relatively short history as a tool for land-use planning. It determines the location, size, and use of buildings and decides the density of city blocks’ (World Bank, 2015)


Lease modification

‘A lease modification is a change in the scope of a lease, or the consideration for a lease, that was not part of its original terms and conditions.’ (KPMG, 2018, p.2)



Projects ‘involving the politics of large-scale government investments in physical capital facilities’ … ‘to revitalize cities and stimulate their economic growth.’  (Altshuler & Luberoff, 2003, pp.1-2).


Plot ratio

‘Plot ratio is defined as the ratio between the gross floor area of a building and the area of the site on which it is erected (the Net Site Area).’ (Planning Department, 2018b, p.4)


Programme planning

‘Planning is a vital part of the programme and project management process. A plan is basically the route-map through the programme or project from start to finish.’ (Department of Finance, n.d.)


Public-private partnership (PPP)

‘Public-private partnerships involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks, parks, and convention centers. Financing a project through a public-private partnership can allow a project to be completed sooner or make it a possibility in the first place.’ (Kenton, 2019b)


Public works programme

‘Public works programmes are a subset of social protection programmes, generally defined as public labour‐intensive infrastructure development initiatives which provide cash or food‐based payments. Such programmes have a number of potential technical and political attributes. They provide income transfers to the poor through employment and are often designed to smooth income particularly during ‘slack’ or ‘hungry’ periods of the year and they often build infrastructure, such as rural roads, irrigation, water harvest facilities, tree plantation, school and health clinic facilities.’ (Holmes & Jones, 2011, p.6)


Residual value

‘The residual value is the estimated value of a fixed asset at the end of its lease or at the end of its useful life. The lessor uses residual value as one of its primary methods for determining how much the lessee pays in lease payments. As a general rule, the longer the useful life or lease period of an asset, the lower its residual value.’ (Kenton, 2019c)


Satellite cities

‘The basic characteristic of a satellite city is that it is a smaller city near a large metropolitan city which has its own local government and economy which is independent of the neighboring large city.’ (Planning Tank, 2019)


Site analysis

‘Carrying out an extensive site analysis [or context analysis] will assess wether development is financially feasible, and establish parameters to implement the best design that responds to the physical and environmental features of the site. A contextual analysis is a research activity that looks at the existing conditions of a project site, along with any imminent or potential future conditions. The purpose is to inform us about a site prior to the start of our design process so that our initial design thinking about a site can incorporate considered responses to the external conditions. An architectural site analysis will look at issues such as site location, size, topography, zoning, traffic conditions and climate. The analysis also needs to consider any future developments, or changes to the sites surroundings, such as a change of roads designations, changing cultural patterns, or other significant building developments within the area. Understanding the context of a site is key to enabling the designer to weave the new design in with the existing fabric of the site. It allows us to understand the existing opportunities, or problems in a site, and make informed decisions on how to respond to our findings. This response could be that the designed building reflects the surrounding context and is designed to be in sympathy, or perhaps to turn away or eliminate certain unwanted site conditions.’ (First in Architecture, 2018)


Site classification

Building sites are classified under Building (Planning) Regulations – ‘“class A site” (甲類地盤) means a site, not being a class B site or class C site, that abuts on one specified street not less than 4.5 m wide or on more than one such street; “class B site” (乙類地盤) means, subject to paragraph (2), a corner site that abuts on 2 specified streets neither of which is less than 4.5 m wide; “class C site” (丙類地盤) means, subject to paragraph (2), a corner site that abuts on 3 specified streets none of which is less than 4.5 m wide.’ (Hong Kong e-legislation, 2005)


Social Return on Investment (SROI)

‘Social Return on Investment (SROI) is an outcomes-based measurement tool that helps organisations to understand and quantify the social, environmental and economic value they are creating. Developed from traditional cost-benefit analysis and social accounting, SROI is a participative approach that is able to capture in monetised form the value of a wide range of outcomes, whether these already have a financial value or not. An SROI analysis produces a narrative of how an organisation creates and destroys value in the course of making change in the world, and a ratio that states how much social value (in £) is created for every £1 of investment.’ (NEF Consulting, 2019)


Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

‘The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.’ (United Nations, n.d.)


Total factor productivity

‘Total Factor Productivity (TFP) is the portion of output not explained by the amount of inputs used in production. As such, its level is determined by how efficiently and intensely the inputs are utilized in production.’ (Comin, 2006, p.1)

Reference List

Altshuler, A. & Luberoff, D. (2003). Mega-projects: The changing politics of urban public investment. Washington, D.C. : Cambridge, Mass.: Brookings Institution Press; Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Autodesk. (2019). What is BIM? Retrieved from

Chappelow, J. (2019). Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Investopedia. Retrieved from

Chen, J. (2019). Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In Investopedia. Retrieved from

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Department of Finance. (n.d.). Programme and project planning. Retrieved from

DownToEarth. (2015). All about the new land acquisition bill. Retrieved from–42035

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HKIS. (1999). Code of Measuring Practice. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from 

Hayes, A. (2019). Benefit-Cost Ratio – BCR. In Investopedia. Retrieved from

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Kenton, W. (2019b). Public-Private Partnerships. In Investopedia. Retrieved from

Kenton, W. (2019c). Residual Value. In Investopedia. Retrieved from

Legislative Council Secretariat (Research and Library Services Division). (1997). Land Supply in Hong Kong. Retrieved from

Manley, W., Foot, K., & Davis, A. (2019). Green Belt. In A Dictionary of Agriculture and Land Management. : Oxford University Press, Retrieved 26 Jun. 2019, from

Nilai Harta. (2015). Land Development Process and Property Development. Retrieved from

O’Sullivan, A. (2012). Urban economics (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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Rosenfield, P.E. & Feng, L.G.H. (2011). Chapter 12: Current Practices in Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal. Risks of Hazardous Wastes, p.155-168.

Sharpe, S., & Giurco, D. (2018). From trash to treasure: Australia in a take–make–remake world. Australian Quarterly, 89(1), 19-44. Retrieved from

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Vivan, E. L., Kyom, B. C. & Balasom, M. K. (2013). The Nature, Scope and Dimensions of Development Control, Tools and Machineries in Urban Planning in Nigeria. International Journal of Innovative Environmental Studies Research 1 (1), p.48-54.

World Bank. (2015). Zoning and Land Use Planning. Retrieved from