The monetary value of urban form: Examining the relationship between accessibilities and attractiveness in Oslo
Doktorsavhandling, 2023

Today and for the foreseeable future we experience a global urbanisation, which requires development of buildings, roads, and plots, also called urban form. Most often it is urban planning and design that determine changes in urban form, and it should be valuable with knowledge of its monetary value. Considering both the rapid urban development and that buildings and roads are slow variables in cities, it should be an important factor for urban planning and design to be aware of the value created or lost with proposed development. This research aims to examine the nature of the monetary value of urban form by reviewing prior research and through hedonic modelling empirically estimate the marginal willingness to pay for location in Oslo, Norway. The review is conducted through an overview of previous projects from practice on the topic and a systematic review of peer reviewed papers. The empirical examination is principally built on the connection of a geographic model to quantify urban form, and an economic model to estimate monetary values. Two empirical studies are carried out to first estimate the intrinsic monetary value in urban form, and second to investigate how the monetary value changes with distance to amenities, such as parks. The findings suggest that there are indeed monetary values connected to urban form and that urban form variables in comparison with more commonly used variables to describe location have a higher explanatory degree in the economic model. The empirical findings also suggest that there are clear non-linear relationships between distance to amenities and price, indicating that not only urban form influence housing prices but also the composition of urban form. The results provide knowledge to the planning and design practice to appreciate attractiveness of aspects of plans and designs. The results also bring new knowledge to the research field of urban morphology of the monetary value of urban form and shed light on methodological deficiencies in the research field of urban economics.

urban economics

monetary value


hedonic price model

urban form


urban design

urban planning

EC-salen, Hörsalsvägen 11, Göteborg
Opponent: Örjan Sjöberg, Stockholm School of Economics


Axel Heyman

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Stadsbyggnad

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Contemporary urbanisation puts enormous pressure on cities worldwide to develop housing and workplaces. The urban growth is in most cases beneficial for a city’s economy, at least in a western context, which has been thoroughly investigated. However, how components in the physical environment, such as buildings, streets, or parks, are connected to economic value has been much less explored. Furthermore, the eventual value of how the components are configurated in the geography has been even less explored. This thesis draws from methods from both urban morphology and urban economics to investigate if and how economic value can be attributed those components and their composition and configuration.

The thesis finds that there indeed is economic value in the physical components, such as buildings and parks, decided on in planning and design practice. It is also found that how these components are configurated in the geography affects the value.

These answers could be relevant for urban planning and design practice, where decisions on alternative designs or whether or not to develop a site could be informed. Since urban planning and design practice is politically controlled but market-driven, the possibility to ascribe economic value to different designs could possibly better facilitate planning processes and hopefully help develop more sustainable and thriving cities.


Hållbar utveckling


Ekonomisk geografi




Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 5268



EC-salen, Hörsalsvägen 11, Göteborg

Opponent: Örjan Sjöberg, Stockholm School of Economics

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