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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chennai Urban Land Market Assessment

  • Author(s): Dowall, David E
  • Monkkonen, Paavo
  • et al.

This paper reports on the results of a land market assessment conducted in the Chennai Metropolitan Area in India. It provides detailed spatially disaggregated information on land use, population, and housing and land values for the metropolitan area. The assessment was a joint effort of the World Bank, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the Department of Geography at the University of Madras. The study was initiated in June 2003, and the underlying methodology and approach is provided by Dowall (1995).1 The CMDA was responsible for compiling detailed archival land-use information for the metropolitan area for 1971, 1981, and 1991. In addition, the CMDA interpreted IKONOS satellite images for 2001. The CMDA also built the socio-economic and housing database, linking together information on population, households and dwelling units from Government of India Censuses for 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001. The University of Madras’s Department of Geography was responsible for carrying out the extensive surveys of real estate brokers in the metropolitan area. A total of 688 observations were tallied on various types of residential and industrial land prices.

This paper adds to the growing research literature on urban land and housing markets in India.2 Over the past five years, detailed studies have been carried out on urban land market dynamics in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Taken together, these studies provide detailed assessments of urban land development and explore the various effects of urban planning and development control regulation on the spatial development of India’s leading urban regions. Most of these studies have been focused on policy rather than an assessment of the market from data on land values, so this paper presents something new.

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