1887

OECD Environment Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

English

Environmental Zoning and Urban Development

Natural Regional Parks in France

This study provides an empirical analysis of the effects of environmental zoning on urban development. It focuses on the case of Natural Regional Parks (NRPs) in France. Of the environmental zoning instruments used in France, NRPs extend over the widest physical area. The analysis uses a quasi-experimental empirical approach (difference-in-differences) to evaluate the effects of NRPs on urban development at the municipality level. Three potential side-effects of NRPs on urban development in the regulated area are investigated. First, the long-term effects of environmental zoning on housing and population flows are analysed using French National Census data in the period from 1968-2011. Second, annual data on building permits granted in the period from 2003-2012 are used to estimate the short-term effects of NRPs on housing supply. Finally, the effects of NRPs on land-use in the regulated area using high-resolution geospatial data are evaluated. The results of the empirical analysis reveal that NRPs have had heterogeneous effects on urban development in regulated areas. Compared to development in neighbouring areas, some NRPs have discouraged urban development in the regulated area, in line with their intended objectives. However, in other cases NRPs have actually favoured urban development. In most cases, however, the policy had no significant effect on urban development within the regulated area.

English French

Keywords: urban development, Natural regional parks, Environmental zoning
JEL: Q26: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources; Q24: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Renewable Resources and Conservation / Renewable Resources and Conservation: Land; R14: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / General Regional Economics / Land Use Patterns
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