A theoretical and empirical argument for centralized regional sewer planning

Arthur C. Nelson, Gerrit J. Knaap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


It has long been taken as an article of faith that there are public benefits to centralized sewer service districts operating on a regional scale. Yet this belief, in our opinion, has never been adequately tested. We use capitalization theory to formulate such a test. Planners argue that regional sewer planning done on behalf of and implemented by a regional sewer agency may offer benefits in the form of scale economies, a high level of comprehensive and coordinated infrastructure and land use planning among jurisdictions within the region, and processing efficiencies. These benefits should result in development savings that are capitalized in a competitive land market. In this paper, we apply a model of our theory to a case study. Our redults suggest that centralized regional sewer planning does offer land development savings that are capitalized into land values. We offer several implications that this paper has for regional planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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