FIG Peer Review Journal


Distribution of Costs and Profits in Danish Urban Development (3441)

Michael Tophøj Sørensen and Finn Kjær Christensen (Denmark)
Dr. Michael Tophøj Sørensen
Associate Professor
Aalborg University
Fibigerstræde 11
Aalborg East
Corresponding author Dr. Michael Tophøj Sørensen (email: tophoej[at], tel.: + 45 9940 8415)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2009-02-16
Received 2008-12-01 / Accepted 2009-02-16
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2009 in Eilat, Israel and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2009
ISBN 978-87-90907-73-0 ISSN 2307-4086


Most countries have a system - procedures and tools - for foreseeable, clear and fair distribution of costs and profits in urban development. However, the distribution of profits and costs between the municipality and the developers/investors/landowners is in Denmark rather fragmented and not very transparent as the distribution is regulated throughout the whole planning and environmental regulation system. Furthermore, development agreements – an “old” tool in many countries, and an efficient tool to distribute profits and costs between the public and private sector - have only recently become possible in Denmark, and only under some special circumstances. This paper aims to clarify how costs and profits are distributed between the municipality and the developers/investors/landowners in Denmark. The paper analyses how the Danish planning and environmental regulation system handles this issue. Based on the analysis an overview will be constructed. Finally, the paper discusses whether the Danish “distribution model” is fair or not, and who holds the best ”set of cards” in the distribution of profits and costs in the urban development process.
Keywords: Land management; Spatial planning; Implementation of plans; Real estate development; Legislation