Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The wealth - nature boundary

Elements of the Dutch landscape - 14 - updated after finding more examples

During our walks we often pass through the village - nature boundary. Often the most expensive-looking houses are placed on this borderline.

There is nothing surprising about this. The most expensive houses should be located on the most expensive plots. And the most expensive plots should be those that border open views over land or water.

I have not had the time to read about this phenomenon in my "Urban economics" book, but I expect it will be explained there.

Hitland - Capelle aan den IJssel
A FENCE (Carl Sandburg - Chicago Poems)
Now the stone house on the lake front is finished
and the workmen are beginning the fence.
The palings are made of iron bars with steel points
that can stab the life out of any man who falls on them.
As a fence, it is a masterpiece,
and will shut off the rabble and all vagabonds and hungry men
and all wandering children looking for a place to play.
Passing through the bars and over the steel points will go nothing
except Death and the Rain and To-morrow.

Let us note however that Brussels for instance has a different sociospatial structure (see Goffette-Nagot et al. (2000)). Brueckner et al. (1999) cite three types of amenities: natural (parks or rivers for instance), historical (e.g. monuments) and modern ones (theaters, swimming pools, etc.).

Where in cities do ”rich” and ”poor” people live? The urban economics model revisited Remi Lemoy, Charles Raux, Pablo Jensen
It might be an artefact of a protected nature boundary. It you're looking out into a protected nature reserve there is a guarantee that your view will remain intact. This should enhance your property value.



  1. Yes, this is true in my part of the world, too. If there are big, expensive houses on a neighborhood street, you can always guess there is water or a cliff edge on the other side.

  2. on the wealth-nature boundary within dense cities... with the wealth often comes the increased privatisation of the public spaces and public footpaths immediately surrounding it, until it gets all the way to the edge of the water and you end up with tiny footpaths alongside urban rivers/waterways which seem to look more like prison walkways with extremely high walls, barbed wires, broken glass deterrents, and CCTV cameras pointed at you...