Financing of urban public infrastructure from developer contributions: a review of New South Wales and United States practice

Developer contributions are an integral component of the planning and provision of infrastructure in many western countries. In the United States, the system of "exactions" is most well developed, providing for a comprehensive range of urban public goods. In NSW, the system of s94 contributions is currently the focus of critical evaluation. This study focuses on tests and principles that are fundamental to the system: nexus, proportionate share, and reasonableness. These are shown to have widespread application in the US and elsewhere. The recent Simpson Inquiry into the operation and practices associated with s94 highlights key areas where more rigorous and sophisticated planning practice is required, in particular, with regard to establishing nexus and the integration of financial with environmental planning. The literature review reveals that contributions are significant tools for growth management; accurately designed fee systems can both induce urban consolidation and be equity neutral. Effects on housing affordability are minor and on balance do not outweigh the positive gains derived from communities fully serviced with a complete range of physical and social infrastructure. Developer contributions are not merely taxes on development, but planning regulations and as such require studies and appropriate plans to document and warrant them. Directions for enhanced planning practice, post-Simpson, are discussed. There may be added inducements to a more rigorous approach from the current stringent economic and political context, however, it may be likely that other innovative methods of financing infrastructure will need to be considered also. The study confirms that developer contributions have significant advantages for planning appropriate, timely and equitable provision of infrastructure.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 115p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 32

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01433449
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 0858980630
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 5:42PM