Understanding Land and Value: the Cost and Benefits of the Oxford Tract in an Ecological Economics Framework

Allegra Saggese : Environmental Economics and Policy and Rhetoric

Mentor: Alastair Iles, Environmental Science, Policy & Management

Land serves as the primary source of energy in the world. UC Berkeley’s Oxford Tract is currently under consideration for development from a student garden and research facility to a student housing project. Allegra will create and subsequently critique a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project versus its current use, bringing forward underlying assumptions which justify costs and benefits that both connect and avoid the relationships land use has to greater ecological systems and constraints. Comparing traditional techniques for economic and financial modeling deployed in land development with ecologically nested models of the economy, Allegra will drive towards defining value and its determination in the case of land use. She hopes to identify tensions between current economic methodology and ecological conceptions of value.