Topic: Landscapes of valuation
Keywords: land, valuation, property, conservation, national parks
When thinking about the countryside, most people associate different values with the land and soil
to which it is intimately tied. We can think of land as ‘nature’ that has to be conserved and
protected, as farmland that needs to be utilised for food production or simply as public space of
rural tranquility and beauty that should be open and accessible to everyone. In our modern society,
however, these different values are often in conflict. Yet, land has become one of the most valuable
and priced assets in the contemporary economy. But how can something as contested as land be
valued, commodified and priced? Which land can be traded and which not? Which land is valuable
and which is worthless? And what role does the commodification of rural land play in the broader
context of contemporary market economies?
To answer these questions, I propose a comparative empirical case study of land valuation in two
countries with two diverging histories of land use and conservation: Germany and the UK.