Government land, buildings, and infrastructure constitute the lion’s share in local public wealth on the government balance sheet. Their underutilization and inadequate profitability impact the urban economy and spatial shape negatively. Some of the main reasons for the unmet potential of state property are the lack of expertise, excessive state control/corruption, political pressure for short-term fixes versus long-term investments, and an inadequate legal and institutional framework. These problems are compounded by minimal integration of state property with city policies, plans, budgets, and priorities.
The TDD provided a platform for knowledge exchange and structured learning on key topics related to state property management. It also provided an opportunity for World Bank client country delegations to develop a deeper understanding of good practices from Japan and other countries for designing state property management strategies and implementing them at the national and local level. The TDD discussed experiences around developing effective and transparent systems for state property management with up-to-date and accessible information technology, the role of institutions in state property and asset inventory and management, real estate investment methods, and public-private partnerships (PPPs) as an engagement model.
The TDD delegation visited Tokyo Midtown, a former Self-Defense Forces site, and learned about state property investment through private development and transfer of state land. At another site, Toko-Ichiba in Yokohama, participants learned about use of public land in peri-urban areas and integrated territorial development. Yokohama’s prominent public property management cases, including Minato Mirai, were useful in explaining how cities can develop a financial strategy based on the assets and land they manage.
Japan’s experience with public property asset management at the national and local levels— especially about local government financing, housing, and industrial/investment promotion— presented a significant opportunity for knowledge sharing and collaborative learning. Participants drew from different approaches and experiences discussed during the TDD, including state land management regulatory and executive frameworks, land value capture, and local government financing — from diagnostic/inventory to implementation.