This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.
Land value is an attribute tracked in Cities Skylines that represents the price of a particular piece of land. Higher level residential and commercial buildings are only built on land that has a high land value. To increase land value, areas need city services and parks or other decorations. Pollution and crime decrease land value.
The land value is visualized on the map via info view for land value. To see a number for the average land value per square meter, see City Information. There is no known statistics for land value as of yet.
Increasing Land Value
A high land value is a requirement for max level residential, commercial, and office zones, though it is not a factor in industrial zones, which have different requirements to level up. While similar in some ways, land value should not be confused with happiness. A citizen can be happy in a low land value area. Land value can be increased by providing citizens all services including education, fire and police stations, medical and death care, public transportation, and leisure. Parks and plazas are synonymous with land value, and placing them around your city is often an effective way to boost it. The effectiveness of parks and plazas can be further increased with the Parks and Recreation policy. Additionally, the High Tech Housing policy will slightly increase the land value around the residential zones at the cost of 4 cents/week per residential building. Adjusting the budget sliders will have an effect on land value too.
Low Land Value
Land value can be negatively affected for a number of reasons. Pollution, both ground and water, can be very detrimental to land value since it puts a great strain on public health. Ineffective services, such as the inability for hearses to collect dead bodies quickly, or for police to deal with crime, will also cause land value to decrease. Residential zones are particularly susceptible to noise pollution. Upgrading to roads with tree decorations can help mitigate the sound, but placing a metro station in a residential zone next to a congested street may still be too much for a citizen to handle.
If the land value of building drops sufficiently low, the building will be abandoned. Eventually somebody else will rebuild, but it will happen faster if the building is bulldozed.