This paper seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice in delivering quality places through urban design. It complements the behavioural-based theoretical concepts of neoclassical economics with the institutional analysis in property development from the perspective of adding value through quality design. This approach focuses on the drivers and the relationship between actors in the planning, design and development process. The paper follows a sequential path of incrementally building a framework of institutional analysis to eventually present a model for delivering quality in the built environment. The final product presents a 'meso-range' theoretical framework that links concepts of neoclassical economics to institutional analysis and follows two principles. First, mainstream economics and institutionalism in property development should be complementary rather than exclusive of each other. This is based on the concept that institutional analysis and behavioural theories can be used complementarily to understand and describe the delivery of a value added product through the property development process. Second, since very little of the broad economic perspectives have been applied to the property discipline, there should be a theory with an economic focus that serves to support and link institutional models.