In a new publication in European Planning Studies, UGoveRN member Sina Shahab (Cardiff University), together with Thomas Hartman (TU Dortmund) and Arend Jonkman (TU Delft), explores how municipalities strategically use land policy to develop land for housing.
The article examines multiple cases, specifically Germany (the Ruhr region), Belgium (Flanders), and the Netherlands, to gain insights into the land policies and housing responsibilities of local authorities in 14 municipalities. Land policy plays a critical role in urban governance as it determines the location and nature of housing developments.
The authors identify three primary categories of land and housing issues faced by these municipalities: quantitative (related to the quantity of housing), qualitative (related to the quality of housing), and distributional (related to the equitable distribution of housing). To tackle these challenges, the municipalities employ various land policy instruments, including land banking, pre-emption rights, land readjustments, and development agreements.
Despite institutional variations, the municipalities demonstrate notable similarities in their strategies and approaches. Furthermore, the study highlights the significance of individual planners responsible for land policy at the strategic level, as their decisions and actions significantly influence outcomes.