Not in my open space: Anatomy of neighbourhood activism in defence of land conversion

T. van Dijk, N.Y. van der Wulp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In densely populated regions, plans to build into open space may become fiercely protested. Urban fringes are typical spaces of contention, where neighbourhood activism can be observed frequently. Protests emerge spontaneously and in a variety of guises. Despite the research on how to design genuine participatory planning, we know little about what happens when citizens themselves decide to enter the planning process. We set out a self-administered mail survey among 130 Dutch Local Opposition Groups (LOGs) that specifically fight loss of open space, in search for how their anatomy, in terms of organisational form and strategies, relates to the nature of the project they contest. The hypotheses were derived from a selection of case studies found in the literature. Statistically significant relationships were found for neighbourhood activism and the level of education as well as region's population density. Strategies of awareness-raising were reported more frequently when fighting housing projects. Law suits on nature and environmental legislation were particularly targeted to provincially pushed projects and less to municipal projects. Legal forms chosen by groups do not relate to project phase, but do appear to vary with the personal legal position of key persons in the group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • protecting open space
  • wind energy
  • politics
  • preservation
  • netherlands
  • rethinking
  • nimbyism
  • england
  • lessons
  • wales

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