The relationship between land policy and spatial planning; An explanatory history of the interaction of land policy and spatial planning in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Spatial planning and land policy are inextricably bound up with each other. Land policies can be considered a construct of spatial planning and property relations in land (Davy, 2012). The foundation for this construct is twofold. Land policies are shaped as a result of principles and objectives (discourses) concerning property and land use, as well as the outcomes of planning practices in which land policies are implemented. Additionally, the reverse statement also holds value: changing land policies will have a altered influence on planning processes. To improve the quality and effectiveness of policy implementation in planning processes, insight into the mechanisms behind the (re)shaping and use of policies in planning processes is vital. This paper explores the relationship and interaction between land policy and spatial planning. The objective of the study is to understand the background to and determining factors in the development of land policy as a result of changing discourses and spatial planning processes. The paper discusses the relationship between planning and land policy in the Netherlands. The question is whether or not Dutch land policy is a derivative of the Dutch planning culture? The analytical framework of the study makes use of the structuration theory of Giddens (1984) and the Policy Arrangements Approach of Van Tatenhove et al. (2000). Different land policy documents in recent Dutch history (1950-present) were studied to understand the arrangements (organisation, rules and resources) of land policies and the reasoning behind changes in Dutch land policy. Likewise, planning processes were studied to understand how policy objectives and instruments are used as strategies of stakeholders – both governmental and non-governmental- in planning processes. Finally, the implementation of policy changes in planning practice was investigated. Results of this research show that the perceived control of governmental authorities over planning processes is one of the determining factors in changing land policies. If land policies do not support governmental planning objectives or if other (non-governmental) stakeholders use land policy instruments to their advantage in planning processes, land policies are discussed and if necessary changed. Furthermore, changing discourses, for example as a result of political modernisation or innovation, also spark policy changes. The study also shows a differentiation in governmental choices concerning the implementation of land policy objectives and the application of land policy instruments in planning practices. This means policies leave room for diverse strategies, which simultaneously have effect on the outcome and success of planning projects. Consequently, these outcomes influence the perceived success of land policy objectives, turning into possible new policy changes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternational Conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights -
Duration: 13 Feb 201315 Feb 2013

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights
Period13/02/1315/02/13

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