userLand Policies in Europe

Shaping the debate on land policies in Europe

ARL International ARL International
published on 26/04/2024

Progress of the ARL International Working Group on Land Policies in Europe

The most recent attempt of the German legislator to promote the “building-turbo” by adding provisions in article 246 of the German Planning code illustrate the societal urgency of land policy. If this legislation succeeds, the provision of land for housing will be at the same level with flood recovery, the Corona pandemic or refugee accommodations. In other words, challenges of land policy remain urgent in planning policy and academia.

The ARL international working group (IAK) on land policies in Europe shapes an international debate on land policies to enable structured reflection and mutual learning across national boundaries. The IAK shapes the debate with different means and channels:

Discussion on comparative land policy at the ARL membership assembly

The IAK presented and discussed its work at the general assembly of the ARL in Berlin in November 2023 with the esteemed members of the ARL. Andreas Hengstermann and Thomas Hartmann fostered a discussion on the added value of comparative research on land policies in this interdisciplinary field, encroaching on planning, law, and property rights. During the lively debate with members and leadership of ARL, the different challenges and interpretations of land policy have been addressed as well as the political dimension of land policy in different countries. Especially the way such comparative research on planning issues can facilitate and support the academic discussion that ARL aims to shape were discussed.

Special Session at PLPR

The IAK organized one of the largest special sessions at the annual conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights in Munich (www.plpr-association.org). During this session, participants not only shared their specific country-specific perspectives on land policy, but especially provided a reflection and platform for an international debate with a global audience. The conference was organized the chair group of Prof. Dr. Walter de Vries at TU Munich in March 2024. The special session in Munich served as an important outreach of the ARL IAK to the global academic community and continues its yearly presence at PLPR events since 2020 (see earlier Nachrichten der ARL).

 Special Issue of the IAK in Raumforschung und Raumordnung published

Continuing its mission to facilitate academic and policy exchange,, the IAK already published an international special issue on “Innovative Land Policies in Europe” in Raumforschung und Raumordnung (Spatial Research and Planning, Volume 81 No. 6). This special contributes to the further internationalization of this important planning journal as it presents a carefully curated collection of contributions discussing innovative land policies in Europe with contributions from England, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and also including a reflective commentary on property rights. The special issue is published open access and shows the relevance of discussing land policies in an international comparative manner.

Book on Land Policies in Europe

The IAK is currently finalizing a comprehensive book on land policies in Europe to be published by Springer. The volume encompasses land policies from 12 countries that are described from a land-perspective based on specific cases. From each country, leading scholars in the field of land policy will take the readers on a journey through the multifaceted realm of land policies across Europe. The book will be prepared for experienced academics or young students, policymakers, and practitioners.

The PLPR conference, a core group meeting, numerous online meetings and a major IAK meeting in Vienna in August 2024 are operational and essential for this book project and help the IAK to foster and shape the relevant debate on land policies in Europe. So, more is about to come! 

Katharina Künzel
Dortmund University, Germany

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Andreas Hengstermann
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NBMU), Norway

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hartmann
TU Dortmund University, Germany