userLand Policies in Europe

Towards understanding Land Policies in Europe

ARL International ARL International
published on 13/06/2022

Towards understanding Land Policies in Europe

The current discussions on challenges on land, including housing, reducing land take and densification, illustrate the interest and relevance of land policies for spatial research and practice – not only in Germany as the new government continues to articulate ambitious housing supply goals, but across Europe. The international perspective and comparative studies on land policies are still lacking. The ARL International Working Group on Land Policies in Europe brings together experts from 11 different European countries. The group’s overall objective is to conduct a systematic comparison – as a source of inspiration both for lessons from other countries for the German debate on land policy and for the transfer of experiences from Germany to the participating countries. Therefore, one of the milestones is the preparation of a major book project on this topic together with the international experts on land policy that make up the working group and its scientific advisory board. Therefore, on 5-6 May 2022, a core group met for an intense workshop in Freinsheim (Palatinate) to develop the comparative framework necessary for the book project and the further discussion in the international working group. Fabian Wenner, Arthur Schindelegger, Mathias Jehling, Andreas Hengstermann, and Thomas Hartmann reviewed other comparative studies on planning and land policy and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the respective works in the light of the envisioned comparison. Based on this, the group elaborated and tested a framework that forms the basis for the working group members’ contributions. The literature analysis also confirmend the working group’s motivating observation that there have been few systematic comparisons of land policy in recent years. The working group’s book project will therefore make a significant contribution to closing this gap and promoting international exchange, which is currently more important for this topic than it has been for a long time.

The next regular meeting will take place on 25 and 26 August 2022 at TU Dortmund University. The international working group will then meet to determine the next steps towards the intended outcome, the international comparative book project on land policies in Europe. The meeting is also meant to intensify the exchange on objectives, actors, and land policy instruments conducted over the previous meetings and during the pandemic. In addition, recent developments in the different countries will be discussed and reflected on. The meeting in August will conclude with the inaugural lecture of Thomas Hartmann as the new chair of land policy and land management at the department for spatial planning at TU Dortmund University. Thomas Hartmann will talk about “Land Policy for the new Land Question” (see also www.bodenpolitik.de). Before, many of the members will meet at the annual conference of the international academic association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights in Ghent (see www.plpr-association.org). Ultimately, the meeting in August is an essential step toward a significant milestone in advancing knowledge on Land Policies in Europe.


Prof. Dr. Thomas Hartmann

TU Dortmund University,

Germany Tel. +49 231 755 2229



Dr. Andreas Hengstermann

Ulster University, Belfast, United Kingdom

Tel. +44 7405 608248



Click here for more information on the International Working Group Land Policies in Europe.