The Governance of Land Use in the Netherlands

The Governance of Land Use in the Netherlands

The Case of Amsterdam You do not have access to this content

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17 May 2017
9789264274648 (PDF) ;9789264274631(print)

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Amsterdam is a dynamic and growing metropolitan area that faces significant land-use pressures. Renowned for its tradition of collaborative planning, the city and its metropolitan partners must adapt to new conditions. Ongoing population growth is creating demand for housing and commercial space, and the new National Environment and Planning Act is challenging planners to adopt more flexible, responsive and integrated land-use management practices. This study examines the social, economic and environmental conditions affecting the area’s spatial development as well as the plans, policies and institutions that govern how land is used. The study offers recommendations on how the city and its metropolitan partners can best respond to emerging challenges and meet their ambitious goals for sustainable and inclusive spatial development.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    How land is used affects a wide range of factors – from day-to-day quality-of-life factors such as the availability of food and clean water and the length of daily commutes, to the long-term sustainability of urban and rural communities, including the possibility for climate change adaptation and mitigation. How governments regulate land use and address public and private investment, how competencies are allocated across levels of government, and how land use is taxed, are critical for all of these things and more.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Amsterdam has a growing economy, dominated by its services sector, and is well connected to the rest of Europe – its port and nearby international airport are European hubs. The city’s population is anticipated to increase by 23% between 2016 and 2040 (from 845 100 to 1 042 200), mostly due to internal and international migration, and an estimated 70 000 new residences will be needed by 2040.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    Amsterdam, together with its surrounding municipalities, is an economic driver in the region and country. Its dynamic, services-dominated economy includes both major international firms and small start-ups. The city and region are well connected to the rest of Europe by rail, air and sea. Its large nearby international airport and port are European hubs. It is a place where people want to invest, work and live and especially visit, with tourism numbers growing further each year.

  • Land-use trends, challenges and opportunities in Amsterdam

    This chapter provides a diagnosis of the main trends affecting how land is used now and into the future in Amsterdam. It focuses on both the municipality of Amsterdam and the broader area across which people live, work and commute (in other words, the functional urban area). This chapter contains four sections. The first section describes Amsterdam’s geography and its relationship to the surrounding region, remarking in particular on the region’s polycentricity. This is followed by an assessment of metropolitan Amsterdam’s economy, socio-spatial and demographic trends, housing pressures, and large-scale transportation investments – all of which affect land use. The final section discusses the main pressures on land use in the city, and major challenges and opportunities for how land is used both now and into the future.

  • Aligning policy tools and incentives for more effective spatial development in Amsterdam

    This chapter describes Amsterdam’s spatial and land-use planning policies and instruments and its fiscal environment. It proceeds by describing governance structures in the Netherlands and the roles and responsibilities of the municipality. Following this, the system of spatial and land-use planning in the Netherlands – and Amsterdam in particular – is described. This includes both the strategic spatial plans that set out long-term intentions and the tools and instruments within the planning system to realise these goals. It then discusses the fiscal pressures, tools and incentives that shape spatial planning. The chapter concludes with a description of the new Environment and Planning Act and how it will likely impact the governance of land use in the city.

  • Regional co-operation on land-use issues in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

    This chapter examines regional co-operation on land-use issues across greater Amsterdam. It proceeds in three parts. The first section describes how regional governance institutions have evolved over the past several decades in metropolitan Amsterdam, including present configurations. Following this, the challenges inherent to metropolitan spatial planning are explored, including the trade-offs between formal and informal forms of governance, the challenge of adopting integrated multi-sectoral approaches, and the issue of which scale across which spatial planning should occur. Finally, key future governance issues and challenges for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area are explored.

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