Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD

Country Fact Sheets

image of Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD

This report provides an overview of spatial and land-use planning systems across the OECD. It contains country fact sheets that focus on formal aspects of planning systems, as they are defined by laws and regulations. The country fact sheets describe the responsibilities of each level of government with respect to spatial and land-use planning. They include a description of all spatial and land-use plans of a country and show their hierarchical relations in a diagram. For most countries, the fact sheets also contain key statistics on land use. A summary chapter provides an overview of the information in the country fact sheets and discusses land value capture tools, land expropriation procedures, reforms of the planning system, and other issues. The information provided in this report was collected through a survey that involved academic experts on planning from all 32 countries covered.




Japan is a unitary state with three levels of government; the national level, 47 prefectures and 1 741 municipalities. The national government has five distinct functions related to spatial planning. First, it enacts framework laws that structure landuse planning processes. Second, it prepares national level spatial plans. Third, it provides financing for major infrastructure projects that influence land use directly and indirectly. Fourth, it approves spatial plans that prefectures prepare according to national law. Fifth, it issues binding regulations on the content of subnational plans, provides standards for other instruments of lower level governments and gives general guidance and advice to subnational governments.


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