The Governance of Land Use in the Netherlands

The Case of Amsterdam

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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.



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.


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