Governance of land use in OECD countries. Policy analysis and recommendations. | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
December 2017
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How land is used affects a wide range of outcomes – from day-to-day quality of life, such as the length of commutes, to the environmental sustainability of urban and rural communities, including the possibility for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Moreover, the economic importance of land is immense. Land and the buildings on it are approximately seven times as valuable as all other assets taken together and land-use policies play a crucial role in determining land and property prices. Beyond economic value, land also has important sentimental value.

Many people are strongly attached to existing neighbourhoods and landscapes in their vicinity. Thus, it is not surprising that land use is often contested and political conflicts about it are common at the local level.

This report offers analysis and recommendations on land-use policies and practices with particular attention paid to the interactions between planning tools, fiscal frameworks, and incentives. It demonstrates that land use is influenced by a wide range of policies beyond those of the land-use planning system. Tax, transport and environmental policies also create incentives and disincentives to use land in particular ways. As the effects of these incentives are rarely considered, they may lead to unintentional consequences.

This report argues that planners and policy makers in other fields should consider the influence of all public policies on land use. A lack of co-ordination can lead to policies that provide contradicting incentives to developers and land owners. The report calls for more integrated approaches to spatial development that take into account the wide array of policies that affect land use but that are beyond the purview of the planning system itself.

The report also stresses that land-use planning should be more than a technical endeavour – it should be a political and democratic process that mediates the abovementioned conflicts over land use. Through the development of strategic plans, planners ask residents to imagine the future that they want for their cities and communities and jointly develop a road map for how to get there. This requires strong public engagement and communication. In its ideal form, effective planning reflects and develops a common community vision.

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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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