Private Sector-led Urban Development Projects

Management, Partnerships & Effects in the Netherlands and the UK

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Abstract

Subject of study is Private Sector-led Urban Development Projects. Such projects involve property developers taking a leading role and local authorities adopting a facilitating role in the management of the development of an urban area, based on a framework of public requirements and a formal contractual public-private role division. Such a development strategy is quite common in Anglo-Saxon urban development practices but is less known in Continental European practices. Nonetheless, since the beginning of the millennium such a development strategy also occurred in the Netherlands in the form of 'concessions'. However, remarkably little empirical knowledge is available about how public and private actors collaborate on and manage such projects and what the effects of their actions are. This dissertation provides a conceptual and empirical understanding of the various characteristics of private sector-led urban development projects by conducting empirical case study research in the Dutch and UK planning context. Important conclusions are that private sector-led urban development requires various complementary types of public-private management, and additional informal forms of public-private collaboration besides the formal contractual role division, and results in positive effects in terms of effectiveness and spatial quality. Besides this the research contains specific organisational and managerial recommendations for practice and science. Private sector-led urban development is a promising development strategy for spatial projects in the Netherlands at a time in which governments focus their attention towards facilitating private sector initiatives and investments in the city.