Lessons from 150 years of inter-municipal residential planning

An ex-post evaluation of factors that determine the dynamics of inter-municipal decision-making on residential planning

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Abstract

Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, Dutch municipalities develop policy solutions to address financial losses on land development. This report explores one possible strategy: inter-municipal cooperation on residential planning. Through cooperation, municipalities should be able to control the oversupply of new housing. By means of an institutional analysis and case studies, the following question has been answered: what factors have previously determined inter-municipal decision-making concerning residential planning, and how can inter-municipal cooperation be used as a mean to manage regional supply of new housing? The institutional analysis introduces four types of institutional regimes that vary in the capacity to facilitate inter-municipal cooperation. The regime of inter-governmental covenants, which was in force during the 1990s is considered most facilitative. Policy network theory (Van Bueren, Klijn and Koppenjan 2003) argues that institutional, process and substantive factors explain the course and outcomes of inter-municipal decision-making. Case studies of regions Haaglanden and Rijnmond during the VINEX-era confirm the usefulness of these factors. This study further specifies the explanatory factors with respect to inter-municipal residential planning. The report concludes with recommendations for provinces and municipalities to improve inter-municipal decision-making.