We analyze spatial planning as a political process that regulates how land is used by different actors. This analysis is based on the understanding of land as a resource that provides goods and services to groups of users and that therefore is subjected to use conflicts. We see spatial development as the result of the interaction and negotiation between the public sector and private actors (such as investors and landowners). Planning policies (public law) play an important role safeguarding the public interest. However, crucial are also the property rights (private law) which protect the rights of landowners. Actors navigate within these frameworks of the law to negotiate their access to the resource land. The distribution of power among actors explains fundamental differences between planning policy goals on the one hand, and actual spatial development on the other.
Debrunner, G., Hengstermann, A., & Gerber, J.-D. (2020). The business of densification: Distribution of power, wealth and inequality in swiss policy making. Town Planning Review, 91(3), 259–281. https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2020.15
Gerber, J.-D. (2020). Active land policy for the provision of affordable housing. In K. Hofstetter, M. Miessgang, K. Pluch, R. Scheuvens, & C. Wolfgring (Eds.), Neues soziales Wohnen - Positionen zur IBA_Wien 2022 (pp. 58–62). Berlin: Jovis Verlag.
Debrunner, G., Hengstermann, A., & Gerber, J. (2020). Die Wohnungsfrage ist eine Bodenfrage - Bodenpolitische Instrumente zur Sicherstellung des preisgünstigen Wohnraums im Bestand in Schweizer Städten. In B. Schönig & L. Vollmer (Eds.), Wohnungsfragen ohne Ende?! Ressourcen für eine soziale Wohnraumversorgung. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839445082
February 2016 to February 2018
Jean-David Gerber, University of Bern, Thomas Hartmann, University of Dortmund, Andreas Hengstermann, University of Bern
Gerber, J.-D., Hengstermann, A., & Hartmann, T. (2018). Instruments of land policy. In Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315511658-3
December 2012 - April 2018
Andreas Hengstermann (PhD Thesis)
Hengstermann, Andreas. (2019). Von der passiven Bodennutzungsplanung zur aktiven Bodenpolitik - Die Wirksamkeit von bodenpolitischen Instrumenten anhand von Lebensmittel-Discountern. 10.1007/978-3-658-27614-0.
Jean-David Gerber, University of Bern, Hanna Jäggi, University of Bern
Projektpool of the intermediate staff association of the University of Bern (MVUB)
Second homes can be problematic in many ways. From the perspective of planning and geography, it is important that scarce building land is not misspent for buildings that are only used very sparsely. In order to meet the demand for building land (e.g. residential area for locals), however, the building zone would be expanded unnecessarily, which is associated with financial (infrastructure) and ecological (loss of cultivated land, landscape disfigurement) consequences. According to federal spatial planning act, this is also unlawful in many cases (oversized building zones, urban sprawl), so that second homes can also lead to massive increases in building land and property prices. Therefore in Switzerland it is consensus that second homes must be regulated by public policy. At the local level, therefore, there have been a variety of approaches to solving this issue. Since 2012, there has also been a cap on the proportion of second homes to a maximum of 20% on a constitutional level.
From an academic perspective, however, there is a lack of a) an overview of these diverse approaches on local level and b) an assessment of their actual effectiveness. The second home problem also occurs in other geographical areas, such as the Austrian Alps or the German North Sea coasts - and political and legal solutions are also being pursued there. Therefore, c) an international comparison is also obvious (within DACH-countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
International academic workshop in Bern in September
Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL)
Exploratory workshop for an International ARL Working Group on "Land Policy Impulses for Effective Land Management"
International workshop in August in Mannheim
Organisation for EconomicCo-operation and Development (OECD)
Jean-David Gerber worked together with the OECD for their report on Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD, his contribution led to a Country Fact Sheet about the planning system in Switzerland. The report as a whole aims to give a systematic overview of spatial and land-use planning systems across the OECD. Each of the 32 fact sheets presents an overview of the responsibilities of different levels of government with respect to land-use policies and describes the different types of spatial and land-use plans in the country, including key characteristics of the planning system. Additionally the OECD published the report The Governance of Land Use in OECD Countries: Policy Analysis and Recommendations, which provides policy analysis and a synthesis of the main recommendations from OECD work on land use.
Contribution to the OECD series Governance of Land Use
Organization: December 2014 to May 2016
Conference schedule: 15 - 19 February 2016
Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)
Swiss Academy for Science (SCNAT)
Supported by funds of the research unit
The International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights (PLPR) has held its 10th Annual Conference in 2016 in Bern.