chapter  6
32 Pages

Local policy and housing development: lessons to be learnt

The objective of the research reported in this book is to investigate how during the process of housing development decisions are taken that influence the residential environment. There are several reasons why this study was undertaken. In the first place, there was the intellectual curiosity about how public policy and market mechanisms work together in the production of housing. This somewhat academic question suddenly became acute because of the changing situation in the Dutch land market since the beginning of the 1990s. Rising prices and a sudden active involvement of private parties in this market resulted in the municipalities not being able to continue their active policy of land acquisition. Private developers, who until then had not been active on the land market, started to buy large pieces of land in areas designated for development. This changed the position of the municipalities towards private developers, but equally towards other parties in the process, such as housing corporations and first landowners. This can be placed in a wider context of government withdrawal from development processes and an increasing confidence in the regulating principles of the market, which can be observed throughout Europe.