The dynamics of “post-crisis” spatial planning: A comparative study of office conversion policies in England and The Netherlands

Hilde Remøy, Emma Street

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Land policies governing individual and institutional rights to buildings and land are shaped by the socio-cultural, political and economic contexts within which they emerge and are (re)embedded within. This leads to considerable variation across place and space. Yet within this diversity commonalities emerge, not least in the ‘rationales’ that inform the development and implementation of land policies. These are explored via a comparative study of England – where market-based reforms have guided land use planning measures for some time – and The Netherlands; a country which is taking steps to introduce market-based values such as competition, efficiency and flexibility into its ‘regulatory’ spatial planning system. Through this comparison, we explore the way in which neoliberal political ideology and financial imperatives, sharpened by the 2008 global economic downturn, have resulted in changes to English and Dutch land policies. We illustrate this discussion by referring to land use policies under which authorities have sought to facilitate a change of land use, for example from office to residential usages. In both countries, these reforms have been introduced as part of attempts to make planning more ‘efficient’ and supportive of real estate markets. While there is variation in some of the drivers and apparatus used, we find parallels between the two countries’ experiences. Our paper argues that fiscal austerity, economic uncertainty and the import of market values reproduces a shared reality of governance reform amongst the two countries, creating opportunities for critical learning between them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2016


  • Land policy
  • Planning reforms
  • Permitted development rights
  • Governance
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Conversion

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The dynamics of “post-crisis” spatial planning: A comparative study of office conversion policies in England and The Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this