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Planning as ‘market maker’: How planning is used to stimulate development in Germany, France and the Netherlands

This SPIRe project explores how proactive planning can improve the quanitity and quality of development in the built environment.

The full report and summary from this research are now available.

Dr Alex Lord, Dr Phil O'Brien, Dr Olivier Sykes and Dr John Sturzaker (University of Liverpool), analyse case studies from three Western Europe cities, Hamburg, Lille and Nijmegen, which illustrate how planning can be utilised as a positive tool for improving development outcomes and thus helping to achieve social and economic objectives.

The authors find that when planning is provided with a proactive remit to utilise functions such as upfront investment in infrastructure and land assembly, planning can add value by creating certainty for market actors and boosting demand for development through the creation of place-quality.

The report explains how this kind of ambitious planning requires well resourced and culturally supported planning institutions and structures.

The frequent lack of such planning in the UK may explain why, for example in the house-building sector, we persistently fail to deliver the levels of quantity and quality that we require.