23 Nov 2011

Bleg: Land use in Europe?

DW asks an interesting question:
I've always wondered what is different about the land use planning and zoning practices of european countries, that kept them from being paved over with new housing subdivisions and shopping malls as far as the eye can see. Since you're now living over there, perhaps you can do some digging and let your readers know how Europe is different from California in these areas.
Can anyone describe how land use decisions are made for ANY European country? The big questions are conversions of use among agricultural, residential, industrial AND "natural."


CG said...

Not too much different. Just take Google earth fly along the Mediterranean shore in Spain. I am sure, you will fell like being in Southern California. Wow!

HP said...

The quick answer is – you need a permission to change land use in Germany. And municipalities are not free to give these permissions but bound by national legislation.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Hungary the visible difference comes from the time lag of demand for conversion. If you look around in the suburbs of Budapest or the bigger cities you will see this process marching ahead.
Zone definition is the responsibility of local governments and they have the right to tax firms that have sites within the district.
There is a charge for converting agricultural land, but this charge is nothing compared to the gains.


Manuel Lago said...

This report about a revision of land use strategies in some places in Europe that we undertook for the Scottish Government may offer some answers to your questions.
The web story:
And the link to the report:

I hope it helps.
Manuel Lago

Joan said...

In the Netherlands it´s been for many years forbidden to build shopping malls at the periphery of urban areas. Reason why practically don´t exist. Shopping centers are inside of town and people have the option to take the bike to do shopping.

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