Rethinking land and water policy for flood risk mitigation: investigating the role of Active Land Policy in making room for water in Nijmegen

Dyca, Besmira (2022) Rethinking land and water policy for flood risk mitigation: investigating the role of Active Land Policy in making room for water in Nijmegen. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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The attention drawn by Blue and Green Infrastructure (BGI) in public discourse outmatches the actual scale of its implementation. Research indicates that difficulty in accessing land is one of the biggest challenges for BGI implementation. In response, this thesis investigates the potential Land Value Capture (LVC) instruments to facilitate the implementation of BGI, focusing on one instrument: Active Land Policy. LVC instruments mobilize part of the land value increments resulting from public investments, to facilitate the financing of such investments. BGI implementation is proven to have a positive influence on the residential property market, however there has been little research on how to mobilize LVC instruments to facilitate BGI implementation.

This thesis contributes to addressing this gap in knowledge, through three strands of research. First, an examination of the way BGI increments land values by investigating how residential property markets react to improved urban quality, flood risk and flood events. Second, an appraisal of LVC instruments which can facilitate the implementation of BGI. Third, an appraisal of the potential of Active Land Policy to facilitate BGI implementation in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Regarding the latter, three case studies were examined through the lens of Policy Arrangement Approach and Social Network Analysis. A number of interviews with Dutch stakeholders and international experts provided the primary source of data, complemented by desk research.

Findings suggest that improving urban quality, through increased proximity to blue/green spaces, improved landscapes and open spaces, positively affect the value of residential property. However this is not the case with flood risk alleviation, which affects the residential property market in very inconsistent ways, as suggested by the Qualitative Meta Synthesis presented in this study. There is scope to improve Hedonic Pricing Models which often oversimplify the nature of this relationship. This can be done by accounting for the impact that market efficiency and flood risk perception have on the way residential property markets react to flood risk and flood events.

An important contribution of this research is an original conceptual framework which helps identify the following LVC as most suitable for BGI facilitation: betterment levies/ special assessment, property tax, developer exactions and impact fees, tax increment financing, transferable development rights/ sale of development rights, land readjustment/ land pooling and active land policy. However the potential of these instruments to facilitate BGI implementation is largely informed by the land and water policy landscape they are embedded in.

In the case of Active Land Policy in the Netherlands, research on the three case studies indicate that the instrument can facilitate the implementation of neighborhood scale BGI, but it fails to do so for larger scale BGI. The main reasons for this are a mismatch between land and water policy discourse and unbalanced power relationships emerging from private public partnerships for land development projects, as Waalsprong and Waalfront cases suggest. Policy recommendations contribute expediting a better use of Active Land Policy in the realm of BGI implementation. Embedding of findings in the existing knowledge highlights avenues for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: blue and green infrastructure, nature based solutions, land value capture, stakeholder network analysis, policy arrangement
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2023 08:24
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 08:30

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