Town Planning Review

Land governance: the LANDac conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 8–10 July 2015

Town Planning Review (2016), 87, (1), 99–104.


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TPR, 87 (1) 2016 doi:10.3828/tpr.2016.9 Mathias Jehling and Thomas Hartmann Conference Report Land governance: the LANDac conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 8–10 July 2015 The Dutch Land Academy (LANDac) organised an international conference on ‘Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development’ on 8–10 July 2015. Two hundred and fifty participants from thirty-five countries were in attendance and discussed papers presented in forty thematic sessions. The organisers were overwhelmed by the demand for the conference topic. The conference was originally planned for two days, but due to the large number of abstract submissions, it was extended to become a three-day conference. In addition to the thematic sessions, there were keynote sessions, keynote debates, roundtables and book presentations. To complement the conference, a PhD summer school on land governance and sustainable development took place. LANDac was founded in 2010. From the beginning, LANDac has focused on the drivers and actors of land governance in developing countries and continues to search for ways of generating ‘equitable and sustainable development’. In this context, the conference contributions focused on multiple forms of land-use changes and the underlying forms of governance. The broad perspective of the conference reached from large-scale investments in agricultural land, such as land grabbing, to the pressures placed on land through housing demands. To better understand these linkages, the role of national policies (Schoneveld and Zoomers, 2015) was emphasised by the conference organisation. Subsequently, the focus was set on policy change and, hence, impediments to or factors facilitating this change. The LANDac research group sees policy change from more than just an analytical point of view. Its objective is to look for ways to further facilitate change towards an envisioned sustainable development. In order to look for further answers, the debate on dynamics in land-use policies in the global South was expanded towards research on changes and comparison of land-use policies in the global North. Hence, the 2015 conference aimed at connecting both discussions to identify the opportunities for mutual learning in dynamics of land-use policies. Mathias Jehling is a Research Assistant and PhD student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Institute of Regional Science. Thomas Hartmann is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; email: t.hartmann@uu.nl

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Author details

Jehling, Mathias

Hartmann, Thomas