Good land policy involves planning for the wider public interest

01 Oct 2023
With Julie Lawson
#Housing2030 lead writer & Honorary Associate Professor
RMIT University

This episode kicks off a mini-series dedicated to #Housing2030, a joint international initiative of housing experts from over 56 governments through UNECE and UN Habitat and 43,000 affordable housing providers and neighbourhood developers represented by Housing Europe with the aim to improve the capacity of national and local governments to formulate policies that improve housing affordability and sustainability.

As the countdown to the first virtual event of the ‘Housing 2030’ initiative, taking place on May 20th has started we’re looking at its central theme which is Land with the help of 3 excellent guests. For this first episode, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Julie Lawson, Honorary Associate Professor for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in the Centre for Urban Research of RMIT University. Julie has undertaken the task of drafting the Housing 2030 report in co-operation with a team of authors including Professor Michelle Norris (University College Dublin; Irish Housing Finance Agency), Dr. Kat Grimsley (George Mason School of Business) and Dr. Sergio Nasarre-Aznar (UNESCO Housing Chair at the University Rovira i Virgili).

However, today, I’ve asked to have a Skype Call to discuss the finding of another insightful and timely piece of work she has put together along with Professor Hannu Ruanovaara. The purpose of this international review, that was funded by the Academy of Finland, is to examine the range of land policy instruments governments used to influence housing affordability and social inclusion to inform best practice in policy development. The land policy instruments covered include: Public land banking, Public land leasing, Land re-adjustment, Land value recapture, Regulatory planning, Comprehensive neighbourhood planning and addressing real estate platform economy. The geographical scope includes Europe, Asia, North American and Australia.

On a sunny afternoon on the last day of April, we discussed with Dr. Julie Lawson why the relationship between land policy, social cohesion and housing is fundamental, the role of citizens in decisions around land management as well as what it takes to stop the overwhelming trend of financialization of land and housing. Stay tuned!