TRACK 3 LAW: Planning, Law and Property Rights
Rachelle Alterman (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Siim Maasikamäe (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia)
Sina Shahab (University of Cardiff, UK)

Spatial planning, when grounded in laws and regulations, intervenes in the allocation and distribution of land. It thereby intervenes in private property rights – i.e. granting, changing, or even taking them. This creates issues ranging from procedural matters that affect quality of governance, to substantive policies and instruments that may enable- or deter - sustainable use of land.  In recent years planning law faces additional challenges that go beyond the domestic domains into the global arena. Planning and thus also planning law is continuously adapting and changing to socio-economic or environmental challenges. Can the laws and institutions that govern planning meet the challenges posed by climate change, sustainability, demographic changes and increasing economic and political uncertainties?

This track aims to provide a platform for sharing research on any topic that connects planning and law with property rights. Examples of topic areas: 

  • Statutory (regulatory) planning systems and instruments: How does planning law address challenges or transitions within a given country, or comparatively.
  • Governance structures and procedures: How does planning law structure the relationships between central governmental control, local government, markets, and non-governmental organizations?
  • Legitimacy and planning interventions: How does the law frame public participation, stakeholder involvement, lobbyism, and dispute resolution;
  • Regulatory instruments of spatial planning: how do instruments work, such as local statutory plans, land use plans, building permits, expropriation, compensation
  • Regulation of agricultural land, open space and natural resources, heritage-building regulation,
  • Land value capture through agreements with developers, developer obligations, land readjustment, taxation of land values (betterment tax etc.), transfer or development rights, expropriation, compensation,
  • Theory of property rights: How to deal with tensions between public and private rights and responsibilities (i.e. with land for public services, customary collective or private rights).

Contributions may look at the general theory of planning and law or investigate particular issues, focusing either on a particular country or cross-nationally. Since legal and planning systems vary greatly from country to country, authors should make the terms they use as transparent as possible.


Spatial planning law, land policy, property rights, housing regulations, development control, participation in planning procedures; governance of spatial planning; land-value capture