You are on page 1of 16

This article was downloaded by: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] On: 17 February 2011 Access

details: Access Details: [subscription number 790570596] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 3741 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

International Planning Studies

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713426761

The Changing Role of the Dutch Supralocal and Regional Levels in Spatial Planning: What Can France Teach Us?
Marjolein Spaansa a OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, TU Delft, The Netherlands

To cite this Article Spaans, Marjolein(2007) 'The Changing Role of the Dutch Supralocal and Regional Levels in Spatial

Planning: What Can France Teach Us?', International Planning Studies, 12: 3, 205 219 To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/13563470701640077 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563470701640077

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE


Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdf This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.

International Planning Studies Vol. 12, No. 3, 205 219, August 2007

The Changing Role of the Dutch Supralocal and Regional Levels in Spatial Planning: What Can France Teach Us?
Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

MARJOLEIN SPAANS
OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, TU Delft, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT This paper explores the new role of the supralocal and regional levels in Dutch spatial planning and illustrates the change in role using examples from current planning practices. Two regional levels can be distinguished in the Netherlands: the province and the city-region. Case studies from the regional area development and the VINEX practice are presented for the province and the city-region, respectively. The institutional transformation of the supralocal and regional levels in spatial planning in the Netherlands is mirrored against changes in France. The French experience is used for reection on the Dutch situation.

Subsidiarity and the Changing Role of the Supralocal and Regional Levels Spatial planning is being increasingly addressed at the supralocal and the regional level. This paper discusses the changing role of supralocal and regional government in the Netherlands and holds up the French situation on spatial planning competences and practice on the supralocal and regional levels as a mirror for the Netherlands. The paper illustrates the changing role with an example from current planning practice. Many trends inuence this process both directly and indirectly. Two major trends that inuence planning practice are the shift from government to governance (Spaans, 2006) and the adoption of the principle of subsidiarity in spatial planning (Spaans & De Wolff, 2005). The rst trend of urban governance relates to the manner in which government authorities give direction to spatial planning. Much has been written about this concept over the past ten years. Government authoritiesand local government authorities in particularare no longer capable of giving direction in the same manner as before (Kearns & Paddison, 2000). More than what was previously the case, the emphasis is now on the active participation of the private sector (market parties and societal organizations) and new nancing constructions. The fact that decision-making on spatial developments takes place in a multi-actor environment has consequences for management opportunities and the continuation of spatial policy (Van der Knaap, 2002).

Correspondence Address: Marjolein Spaans, TU Delft, OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, Delft, The Netherlands. Email: m.spaans@tudelft.nl ISSN 1356-3475 Print/1469-9265 Online/07/030205-15 # 2007 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/13563470701640077

206

M. Spaans

The second trend relates to the principle of subsidiarity, which, in many countries, plays an important role in the debate about the level at which public responsibilities in spatial planning should be addressed (Spaans & De Wolff, 2005). Subsidiarity means that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level. Consequently, decisions must be taken as far as possible in line with the wishes of those for whom they are relevant in order to generate maximum benet for their prosperity. The principle took root with the increase in the responsibilities of the European Union and can also be traced back in many national debates. Since planning practice is currently confronted with an increasing number of scales, planning instruments and competences have therefore to be reconsidered against the principle of subsidiarity. This leads to the shifting of competences between government levels, new demands on the functioning of government authorities and leads, therefore, to new roles for government levels. Many authors have addressed the change from government to urban governance. ` Among them are Stone (1989), Lorrain (1991), Stoker (1995), Le Gales (1995, 2002) and Jouve (2005). Jouve brings forward that the strong urban growth of the 1960s resulted in a period of strong economic growth and the development of new lifestyles among the middle classes who were desirous of acquiring individual homes in the suburbs. As a result, most European states reformed the administrative organization of the major cities either through fusion (Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark) or through the creation of second-level institutions that federated the municipalities (Great Britain, ` ` France, Italy, Spain) (Lefevre, 1998, in Jouve, 2005, p. 286). Le Gales (1995) adds to this that with globalization and European integration after the emergence of the Europe of regions, the Europe of cities also came up. A set of major transformations to the structure of European states explains the institutional dynamics in the 1990s. According to ` Jouve (2005) and Pinson and Le Gales (2005), it appears quite clearly that recently macro dynamics such as globalization, the transformation of the productive system, the rise of supranational political entities and the recomposition of the State have had a strong inuence on phenomena that have touched a large part of the western countries: processes of devolution, decentralization and even federalization. It caused a new division of labour between the states and local and regional authorities. The Netherlands and France are examples of the rst category. These two countriesthe Netherlands and Franceface the consequences of the trends of urban governance and subsidiarity, and are both searching for adequate government structures among others to deal with issues at supralocal and regional levels. The institutional level addressed in this paper is that between the individual city and the European regional level, in urban areas sometimes also called the city-regional or metropolitan level. It thus does not address the level of the European region. The trends of urban governance and subsidiarity and the scale at which spatial issues need to be addressed, inuence each other. If new government tiers or cooperation arrangements are introduced, competences have to be rearranged according to a new institutional framework. As a consequence also legislation, planning instruments and nancing constructions have to be adapted. This paper relates the changing institutional framework to concrete spatial planning practice. We start this paper with the changes in the Netherlands. What are the major changes in the institutional context at the supralocal and regional levels in relation to spatial planning? The Netherlands has three democratically elected government levels: national government, provinces, and municipalities. The city-regional level is a non-democratically elected

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning

207

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

government level. Both the province and the city-region can be considered as the supralocal and regional levels. This paper, therefore, includes both levels of government in the Netherlands, as these two levels are increasingly the levels at which spatial issues are addressed. There are, in recent planning practice, a number of examples from the province and city-regions that demonstrate a search for a new balance in the role that the government level should take in specic cases. In practice, the role of the province differs from one province to another. The role of a province without one or more city-regions is stronger than one without any large city-regions, and it would seem that it is much easier for these provinces to take up supralocal urban issues. To put it in black and white: the city-region usually takes up the more urban issues, and the province the overall regional strategy and the more green and blue issues. One of the themes to look at in the French case is whether there is a difference in supralocal and regional spatial planning issues between the more urban and the more rural areas, and which spatial planning instruments are available. Dutch Spatial Planning and the Changing Role of the Province The Dutch government is adapting its spatial planning policy, legislation and tools to the increasing focus on the regional level, and a governance-related approach should facilitate public-private partnership in projects with a regional focus. The National Spatial Strategy (Tweede Kamer, 2006) stresses the role of the regional level in spatial planning. The idea is that the regional level will full a coordinating and sometimes even a development role in projects at the regional and supralocal scale levels. The National Spatial Strategy addresses both the province and the city-region as the regional level. The document places considerable emphasis on the change in central government management. The central issues include development-oriented planning, decentralization, deregulation and a focus on implementation. At the same time, Dutch spatial planning legislation is being reformed. Parliament and Senate have both approved the new Spatial Planning Act, which is set to be implemented mid 2008 (see also http://international.vrom.nl). In characterizing Dutch spatial planning, the land market should be mentioned, which used to be fairly unusual by European standards (Spaans et al., 1996; Spaans, 2005). Land policy formed an inseparable part of the policy for spatial planning as well as for housing, thereby contributing to better coordination between these two elds. Until the 1990s, there was a deep commitment to intervention by the local authority. The most prevalent approach to land development for projects in the past was to put the management of the land in the hands of the local authority. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for land to be sold without direct mediation by the local authority. However, local authorities have the right to reserve land if it is considered of importance for the implementation of the local planning policy. One of the objectives for revising the spatial planning system was to strengthen the provincial role, and this has partly been elaborated in the new Spatial Planning Act. But strengthening also takes place through separate legislation concerning land policy instruments, for example. On the basis of the current Spatial Planning Act, the provincial competences are as follows. The province does not have at its disposal the competence to determine land use regulations on its own. The province can, however, formulate a strategic plan, i.e., the regional plan (streekplan). Furthermore, the provincial approval of local land use plans (bestemmingsplan) is an important instrument. In practice, these two competences are often applied in combination. Planning approval takes place in

208

M. Spaans

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

accordance with the strategic spatial policy as set out in the regional plan. In this manner, the province can exert considerable inuence on local spatial policy through verication; undesirable land use changes can be opposed, provided such a step is well supported by the planning policy. The province has fewer opportunities to enforce certain changes in land use. To be sure, there is an opportunity to give a local authority notice of a change in the local land use plan, but the use of this competence is procedurally time-consuming (Spaans & De Wolff, 2005). The provincial role is set to change in the proposed new Spatial Planning Act. In the future a province willas opposed to just formulating its policy in the structure vision (structuurvisie)also be able to make binding land use regulations itself, using the provincial land use plan or the independent project procedure at the provincial level. This competence is, however, restricted to projects of provincial importance. Another change is that the provincial competence to approve local land use plans will be replaced by a different form of control. The role of the province will now be concentrated at the early phase of objection jointly with the other stakeholders, and the province will have the competence to not put parts of the local land use plan into operation if they are considered inconsistent with the provincial interest. Another new competence acquired by the province is to establish generally applicable land use regulations, which local authorities must translate into local land use plans. Even though there is, as yet, no planning practice under the terms of the new legislation, planning experts are facing the changing role of the province towards more involvement in the actual implementation of spatial interventions with condence. Illustration of the New Provincial Role: Regional Area Development One of the focus areas of the National Spatial Strategy is comprehensive area development at the regional level in which all the stakeholders participate. Whereas the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment rst used the concept of development planning (ontwikkelingsplanologie), this approach has currently been renamed regional area development (regionale gebiedsontwikkeling). The area-based comprehensive approach to spatial problems focuses far more than before on the quality of a larger project envelope as a whole rather than on various individual objectives. The concept of the project envelope, which offsets loss-making parts of the plan against those that make a prot, is something that is often used.1 Finally, there is much attention for partnership between government, private sector and organized interests in developing and implementing spatial plans. Comprehensive refers to the coordination of different levels of scale, disciplines, policy areas and the interests of the stakeholders involved. This focus purposely creates scope for innovative area-based models. A new role for the regional level emerges from the National Spatial Strategy. The appropriate tools to esh out the policy will be anchored in the new Spatial Planning Act and new land policy instruments. The new type of area development might arouse associations with new towns in the Netherlands and Great Britain, but they differ in that in the case of new towns, the emphasis was on urbanization, the actors were organized locally, with strong direction from central government (but not from the regional authorities) and the allocation of roles and funding between public and private actors differed from the present situation. It has been the case for a number of years that area development has increasingly targeted the regional level in the Netherlands. One example is projects that cover

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning

209

dozens of square kilometres and several municipalities, in which housing and ofce development is combined with developments in leisure, nature conservation and agriculture. Combining the different functions in one project envelope helps to nance investments in nature, leisure and agriculture with revenue from the more lucrative housing and ofce developments (Priemus, 2000). Regional area development requires a new approach as regards the actors involved, planning tools and funding. Examples of this type of regional area development are the Blue City (Blauwe Stad), Lake City (Meerstad ) and Wieringen Lake Area (Wieringerrandmeer). One of these examples of regional area developmentthe Blue Cityis examined briey below. The Blue City was initiated to stimulate the regional economy by developing an attractive living and working environment by creating a lake and surrounding nature and leisure facilities. The site covers some 1500 hectares in three municipalities in the upper north of the Netherlands (Figure 1). Since waterside living is regarded as highly attractive and therefore increases the value of the houses, and the open water itself also attracts leisure activities, the idea was to sacrice agricultural land in order to create a large new lake. Creating a nature reserve was also proposed. The lake and the nature reserve would be funded from the sale of new building plots and houses. In addition, the Province of Groningen and the municipalities developed a plan to improve the quality of life in the villages around the Blue City. The plan aimed to solve trafc problems, provide new waterway links and social amenities such as sports, health and education, culture and welfare facilities. The core project of the Blue City is being developed as a public private partnership. The public partners are the Province and the three municipalities. The private partners have formed a consortium of three developers. The Water Authority is also closely involved with everything concerned with water, and the State Forestry Service and the Groningen Provincial Nature Conservation Society are responsible for developing natural amenities. While drawing up the plan, a considerable amount of time was invested in collaboration with all the stakeholders and communication with the local population. The plans were presented at village community centres, the farmers involved were visited in person, and a newsletter kept everyone up-to-date. The creation of public support for the plan was a major issue in the plan development, as in the culture of Dutch rural population returning land back to water is considered to be something that is rather unnatural. The Province has been a crucial actor throughout the period. The persistence of the Groningen provincial authority and the good partnership with central government, the municipalities, the Water Authority and the private-sector partners are generally regarded as having been vital to the project. Since the Blue Citys inception, the private partners have displayed huge commitment to it. The Province is responsible for land acquisition, among other things, and is pre-nancing the project at a low interest rate. The three developers have agreed to purchase the building plots and are also responsible for building the houses and selling the plots. This example shows the shift towards a proactive role for the province. Whereas provinces used to focus on strategic planning and supervision and control of local plans, they now have to move some way towards a proactive implementation role. Regional area development projects can often be characterized by the fact that they are located in an environment where there is a supply-led market, and private sector operators are not going to come up with investment plans of their own accord. In situations of this kind, if the province takes on an active, risk-bearing role, it can help other actors to overcome

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

210

M. Spaans

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Figure 1. Map of the Netherlands

their inhibitions and take part. The municipalities involved are small and not in a position to make a substantial contribution because of their limited nancial resources, capacity, experience and knowledge. They do play a vital role in decision-making. However, the project will not go ahead without their cooperation: binding land use plans can only be issued at the local level. The pilot projects are planned and implemented using existing planning and land policy tools and powers, which are not properly equipped to handle regional projects of this kind. Many regional projects apply ad hoc solutions, and there is a need for effective implementation-based planning tools at regional level. The new Spatial Planning Act and related legislation will change this (Spaans & De Wolff, 2005; Spaans, 2006).

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning The Changing Role of the City-Region

211

Whereas the Dutch province is a democratically elected government level, the city-region is not. It is characterized by the local authorities participating in the largest Dutch urban areas as an extension of local government. The history of the status of the city-region is one full of changing focuses. A statutory basis has existed since the 1950s to take care of the interests held in common by the large urban local authorities and the smaller authorities in their immediate surroundings. Over the past few decades much discussion concentrated on if and how government in the largest urban areas should be institutionalized. In 1994 a provisional Act on Government in Transition (Kaderwet: bestuur in verandering) set the legal framework for introducing regional public bodies. As a result, seven city-regions were introduced. This provisional Act was introduced to facilitate the transition of the seven city-regions to regional government; the Act came into force in 1994 and remained so until 2004. Meanwhile, the Cabinet decided that the city-region would not become a formal (and democratically elected) government level. The Amendment of the Intermunicipal Statutory Regulations-Plus Act (Wijzigingswet WGR-plus) conrmed this and elaborated on the responsibilities of the city-region (Tweede Kamer 2004). The Act came into force in January 2005. Under the current Spatial Planning Act, local authorities in the city-regions are allowed to transfer some of their competences to this city-regional body. The current planning instrument available for the city-region is the regional structure plan (regionaal structuurplan), which could have become a strong planning instrument. However, its signicance has, in practice, been rather small. One of the reasons for this is that regional cooperation in the Netherlands is based on consensus. This means that the regional structure plan actually comes down to a joining of the local structure plans. Because the city-region is not democratically elected, but appointed by the local authorities involved, the cityregions hardly used their formal powers they received under the 1994 Act. In addition, the provinces may delegate some of their powers to the regional bodies, which they hardly did in practice. This resulted in the fact that, in practice, the role of the seven city-regions has been somewhat limited. When altering the local land use plan, local authorities must keep to the current strategic regional plan (by the city-region). But in contrast with the province, the city-region does not have a strong development control competence: it only has an advisory role, not the retrospective validation competence of local land use plans (Spaans, 2006). On the basis of the recent Intermunicipal Statutory Regulations-Plus Act (2005) the seven city-regions are able to continue to exist as city-regions (the WGR-plus regions) but with adapted responsibilities. In addition, it has also become possible to set up new regions: one region has since then been formed. The idea was that city-regions would retain the same package of tasks, including, among other things, spatial planning and land policy. In the new Spatial Planning Act, a separatebut still emptychapter is reserved for the competences of the city-region. The competences for the city-region will be included in the new Spatial Planning Act via the Enactment of the Spatial Planning Act (Invoeringswet Ruimtelijke Ordening: Tweede Kamer, 2007). There is still a lot of debate on the role of the city-region in the new Spatial Planning Act. In the Enactment of the new Spatial Planning Act which is proposed by the Government and is currently under debate by Parliament, proposes a strong role for the city-region in which each WGR-plus (city-) region has the competence to set up a structure vision and the province

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

212

M. Spaans

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

can delegate its competence to set up a binding land use plan to the city-region. This was proposed in spite of an earlier resolution from Parliament not to allocate additional competences to the WGR-plus (city-) region. The argument behind the resolution was that the role of local authorities has been reinforced in the new Spatial Planning Act and local authorities have at their disposal sufcient instruments to gear towards tuning within the city-region. The transfer of competences to city-regions is therefore considered undesirable. Another argument and a hot issue in the Netherlands about new government structures is the fear of too many tiers of government and that all administrators are busy tuning with the other tiers (bestuurlijke drukte). The principle of subsidiarity and which competence should be allocated to which tier or cooperation structure are crucial in this debate. It remains the question whether the Governments propositions will hold up in Parliament.

Illustration of the City-Regional Role: VINEX Funds In the national policy document VINEX (Fourth National Policy Document on Spatial Planning Extra), which was approved by Parliament in 1993, central government anticipated a more important future role for the city-region in urbanization. The seven city-regions were the main contract partners in the urbanization contracts with central government. These contracts included housing, business parks, infrastructure for public transport and nature and leisure projects. As a result, the city-regions acquired a central role in the implementation of the urbanization agreements; not so much in the actual project realization, but in the setting-up and management of overarching funds for cross-subsidization between development sites within the city-region area. Examples include the formation of funds by the city-regions of Amsterdam and Rotterdam within the framework of the VINEX. This will be illustrated for the cityregion of Rotterdam. This city-region and its 18 participating local authorities agreed to the realization of a spatial programme as part of the VINEX covenant, which has largely been realized. The use of planning gain between different sites within the city-region plays an important role. Decits of large development sites are covered by a fund that has been raised by contributions from central government and the participating local authorities (related to the population gure in the municipality). These decits were calculated on the basis of cost estimates. A second fund, of about 15 million euros, has been set up to (partly) nance nature and recreation areas and infrastructure projects included in the urbanization contracts. This fund has been built up through a compulsory contribution for each newly built dwelling by the local authorities. This compulsory contribution is part of the agreement between city-region and municipalities in the urbanization contract. The construction with the funds worked pretty well in practice, but problems are expected in the future. The original prospect of a formal government level of the city-region seems to have greatly inuenced the agreement with the local authorities. Now that the future status of the city-region will not become stronger, problems are foreseen with the extension of the agreements. Local authorities will probably not hand over funds for planning tasks by neighbouring local authorities. Jointly bearing the costs of regional green or infrastructure projects can count on more support than clearing away the debts by another local authority (De Wolff et al., 2004).

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning France and the Supralocal and Regional Levels

213

The preceding sections examined the changes in spatial planning at the Dutch supralocal and regional levels. Both the province and the city-region can be considered to be regional, the former being democratically elected, the latter not. With the reallocation of spatial planning competences, the Dutch government ultimately seems to opt for a reinforcement of the province and the local authority at the expense of the city-region. This section examines the French situation with respect to the current changes in competences in spatial planning at the supralocal and regional levels. This will be used as reection on the Dutch situation. The French experience of decentralization is an example of major transformations of which all western welfare states have been subject to. With globalization and the European Union, local and regional government in all member states have experienced dramatic changes in the way they operate, the responsibilities that they have and their links with the hierarchy of government organization (Loughlin, 2007). But changes in the French system of metropolitan governance date from much longer ago: it has undergone substantial changes over the past 40 years. Where once big city mayors used their privileged contacts with the central state to assert their power in their metropolitan areas, they now nd themselves embedded in complex networks with multiple territorial authorities. The heightened degree of multi-actor agency (in France and elsewhere) has led some observers to claim that governance relations are no longer structured through bureaucratic ` hierarchies but through a series of overlapping networks (Jessop, 1997; Le Gales, 1995, 2002). A layer of organizations, agencies and networks has formed to co-ordinate the collective action of these actors in areas of mutual concern (Nicholls, 2005: 783). French sub-national governance rests upon a complex actor system, whereby plural actors with overlapping responsibilities at several levels manage policy. Complex actor systems produce interdependent relationships, rather than clear-cut transfers of responsibilities. This interdependency can legitimately give rise to contrasting interpretations of decentralization (Cole, 2006: 35). Since the decentralization of the 1980s, France has had four administrative levelsand in some places even six. The four levels that apply everywhere are the state (as the French central government is referred to), the regions, the departments, and the municipalities. Hierarchic relations exist between the state and each of the three decentralized administrative bodies with regard to juridical, policy-making, and nancial issues. However, the three decentralized administrative bodies are not linked to each other by way of a hierarchic chain of command. All levels exercise their own authority, and operate alongside one another without having to account for their actions to the others (Spaans, 2002). Unlike in the Netherlands, the huge number of municipalities was not reduced to improve the efciency of the local level, but a level has been added to join forces. Central cities and their powerful mayors used to have a privileged position over other territorial actors. Nowadays they depend much more on these other authorities to full many basic governance tasks (Nicholls, 2005). But as brought forward other than the formal administrative tiers, many other organizations, agencies and networks also acquired a role in governance. The communaute urbaine (city-region) was already imposed to four conurbations in 1966; a further ve were created voluntarily in the 1970s. The purpose of the communautes urbaines was to achieve cooperation and joint administration between large cities and their independent suburbs. This step often followed failed

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

214

M. Spaans

` attempts to merge municipalities within a city-region area. According to Le Gales (1995) the French urban governance transformation has caused a clear differentiation between the local rural system and the local urban system. The major cities and city-regions have considerably gained political powers and have become major actors in the 1980s. But also the departments gained new competences and budgets in this period. They became the framework organization for the rural municipalities. However, the decisive impulse for cooperation at the supralocal level was given by the ` ` 1999 Chevenement Act (Loi relative au renforcement et a la simplication de la ration intercommunale). This Act was the second attempt during the 1990s to coope reform local government. It reduced the different forms of cooperation to three formulas: one adapted for rural areas municipalities (communaute de communes),2 the other two dedicated to urban areas (a less integrated formula, the communaute dagglomeration and a more integrated one, the communaute urbaine). Unlike in the other types of commu nautes, a municipality cannot freely leave a communaute urbaine. What is also new is that the state can force municipalities to participate in a intermunicipal body (Negrier, 2006). Ofcials at all government levels, with the exception of the intermunicipal body, are directly elected. In the latter, municipal councils nominate the members. The communaute urbaine is responsible for strategic policy domains and large nancial resources, for example for urban planning, infrastructure and economic development. The new intermunicipal cooperations have a much broader territorial eld of activity compared with their predecessors. Their compulsory powers have been extended to help them control the community territory more globally and relate to economic, social and cultural development. Their compulsory powers also include planning policies for their areas. In order to implement their enlarged power in a coherent way, they can use a fundamental scal tool, the Unique Professional Tax (Taxe Professionelle Unique, TPU ). This joint fund was created in 1999 and is fed by the municipalities participating in the urban communities created after 1999. The strong budgetary and scal incentives (such as the TPU) contained in the 1999 law on the development of intermunicipal cooperation largely explain, according to Negrier (2003, in Jouve, 2005: 289 290), the institutional dynamics experienced in France since the end of the 1990s. In granting to the municipalities substantial advantages in terms of nancial transfers, the French state created conditions in which the local elected ofcials would massively support this reform. It was essentially in the mid-sized cities that the law of 1999 produced the greatest impact because the administrative structure of the major French cities had already been reformed in the 1970s with the creation of the communautes urbaines. With this reform, the differentiation between the ` local rural system and the local urban system raised by Le Gales (1995) became less distinct. After the constitutional reform in 2003 there are now four levels of local authority: the municipality, the department, the region (new) and those with a special statute (new) (Cole, 2006: 35). This reform makes the role of local and regional bodies permanent by enshrining the principle that the organisation of the state is decentralised in Article 1 of the Constitution and by including the regions alongside the municipalities and overseas departments and territories in the administrative subdivisions of France referred to in the Constitution (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006). In addition to reinforcing the intermunicipal level, cooperation between communautes has also been addressed, thereby creating a level between communautes and regions. The focus is very much on strategic issues in order to improve the position within

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning

215

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Europe and not on specic spatial planning projects. New initiatives on cooperation at the supra-communaute level were facilitated with a state provided fund of 3.5 million euros for initiatives in 2005 and 2006. The bid was not meant to formulate an investment policy, but a plan for a process by the major public actors of the metropolitan area to develop projects with a dimension of international competitiveness. Six major themes emerged from all submissions: economic development, knowledge (higher education and research), accessibility (mostly railway and air transport), culture (and tourism) and environment. Spatial planning was seldom taken into account. The call for cooperation focused on the elaboration of a strategy and a network of public actors in the new metropolitan area. At the strategic level this new initiative will undoubtedly have a considerable impact in the future, but it is not expected to have much inuence on spatial planning competences (Motte, 2006). The intermunicipal bodies will remain the major players at the supralocal and regional levels with respect to spatial planning practice. There were some changes recently in the spatial planning competences of the communaute urbaine. For example, as part of the reform of the Loi Solidarite Renouvellement Urbain (SRU) the land use plan (Plan dOccupation des Sols, POS ) was replaced by the local town-planning plan (Plan Local dUrbanisme, PLU). The POS was essentially a management document for spatial and land issues and presents the sites that are allowed to be built, those that are not allowed to be built, and the building regulation. The PLU on the other hand is a future and devel opment-oriented document. It includes the PADD-document (Projet dAmenagement et de Developpement Durable) with strategic choices for a ten-year period that also address the quest for quality of space and environmental protection. It is at the disposal of the local authority and the intermunicipal body, either the communaute urbaine or the communaute dagglomeration. If an intermunicipal body is available it is this body that will draw up the PLU. In principle, the PLU is an operational and strategic document and more ambitious than the POS, but there are doubts whether this is really the case in practice. The commu naute urbaine has a number of competences available that facilitate the implementation of spatial planning projects. It has the pre-emption right (droit de peremption urbain, DPU), the right to create a development area (zone damenagement concerte, ZAC) or an area where a pre-emption right applies (zone damenagement differe, ZAD) and nally the right to expropriate land for public use. The intermunicipal body has thus crucial competences from strategic spatial planning policy to actual realization of spatial interventions. French Planning Practice by the Communaute Urbaine: Lille Metropole One of the major communautes urbaines is Lille Metropole Communaute Urbaine (LMCU or Lille Metropole), in which 85 municipalities participate. The region was struck in the 1970s by economic recession and since then many efforts have been made to compensate for the economic decline by stimulating new economic activities. A key strategy was to attract higher education institutions and research institutes. In the early 1990s, Lille Metropole decided to go ahead with a programme of economic development that consisted of seven major projects. If local authorities wanted to set up a project outside that programme, they were required to deposit 25 percent of the revenues gained from such projects in an economic development and solidarity fund (Fonds de Developpement Economique et Solidaire) (Van den Berg et al., 1993). Those seven projects were the following: Euralille, two multimodal transport platforms (Centre international de transport and Platforme

216

M. Spaans

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Multimodale), two new business parks (La Haute Borne and Ravennes les Francs), a zone for advanced telecommunications (Euroteleport) and the multifunctional revitalization of an obsolete industrial site, including the development of residential areas and service activi ties (La Fosse aux Chenes). The big projects were spread out over the whole communaute in order to create a balance in economic development. In addition, the municipalities had the right to pursue local economic development. Lille Metropole had a leading role in a few of these projects and may be the commissioning body in the realization of projects for which it had the responsibility (Spaans, 2002). Since then many more of these types of projects were taken forward in Lille Metropole, for example, in the urban and economic restructuring of the most run-down districts. Lille Metropole has taken largely advantage of the new functions granted by the 1999 legislation. The example shows that the communaute urbaine plays a crucial role in the allocation of strategic projects with respect to economic growth and spatial planning in the urban region. This body can force the participating municipalities to keep to the agreements. But unlike in the Netherlands, it can also participate in the actual realization and management of the individual spatial planning projects. France as a Mirror for the Netherlands Dutch central government has reinforced the implementation role of the province to address spatial planning issues more efciently at the regional level. The role of the city-region is still under debate by Parliament. In this paper, we compare current changes in the Netherlands with those in the last decades in France. Although there are differences between the two countries in, for example, institutional context and spatial planning tradition, there are enough similarities to use the French case as a mirror. French spatial planning (amenagement du territoire) for example focuses much more on regional economic development than Dutch spatial planning (ruimtelijke ordening), which is a more comprehensive integrated approach (European Commission, 1997). What is similar in the two countries is the search for adequate government structures, legislation and instruments to deal with spatial planning issues at supralocal and regional levels. This is partly an answer to general trends such as governance and subsidiarity resulting in the supralocal and regional levels increasingly being the level at which spatial issues are addressed. The province and the city-region in the Netherlands are considered as the supralocal and regional levels, whereas in France this mainly relates to the communautes. Both the Dutch city-region and the French communaute are not democratically elected and local auth orities appoint the members. Whereas in France the communaute has competences to actively get involved in the realization, in the Netherlands this role will be reinforced at provincial, but not city-regional level. Since the 1980s, a process of decentralization in the Netherlands has started off a large number of mergers between municipalities to enable them to professionalize and take up more responsibilities. The city-regions were therefore not meant to bypass the local level, but to add a new level to address issues relevant at this level. In France, on the other hand, mergers between municipalities failed to be implemented because of resistance by local elected ofcials. One of the main purposes of the intermunicipal bodies is to force municipalities to cooperate and professionalize their activities at this level. There is still debate whether Dutch government should reinforce the

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning

217

local authority and the province at the expense of the city-region or reinforce both local authority and city with competences for the actual implementation of spatial planning projects as in France. An argument not to reinforce the city-region might be that local authorities are democratically elected and the assumption is that the local authority has at its disposal enough competences to voluntarily reach agreement with other local authorities within the city-region on issues that need to be addressed at the supralocal level. Another argument is the fear of having too many government tiers, causing, among others, delays in policy and decision-making processes. In the Enactment of the new Spatial Planning Act, there is a strong focus on the principle of subsidiarity in the assignment of competences. In case of a supralocal spatial planning issue, it is either the city-region or the province, which can take up the elaboration of a structure vision or land use plan. The other government tier is then excluded from the right of using the planning instrument. ` An interesting lead is the observation by Le Gales (1995) about the French administrative constellation on the distinct difference between urban and rural municipalities. In France it was originally the departement in areas with rural municipalities having gained power because of decentralization. The new communaute de communes slightly shifted the power balance from the departement back to the communaute de communes. Many examples of the Dutch regional area development approach take place in rural areas. Here, it is the province taking the lead as the coordinator of the involved rural municipalities. For these cases central government has chosen to provide the province with more adequate tools in the new Spatial Planning Act to enable the realization of such projects. The focus on project envelopes that include nature, leisure and water land uses and most of the competences for these land uses being in provincial hands, justies the choice to reinforce the province. Should other types of regional area development come up that may be addressed more adequately at city-regional level and for which it does not have at its disposal the appropriate competences on the basis of the new Spatial Planning Act, delegation by the province might be the option. But even this will then probably only involve strategic issues and not competences for actual realiz ation such as those of the French communaute urbaine. The French example shows how urban municipalities join in intermunicipal bodies. Even though Dutch rural municipalities join in intermunicipal bodies, they do not have at their disposal competences to address spatial planning projects. To conclude, the changes as a result of urban governance and the adoption of the subsidiarity principle seem to have favoured different tiers of government and forms of cooperation between government tiers in the Netherlands and France. Dutch central government seems to favour the municipality and the province, and is still in debate what role the city-region should be given in addressing supralocal spatial issues, whereas the French state has focused more on the intermunicipal bodies. In both countries, the principle of subsidiarity has been applied consistently in order to avoid double competences, but the Dutch fear for too many government tiers seems to strongly inuence the choice of role for the city-region. The fact that the Dutch city-region is not directly elected might add to this. It seems as though the province will now have a leading role in the more rural area (outside the area covered by city-regions) and the city-region in the more urban area. The nal decision will be taken later in 2007. Hopefully the successful example of the French intermunicipal bodies will help to give the Dutch city-region a strong position in the new Dutch Spatial Planning Act.

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

218 Notes

M. Spaans

1. In fact, the idea of project envelope has already been practised during the time of the VINEX and will be discussed in the following section. 2. The communautes de communes were rst introduced in 1992.

References
Cole, A. (2006) Decentralization in France: central steering, capacity building and identity construction, French Politics, 4, pp. 3157. De Wolff, H., De Greef, J., Korthals Altes, W. & Spaans, M. (2004) Financiering van regionale ontwikkelingen uit de grondexploitatie; kostenverhaal en verevening op gemeentegrensoverschrijdende locaties of op bovenplans schaalniveau (Den Haag: Ministerie van VROM [Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment]). European Commission (1997) The EU compendium of spatial planning systems and policies, Regional Development Studies, 28 (Luxembourg: Ofce for Ofcial Publication of the European Communities). ` French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006) La France a la loupe. Decentralisation in France, InfoSynthese. Available online at http://www.vie-publique.fr Jessop, B. (1997) The governance of complexity and the complexity of governance: preliminary remarks on some problems and limits of economic guidance, in A. Amin & J. Hausner (Eds) Beyond Market and Hierarchy: Interactive Governance and Social Complexity, pp. 95 128 (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar). Jewson, N. & MacGregor, S. (Eds), Transforming Cities. Contested Governance and New Spatial Divisions (London: Routledge). Jouve, B. (2005) From government to urban governance in Western Europe: a critical analysis, Public Administration and Development, 25, pp. 285 294. Kearns, A. & Paddison, R. (2000) New Challenges for Urban Governance, Urban Studies, 37(56), pp. 845850. ` ` Le Gales, P. (1995) Du gouvernement des villes a la gouvernance urbaine, Revue Francaise de science politique, 45(1), pp. 57 95. ` Le Gales (2002) European Cities. Social Conicts and Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Lorrain, D. (1991) De ladministration republicaine au gouvernement urbain, Sociologie du Travail, 4, pp. 461 484. Loughlin, J. (2007) Subnational Government; The French Experience (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Motte, A. (2006) Spatial strategic planning in urban regions: governance network building for global international competitiveness. The French case (20042006). Paper presented at the Planning Research Conference, London, 57 April. Negrier, E. (2003) A French urban powershift? The political construction of metropolization, French Politics, 1, pp. 175 198. Negrier, E. (2006) Rescaling French urban territories: state, local power and regional congurations in the building of new metropolitan institutions, European Planning Studies, 14(7), pp. 939958. Nicholls, W. J. (2005) Power and governance: metropolitan governance in France, Urban Studies, 42(4), pp. 783 800. ` Pinson, G. & Le Gales, P. (2005) State restructuring and decentralization dynamics in France: politics is the driving force, Cahier du pole Ville no. 07/05 (Paris: Centre dEtudes Europeennes de Sciences Po). Priemus, H. (2000) Combining spatial investments in project envelopes: current dutch debates on area development, Planning Practice & Research, 17(4), pp. 455 63. Spaans, M., Golland, A. & Carter, N. (1996) Land supply and housing development: a comparative analysis of Britain and The Netherlands 197095, International Planning Studies, 1(3), pp. 291 310. Spaans, M. (2002) The implementation of urban revitalization projects; an international comparison, Housing and Urban Policy Studies, 20 (Delft: Delft University Press). Spaans, M. & De Wolff, H. (2005) Changing spatial planning systems and the role of the regional government level; comparing the Netherlands, Flanders and England. Paper presented at the ERSA conference, Amsterdam, 2327 August. Spaans, M. (2006) Recent changes in the Dutch planning system; towards a new governance model? Town Planning Review, 77(2), pp. 127146.

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Supralocal and Regional Levels in Dutch Spatial Planning

219

Downloaded By: [Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements] At: 04:29 17 February 2011

Stoker, G. (1995) Regime Theory and urban politics, in G. Judge, G. Stoker & H. Wolman (Eds) Theories of urban politics, pp. 5471 (London: Sage publications). Stone, C. N. (1989) Urban regimes and the capacity to govern: a political economy approach, Journal of Urban Affairs, 15(1), pp. 128. Tweede Kamer. (2004) Wijziging van de Wet gemeenschappelijke regelingen en enkele andere wetten met het oog op de instelling van plusregios, vergaderjaar 20032004, 29.532, nr. 2 (s Gravenhage: SDU Uitgeverij). Tweede Kamer. (2006) Nota Ruimte, vergaderjaar 20052006, 29.435, nr. 3a (s Gravenhage: SDU Uitgeverij). Tweede Kamer. (2007) Aanpassing van een aantal wetten met het oog op de inwerkingtreding van de Wet ruimtelijke ordening alsmede regeling van overgangsrecht (Invoeringswet Wet ruimtelijke ordening), vergaderjaar 20062007, 30.938, 2 (s Gravenhage: SDU Uitgeverij). Van den Berg, L., Van Klink, H. A. & Van der Meer, J. (1993) Governing Metropolitan Regions (Avebury: Aldershot). Van der Knaap, G. A. (2002) Stedelijke bewegingsruimte; over veranderingen in stad en land. Voorstudies en achtergronden 113, Wetenschappelijke Raad voor de Regering (s Gravenhage: SDU Uitgeverij). Website: English website of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment on spatial planning policy, legislation and instruments. http://international.vrom.nl