Land policy conflict profiles for different densification types : A literature-based approach

Tuulia Puustinen*, Pauliina Krigsholm, Heidi Falkenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


Densification is being promoted in urban areas globally because of its many economic, environmental, and social benefits. The concept itself remains ambiguous, however, which is hampering the pursuit of densification as a strategic land policy objective. In this paper we construct literature-based land policy conflict profiles for different types of densification in order to reach a more nuanced understanding of the complexities involved in promoting densification through land policy. To that end we use a hermeneutic approach to critically review the literature and develop a typology of different densification types with relevance to land policy and categorize land policy conflicts specific to each type. As a result, we distinguish four densification-type-specific land policy conflict profiles: 1) policy-driven large-scale brownfield development, 2) policy-driven large-scale densification of strategic areas, 3) owner-driven medium-scale densification of individual high-rise sites, and 4) owner-driven incremental-scale densification of low-rise sites. The land policy conflict profiles address factors hindering the efficiency and effectiveness of the policy, the allocative, distributive, and procedural justice of densification, and conflicting policy outcomes. These unique conflict profiles allow for a detailed recognition of gaps, weaknesses, contradictions, justice and/or political indecisiveness in land policies promoting densification. The paper contributes to a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by land policy aimed at promoting densification. In addition, the conflict profiles will be helpful for practitioners in drafting municipal densification strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106405
Number of pages11
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Conflict of interest
  • Densification
  • Land policy
  • Legitimacy


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