Understanding variation in municipal land policy strategies : An empirical typology

Pauliina Krigsholm*, Tuulia Puustinen, Heidi Falkenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


Land use and development has a pivotal role in building sustainable future societies. Municipalities contribute to this effort by applying a set of land policy instruments to advance their selected policy objectives. The way in which a municipality chooses to activate these instruments is called a land policy strategy. The literature recognizes the diversity of land policy strategies within a single-country context, but as yet there has been no systematic and comprehensive examination of land policy practices to find out to what extent and how the municipalities' approaches to land policy differ from each other. To address this gap, this study examines the diversity of land policy strategies in Finnish municipalities by constructing an empirically grounded typology of municipalities' current strategies. Drawing on an extensive set of data on land policy practices in the 30 most populated Finnish municipalities, we identify five strategy types: land banking based active land policy, growth-oriented active land policy, regional vitality driven land policy, housing policy-oriented land policy and private development focused land policy. The strategy types are characterized by differences along six dimensions, namely land policy objectives, public land acquisition, public-private cooperation, public land allocations, economic incentives, and information steering and facilitation. The typology contributes to a deeper understanding of the variation and commonality in land policy strategies of local government authorities. Our findings support the view that current definitions of land policy strategies are too vague and ambiguous to portray the differences in strategies when the analytical focus is on municipality-level strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103710
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Empirical typology
  • Land policy
  • Land policy instruments
  • Land policy practices
  • Municipal land policy strategy


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