Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
Spatial planning to the test of property rights in Switzerland : an innovative land management approach to coordinate spatial planning goals with property rights interests
Title of the conference
The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
In Switzerland, the land management regime is characterized by a liberal attitude towards the institution of property rights, which is guaranteed by the Constitution. Under the present Swiss constitutional arrangement, authorities (municipalities) are required to take into account landowners' interests when implementing their spatial planning policy. In other words, the institution of property rights cannot be restricted easily in order to implement zoning plans and planning projects. This situation causes many problems. One of them is the gap between the way land is really used by the landowners and the way land should be used based on zoning plans. In fact, zoning plans only describe how landowners should use their property. There is no sufficient provision for handling cases where the use is not in accordance with zoning plans. In particular, landowners may not be expropriated for a non-conforming use of the land. This situation often leads to the opening of new building areas in greenfields and urban sprawl, which is in contradiction with the goals set into the Federal Law on Spatial Planning. In order to identify legal strategies of intervention to solve the problem, our paper is structured into three main parts. Firstly, we make a short description of the Swiss land management regime. Then, we focus on an innovative land management approach designed to implement zoning plans in accordance with property rights. Finally, we present a case study that shows the usefulness of the presented land management approach in practice. We develop three main results. Firstly, the land management approach brings a mechanism to involve landowners in planning projects. Coordination principle between spatial planning goals and landowners' interests is the cornerstone of all the process. Secondly, the land use is improved both in terms of space and time. Finally, the institution of property rights is not challenged, since there is no expropriation and the market stays free.
Land readjustment, land management, property rights, spatial planning, Switzerland.
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