Municipal land allocations: integrating planning and selection of developers while transferring public land for housing in Sweden



An essential component in all housing developments is suitable land. Besides being buildable, this implies land approved for housing in a marketable and consequently implementable location. Insufficient supply of suitable land to housing developers could affect the supply of housing. In Sweden, a lot of land appropriate for housing is owned—often since many years back—by municipalities and supplied to developers through the use of ‘land allocations’. A land allocation connects a developer and a municipality in a interdependency-based collaboration intended to jointly create an implementable development right, followed by a land transfer. Using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires reaching a total of 26 municipalities and 91 developers, the Swedish land allocation system is investigated; results are presented with emphasis on requirements put on developers, its interaction with the planning process and on the different methods used to select a certain developer. Additionally, the system is reviewed from a developer perspective and put in an international context. While many countries make use of public land for housing, the article shows that the Swedish land allocation system deviates in several aspects and in spite of its long history, there are undoubtedly features considered less well functioning from the developer’s point of view.


Housing Land policy Land allocation Land development Public land Urban planning Urban development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Real Estate Planning and Land Law, Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, School of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentKTH, Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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