Faculty of Law

GOVLAND - Legal governance in land use planning

Striking a balance between national and municipal power and between private initiative and public control.


Main content

Legal governance in land use planning [GOVLAND]” will examine the core legal instruments for regulating the balance between national and municipal power in Norwegian land use planning. How the legal framework is and should be on land use planning, the interpretation of the rules and day by day management, can have a major impact on living conditions, infrastructure and sustainability. What are the legal requirements for effective, knowledge-based decision processes and what legal protection does local democracy have in a rapidly changing society marked by Europeanisation, globalisation, privatisation and climate change?

The question of democracy and efficiency in connection with municipal land management raises two main issues, that will be examined through six subprojects. The first challenge concerns the interplay between municipal autonomy and central government control, and the second concerns the interplay between public and private initiative and management.

GOVLAND constitutes of one legal science PhD fellowship, one researcher position in geography, research activities of the management team and two law student theses. The PhD projects aims at analyzing the relationship between state and municipal self-government by a study of under which conditions the state can take over responsibility for making decisions on matters for which the law, in principle, assigns responsibility to the municipality as administrative authority. The project in geo­graphy will look more closely at democracy and efficiency in compact urban development. The management team will study the Norwegian system for municipal land use planning and central government control com­pared with Canada and Scotland, and the division of responsibility in cases related to planning at sea, aquaculture and salmon lice issues. The law student theses discuss the distribution of initiative, competencies and responsibility between the public administration and private operators.

For more information, please see attached project despcription.