Fragmented governance architectures in Amsterdam
In a new publication in Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, WHIG researchers Tuna Tasan-Kok and Sara Özogul examine entrepreneurial transformations in Amsterdam’s governance of residential property production.
Amsterdam’s governance has been long praised for being ‘egalitarian’ and ‘just’ but changing regulations have consistently altered state-market relationships in relation to housing. Today, residential property production follows an entrepreneurial model heavily intertwined with private property market dynamics.
Particularly the Dutch national government made room for more private market activities in urban development, while housing shortages and affordability issues have entered the political centre stage. Consequently, different layers of governments started to produce an increasing number of policies and agendas to steer housing production based on their own constituencies. As a result, Amsterdam’s governance system can now be characterized as fragmented: Uncoordinated, and at times contradictory, institutional ties link the local administrations and property industry actors in residential property production processes, forming a complex and chaotic landscape of regulations, actors, and relations.
Theoretically, the article provides an original framework for analysis that enables the close examination of institutional and organisational structures that accompany market-oriented ideological shifts and transitions in urban governance. Entrepreneurial urban governance, the authors argue, requires and ultimately creates fragmented governance architectures, a concept borrowed from governance studies and operationalised in relation to property development. Fragmented governance architectures draw attention to the various actors and their interest and goals, and to the multiple regulations and policy narratives that shape their interaction.
In Amsterdam’s fragmented governance architecture of residential property production, divergent attitudes are expressed toward property market activity, and intra-organisational discrepancies exist within the local administration up to the level of individuals holding strong personal views on property developers and investors shaping their day-to-day work. Additionally, fuzzy policy narratives on property industry actors circulate. Combined, these factors create the underlying infrastructure that allows an increasingly entrepreneurial governance system to roll out at the local level. Without strong and consistent public-sector leadership, this fragmentation is likely to increase.
Read the article in full: Tasan-Kok, T. and Özogul, S. (2021) Fragmented governance architectures underlying residential property production in Amsterdam. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X21996351
Image by Fons Heijnsbroek via unsplash.
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