No net land take for Flanders. Towards a roadmap for the implementation of Europe’s land target


  • Peter Lacoere HOGENT
  • Hans Leinfelder KU Leuven



Land take , no net land take, mitigation hierarchy , Flanders


Since 2011, the European Commission has recommended that member states reduce land take and achieve the ‘no net land take’ objective by 2050. The objective was reinforced in the EU ‘Soil Strategy for 2030’ and is likely to gain further importance in the upcoming Soil Health Law. This paper investigates the feasibility and implementation of a no net land take policy for the Flemish region, Belgium. The new land policy for Flanders was announced in 2016, representing a paradigm shift from spatial growth to final growth boundaries. The paper uses a generic model of the policy-making cycle to assess the implementation of a no net land take policy at the national or regional level. We propose a roadmap of implementation in five cyclical phases for Flanders, but many aspects of this proposed roadmap can be applied to other parts of Europe as well. In the implementation stage, the targeted selection and implementation of land-use instruments is of paramount importance to realise the land-take reduction trajectory. The Flemish case of the so-called Bouwshift shows that development instruments supporting further construction at good locations are politically more popular than protective measures that actually protect soil and landscape but intervene in property rights.


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Issue publication date 2023-12-29 (version 2)
Published online first 2023-10-06 (version 1)




Research Article

How to Cite

Lacoere P, Leinfelder H. No net land take for Flanders. Towards a roadmap for the implementation of Europe’s land target. RuR [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 Jul. 22];81(6):620-35. Available from: