"Let's try to get the best out of it" understanding land transactions during land use change

S. M. Holtslag-Broekhof*, R. Beunen, R. van Marwijk, J. S. C. Wiskerke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Web of Science)


This article investigates land transactions in relation to intended land use change from a micro-scale perspective. Abetter understanding of land transactions is important for understanding and influencing how land is used. The aim is to explore how the different aspects and their interrelations influence landowner behaviour during land transactions initiated by the government. The study draws on 42 explorative interviews with land purchasers, land policy experts, planning professionals and local farmers.

The study shows that uncertainty, and feelings of justice are pivotal aspects during land transactions. Moreover, land transactions are co-evolving with the planning process. landowners exhibit strategic behaviour based on their personal situation and their expectations on uncertain aspects. The strategies are strongly interrelated with the evolution of land use change. Land use changes are both input on which actors base their strategies, as well as the outcome of those strategies. The aspects found in this study were strongly interrelated and changed over time. Some aspects were context dependent, while others are expected to influence land transactions in general. In this light, the strength of a successful planner is twofold: on the one hand a planner needs to be a good communicator; on the other hand a planner should be able to deal with uncertainty and expectations during plan processes. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-570
Number of pages10
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Land transaction
  • Land acquisition
  • Landowner behaviour
  • Land use change
  • Nature development


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