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The influence of politicization on the implementation of developer obligations in a federalist country. Evidence from Switzerland

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Lambelet Sébastien, Viallon François-Xavier,
Project Who governs Swiss urban areas? Urban regimes and policy resources in Switzerland
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Negotiating developer obligations towards better public infrastructure
Editor , van der Krabben Erwin; , Munoz Gielen Demetrio
Publisher Routledge, Abingdon
Page(s) 1 - 9
ISBN 000-0-0000-0000-0
Title of proceedings Negotiating developer obligations towards better public infrastructure


Despite a progressive increase of land value redistribution instruments anchored in federal and cantonal legislation, the implementation of developer obligations (DO’s) and more broadly land use planning legislation in Switzerland remains largely dependent on the local political context. This is reflected in the 2012 revision of the federal spatial planning act (FSPA), which introduced a value recovery mechanism whose implementation greatly varies among cantons and communes. As a result, the implementation of DO’s largely remains case dependent. We show this phenomenon through a comparison of three urban projects promoted by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), where the negotiated obligations vary importantly across the cases. We find that the level of politicization of urban projects impacts significantly on authorities’ willingness to negotiate DO’s with the developer. A moderately politicized environment seems to be the most accurate configuration to implement DO’s in Switzerland.