Contractual arrangements in urban regeneration projects

Contractual arrangements in urban regeneration projects

Contractual arrangements in urban regeneration projects

In a new publication in Urban Studies, Martijn van den Hurk and Tuna Tasan-Kok provide in-depth empirical insight into contractual arrangements for urban regeneration projects in the Netherlands.

Urban regeneration projects involve complex contractual deals between public- and private-sector actors. Critics contend that contracts hamper opportunities for flexibility and change in these projects due to strict provisions that are incorporated in legal agreements. However, empirical evidence on what is actually written within contracts is often missing.

In this new article, Martijn van den Hurk and Tuna Tasan-Kok address how practitioners deal with contractual arrangements for urban regeneration, presenting an analysis of what is included in contracts and how the actors involved navigate within contractual arrangements. This article taps into data sources that are difficult to access, addressing what is included in contracts and how they are used by practitioners, and presents questions for future research on contracts in the urban built environment.

The analysis draws attention to two common practices in Dutch urban regeneration projects. First, the authors show that local authorities tend to avoid confrontation and conflict with their contractual partners. Second, although contingency provisions are designed to render adaptability and facilitate the redefinition of task allocations between the public- and private-sector parties, we demonstrate that actors find other ways of changing the original arrangements.  

Full reference

van den Hurk, M., & Tasan-Kok, T. (2020). Contractual arrangements and entrepreneurial governance: Flexibility and leeway in urban regeneration projects. Urban Studies, 57 (16), 3217-3235.

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Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes – New publication by Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins on public accountability.In a new publication in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia...

One and the same?

One and the same?

One and the same?

New publication by Sara Özogul and Tuna Tasan-Kok on residential property investor types. A new publication in the Journal of Planning Literature confirms the limited academic engagement with investor stratifications. Furthermore, it establishes a new analytical framework for scholars to think along multidimensional lines to prevent oversimplifications.

Sara Özogul and Tuna Tasan-Kok previously raised concerns that even though investors differ vastly from one another, they are often generalized in the Planning and Urban Studies literature. In a new publication, they provide the scientific evidence of this claim, as well as a way forward: a new interdisciplinary perspective to better understand the complexities of investors as residential property markets actors.

Conducting a systematic literature review allows for the identification of research gaps and for shaping future research frameworks. In the analysis, Sara Özogul and Tuna Tasan-Kok focused on articles that mentioned investors combined with residential investment or housing in six disciplines: Urban and Regional Planning; Geography; Sociology; Urban Studies; Public Administration; and Economics. This inquiry led us to 4,602 publications between 2000 and 2019. Within the 4,602 journal articles, they systematically searched for those publications that went beyond using ‘investor’ as a generic term by mentioning different types of investors or by providing a categorisation of investors. The result: 117 publications. They analysed these 117 articles thoroughly and concluded that many scholars still fail to define and describe the type of investors they are naming. Differentiations that are made are frequently one-dimensional.

The authors compiled all types and existing categorisations of residential property investors that we could find, and manually grouped them to let the data ‘speak’. Ultimately, they were able to create a meta-categorisation, assigning all entries to differentiate investors either in terms of their i) spatial scale of operation, ii) size and social composition, iii) investment object and finance, or iv) investment and social behaviour. In the paper, they discuss each meta-category in-depth. Additionally, they illustrate the prominence of the meta-categories among the six disciplines and review the key themes that scholars raise in relation to each meta-category.

Only when the phenomenon of residential property investors as an increasingly influential actor group in urban development is properly understood and differentiated, can practicing planners and urban policy makers make informed choices in their efforts to influence and regulate these actors. Therefore, Sara Özogul and Tuna Tasan-Kok propose to turn the four meta-categories into a multi-dimensional analytical framework as a point of departure for a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of investor differentiations, a tool that is urgently needed in Planning Studies and related disciplines.

Full reference

Özogul, S. and T. Tasan-Kok (2020). One and the Same? A Systematic Literature Review of Residential Property Investor Types. Journal of Planning Literature, 35(4), 475–494.

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Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes – New publication by Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins on public accountability.In a new publication in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia...

Fragmented governance architectures in Amsterdam

Fragmented governance architectures in Amsterdam

Fragmented governance architectures in Amsterdam

Entrepreneurial urban governance is a dynamic and complex process, which requires equally dynamic and complex institutional infrastructure. Although the entrepreneurialisation of local administrations received quite some scholarly attention, the extent and format of institutional and organisational structures in a market-oriented system often remain unnoticed. In a new article published by Environment and Planning A, I collaborated with Sara Ozogul to share our research findings on this topic.

We developed a conceptual perspective arguing that complex institutional and organisational arrangements in market-driven urban development can be comprehended through fragmented governance architectures. We propose an original thesis: entrepreneurial urban governance requires, and ultimately creates, fragmented governance architectures that accommodate complex institutional and organisational arrangements in market-oriented urban development.

Focusing on the increasingly complexifying and problematic residential property production in Amsterdam, our comprehensive frame of analysis focuses on the way property industry activity is regulated by the public sector; the way public administrative structures relate to property market activity; and the way policy interventions and tools are narrated in regulations affecting residential property production.

Even though entrepreneurial governance arrangements in Amsterdam are not new, our article poses that the degree of fragmentation has intensified since the 2008 financial crisis with the subsequent de-regulation, particularly at the national level, and – once the repercussions were felt in Amsterdam – with various attempts to re-regulate residential property production at the local level. The Dutch national government loosened its regulatory framework to make more room for private market activities. Meanwhile, housing shortages across the Netherlands turned residential property production into a highly politicised issue. Correspondingly, in recent years various government layers and agencies began to produce more guidelines, visions, and ambitions to push forward their own agendas based on their constituencies.

Based on rich empirical evidence, including discourse analysis, policy analysis and in-depth interviews with key policy and property industry actors operating in Amsterdam, we illuminate a complex regulatory environment expressing divergent attitudes toward property market activity, intra-organisational discrepancies within Amsterdam’s local administration up to the level of individuals engaging with property development, and the circulation of fuzzy policy narratives on property industry actors. In Amsterdam, we argue, 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.

Full reference

Tasan-Kok, T. & S. Özogul (2021). Fragmented governance architectures underlying residential property production in Amsterdam. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.

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Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes – New publication by Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins on public accountability.In a new publication in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia...

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes – New publication by Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins on public accountability.

In a new publication in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins explore the idea of public accountability in the contemporary entrepreneurial governance of cities.

The contemporary governance of cities is strongly influenced by market dependency and private sector involvement. Within this complex setting, the authors specifically focus on the fragmentation of public accountability through hybrid contractual landscapes of governance, in which the public and private sector actors interactively produce a diversity of instruments to ensure performance in service. This situation, they argue, stands in sharp contrast to the traditional vague norms and values appealed to by urban planning institutions, to safeguard the public interest.

Tasan-Kok et al. illuminate how public accountability is produced by public and private sector actors, through highly diverse sets of contractual relations and diverse control instruments that define responsibilities of diverse actors who are involved in a project within a market-dependent planning and policy making environment. These complexities mean public accountability has become fragmented and largely reduced to performance control.

They demonstrate how public accountability is assuming a more ‘contractual’ and unpredictable meaning in policy and plan implementation process on the basis of comparative empirical evidence from The Netherlands, UK and Brazil. While context-specific institutional relations exist in these three countries, the authors are able to show how the creation of regulatory instruments that attempt to hold those involved accountable at multiple scales of governance makes overall public accountability difficult to enforce.

Full reference

Taşan-Kok, T., Atkinson, R., & Martins, M. L. R. (2020). Hybrid contractual landscapes of governance: Generation of fragmented regimes of public accountability through urban regeneration. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 2399654420932577.

RECENT RESEARCH POSTS

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes

Contractual governance landscapes – New publication by Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins on public accountability.In a new publication in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia...

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