Politics and Planning: Land Take Between the EU Soil Strategy and Local Policymaking in Lombardy

Martino Mazzoleni*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While the democratic theory of party government contends the importance of accountable decisionmakers’ preferences for policy outputs, the post-politics thesis argues that political differences have become irrelevant after the triumph of neoliberalism. This paper questions whether politics makes any difference in land-use policy, with specific regard to land take, focusing on attitudes and choices of local elected officers (LEOs) in Italy’s largest region, where legislation on the land take was introduced in 2014. Most LEOs favour limiting land consumption and do not expand developable land. However, such attitude appears to somehow vary according to LEOs’ political leanings, being less common for right-wing administrators. Furthermore, this does not contradict the established pro-development paradigm, as shown by land consumption rates. Typically, under the influence of special interests, local land-use decisions can undermine large-scale strategies aimed at sustainability, such as the European Union’s Soil Strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Planning Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • EU soil strategy
  • Land take
  • land-use planning
  • local elected officers
  • policy preferences


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