Land Take as a Policy Problem

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What are the main causes of land take in a wealthy European region, and how can they be addressed? This article focuses on policy instruments and implications for tackling land consumption by illustrating the case of the Lombardy region. In the context of EU environmental policy, Italy lacks national land-use planning and legislation on land take, leaving it to be addressed by regional authorities. The government of the most populous Italian region has adopted binding quantitative land-use limits for municipal planning. On the basis of the responses of municipal officeholders to a questionnaire, the article highlights the causes of land consumption, the attitudes of local policymakers, and the perceived effectiveness of the policy instruments adopted, with a widespread preference for tax credits to support urban regeneration.