Msc Thesis AMS Institute - Recognizing value

Exploring the potential of the community land trust as a model for circular area development

By Jelle Burger

Cities are pushing the transition towards a circular economy. Current perspectives on circularity in area development have a strong focus on economic and technical measures. However, a broader perspective on circular area development is needed, which is more conscious of the way cities are used and valued by its inhabitants. This research has investigated barriers and drivers for the implementation of circular area development processes in general and the Community Land Trust (CLT) model in particular, in order to explore the CLT’s potential contribution to circular area development. Interviews with professionals resulted in the preliminary conclusion that land policy is experienced as a crucial link to facilitate circular and inclusive values by means of the CLT model.

However, current land policies are not fit to facilitate the needs of the CLT model. A new normative and financial narrative for land policy needs to be in place in order to open-up decision-making which is able to accommodate inclusive and circular initiatives. This research thus argues that the potential contribution of the CLT model to inclusive circular area development is threefold. First, the CLT model is able to empower cooperative thinking. This way, cooperatives can become a stronger partner next to the public and private sector, which contributes to citizens valuing and feeling collective responsibility towards used and maintained urban resources. Second, the CLT model contributes as an alternative land development narrative which can inspire mechanisms that enhance the circular transition, for example by integrating policies, energizing professionals and demolishing municipal silos. Third, the CLT model can facilitate more full and complete usage of urban space, which takes existing values as a starting point for development and contributes to more democratic and just area development processes.

Source: Burger, J. 2021. Recognizing value: Exploring the potential of the community land trust as a model for circular area development. MADE, AMS Institute