Drawing lessons from mineral and land use policy in Europe: Crossing policy streams or getting stuck in silos?

Andreas Endl, Sara Louise Gottenhuber, Katharina Gugerell

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


While mineral resource extraction is a contested land-use under increased societal scrutiny, it is tremendously important for clean energy transition and societal economic development. Despite increased demand, access to mineral resources is, however, subject to different stakeholder interests often reflected in competing forms of land-use and institutional complexity of two policy streams of minerals and land use planning. During the last decade public policy responses in Europe introduced new instruments such as protection of minerals deposits or valorisation schemes for minerals development, both aiming to link or integrate these two policy streams. While policy studies focus on the mineral and geological background, they lack the contextualisation in the broader (land-) policy and governance discourse. This article closes this gap and contributes to the interface between mineral resources, land policy and spatial planning. It provides insights into 1) what policy instruments are assembled to policy mixes for integrating minerals and land use planning policy, and (ii) in how far these instruments are fit for purpose in the respective land-use planning system. In our analysis we portray the diversity of policy instruments to better integrate policy domains of mineral and LUP, but are only deployed in a 13 European countries. The instruments are assembled to policy mixes combining regulatory, strategies and guidelines, as well as information-based or voluntary instruments with horizontal policy integration representing on average high degrees of integration compared to vertical integration. Considering diversity of European planning systems and different context of mineral resource challenges, we conclude that it is the “contextual match” of what (instruments) works where (land use planning system) that matters. In our research we clearly indicate this contextual match on two levels: First a planning system and decision-making match for vertical integration, and, second, a policy cycle match for horizontal integration, where minerals or LUP topics/issues, respectively, are considered in preparation or design stage of land-use plans, zoning documents or mineral planning documents. For policy decision-makers the array of identified instruments provides solutions fitting to different socio-spatial contexts of mineral and Land use planning policy as well as different planning systems.
Original languageGerman
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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