Town Planning Review

Greening the city between public needs and private preferences in Carré de Soie, Lyon

Town Planning Review (2021), 92, (4), 461–477.


Governments are increasingly facing conflicting land uses in cities. Many governments strongly aspire to provide green spaces for the public, yet simultaneously stimulate private preferences for real-estate development. This paper argues that examining the interrelationship between land ownership and control over land clarifies the provision of green spaces in the context of private preferences for development. It presents a case study of the Carré de Soie urban development in which the government aspires to an abundance of green but concurrently encourages the market to take the initiative. The findings show that the lack of public land ownership combined with private actors having a say in control over land fell short in satisfying public aspirations for green spaces. This paper concludes that if cities need to become greener, recognising the role of the government to act in the public interest is of utmost importance.

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Author details

van Karnenbeek, Lilian