Boundaries in action: a framework to analyse boundary actions in multifunctional land-use developments

Saskia Van Broekhoven*, Frank Boons, Arwin Van Buuren, Geert Teisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


One way to achieve more sustainable spatial development and deal with pressures on space is through integrated or multifunctional land use. Achieving effective integration, although attractive, presents governance challenges. One challenge is how to deal with boundaries. Actors from different backgrounds need to coordinate across and manage their boundaries to realise effective integration of land-use functions. We develop a framework to analyse how actors construct, maintain, challenge, and reconstruct boundaries in their (inter) actions, and we apply the framework to a case analysis of a multifunctional development. The analysis shows that, although integration seems to suggest only boundary crossing, actors also actively defend and reconstruct boundaries. We reflect on how the process of achieving effective integration is not only about overcoming boundaries but also about reconstructing and respecting joint boundary demarcations. These demarcations help to create a sense of order and clarity in terms of responsibility and accountability, and hence enable implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1023
JournalEnvironment and Planning C-Government and Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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