At the beginning of the 1990s Norwegian land use policy changed from greenfield development to brownfield transformation and general densification within the existing urban structure. In parallel, commercial real estate development and market mechanisms became the preferred method of plan implementation. Densification and transformation sometimes occur without corresponding changes in the property structure. In some cases, however, real estate development will depend on simultaneous rights over adjacent properties, i.e. complex property structures, which in turn will depend on the implementation of well thought-out land assembly strategies. This may be the case, for example, if CBD areas grow into residential areas or when older industrial or harbour areas are redeveloped. Such developments most often also depend on the development of public land use policies in order to be realized. However, there are few examples of land assembly strategies from public authorities aimed at providing land for such densification and transformation. Thus, to implement densification and transformation plans, the Norwegian municipalities rely on cooperation with real estate developers for implementing public land policies, and complex property structures are one key to understanding densification and transformation as property development. This article discusses development strategies for complex real estate structures, particularly related to the need for land assembly and the need to use property rights as tools to ensure the implementation of planning decisions. The purpose of the discussion is to set the Norwegian situation into a larger international context.

Keywords: Complex property structures, densification and transformation, land assembly models