Review of International Experience of Community, Communal and Municipal Ownership of Land

Rob McMorran, Jayne Glass, Jane Atterton, Sarah Jones, Eugenio Perez Certucha, Annie J McKee, Malcolm Combe, Ting Xu

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned reportpeer-review

115 Downloads (Pure)


Community landownership in Scotland is generally understood as ownership of title to land and/or assets by a community body, linked to a defined geographic community. It is a relatively distinct category of landownership, regarded as different to public ownership of land (e.g. by government agencies and non-departmental public bodies).
In contrast, the interpretation of ‘community’ or ‘communal’ ownership of land varies in other countries and is often less clearly distinguished from public ownership. Municipal ownership – a form of state ownership where the land is owned by municipal bodies (e.g. communes) at different scales, is also relevant due to the high level of community control. Communal or municipal rights to land are relatively common globally and across much of Europe, with a growing, statutory recognition of rural communities as collective owners of land. This research was commissioned to provide an overview of relevant forms of community, communal and municipal landownership in other countries, and suggest how lessons from international experiences could be applicable in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationInverness
PublisherScottish Land Commission
Commissioning bodyScottish Land Commission
Number of pages115
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2020


  • land reform
  • land ownership
  • community ownership
  • governance
  • property
  • tenure


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