Spatial Planning

Describe, explain, and guide urban and regional sustainability transformations.

In our research and teaching, we engage with increasingly complex governance challenges in developing, operating, and transforming cities and urban regions in line with sustainability goals.

We contribute knowledge on the governance and planning of urban futures and how they are shaped by institutional arrangements and innovative planning approaches. The following overarching questions guide our research and teaching:

  • How do urban and regional governance arrangements support or restrict sustainability transformations?
  • What are the contestations, politicizations, and dilemmas that arise in urban transformation processes, and how are and could they be addressed?
  • How can planning instruments and processes be designed to deal with rivalrous land uses and complex property regimes?
  • How can cities and regions increase their capacity in governing sustainability transformations, i.e., through regulatory reforms, collaborative planning, or informal and community-led planning approaches?
  • How can planning processes and institutions better address urban inequalities and contribute to socio-ecological justice?
  • How do planning approaches contribute to overcoming institutional silos and aligning sustainability goals across policy fields, policy levels, and territorial jurisdictions?
  • What are the roles and added values of planning support systems, big data, and social media in the governance of urban sustainability?


For individual members of this research section, please see the staff listing.