21 April 2016

From plans to land change: how strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions (CONCUR)

Urban regions are undergoing a highly dynamic global process of land change. Planning and governance have a long tradition in urban areas as a means to guiding spatial development. However, a realistic model of the contribution of planning and policy to land change is still lacking, and planning is therefore only rudimentarily considered in land-change science.
This research project should help clarify how planning and policy affect land change. The key challenge is that planning is context-sensitive while land-change modelling aims for generality. The overall aim of this ground-breaking, highly interdisciplinary proposal is to bridge these distinct paradigms and develop a scientific basis for adequately integrating regional spatial policies into land-change modelling.
The first stage is to develop a theoretical model with the following core concepts: (1) spatial concepts as contained in strategic spatial plans, (2) key elements of governance efficiency, and (3) supra-regional development trajectories.
The second and third stages will focus on assessing the applicability of the theoretical framework by operationalizing the model and subsequently testing it in the urban regions of Zurich, Bucharest, and Austin, Texas.
The envisaged results may well transform our understanding of the impact planning can have in urban regions and should lead to more realistic applications of planning intentions and plan implementation in land-change models. These models should consequently improve and are expected to become truly useful for decision-making and support politicians in their quest to guide change in sustainable directions.
Period of the project: 2016 - 2020
Funding body: Swiss National Science Foundation - ERC TBS Consolidator Grant
Principal investigatorAnna M. Hersperger
missing bridge - small