Project

From plans to land change: how strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions (CONCUR), PI Prof. Anna Hersperger (WSL)

Goal: 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Period of the project: 2016 - 2021
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Funding body: Swiss National Science Foundation - ERC TBS Consolidator Grant
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Project web page
http://www.wsl.ch/fe/landschaftsdynamik/projekte/CONCUR/index_EN
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Principal Investigator:
Anna M. Hersperger
http://www.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/hersperg/index_EN

Date: 4 January 2016 - 31 December 2021

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Project log

Darío Domingo
added a research item
Three-dimensional urban form has a considerable influence on urban sustainability, being the reason spatial planning regulate it. Yet, we know very little about the development of building density and building height over time. In this study, we characterize the horizontal and vertical patterns of urban development in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Zaragoza between 1965 and 2015. Our analysis is based on a unique combination of cadastral data and LiDAR point clouds, which we use to characterize building footprint, height, and volume, at decadal intervals. Subsequently, we characterize urban expansion and densification processes using building volume and Urban Form Types. We find that height of new buildings shows a significant downward trend during the 70 ′ s for the four urban areas and a decreasing trend after the 2008 real estate bubble for the cases of Bar-celona and Valencia. Over the analyzed period a decrease of 116, 313, 217 and 157 cm in average building height was observed for Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Zaragoza, respectively. Urbanized volume of all cities together has expanded by roughly 350% between 1950 and 2015. Sparse built-up form showed the largest absolute increase, although it contains only a low fraction of new built-up volume. A clear trend towards expansion is observed in city outskirts and the development of new urban clusters in municipalities closer to the main city. At the same time, settlements have followed incremental steps towards densification of the city-cores over time. This study provides a first step towards comprehensive understanding of long-term changes in 3D urban form, which can inform the development of policies that target the third dimension in urban form to steer sustainable urban growth.
He Zhichao
added a research item
The increasing impacts of built-up land expansion on sustainable development have heightened the use of spatial planning as a policy tool to contain built-up land expansion. However, causal evidence for the effect of spatial planning on built-up land expansion has largely remained unexplored. In this study, we used a difference-indifference model with propensity score matching to estimate the average and annual effect of built-up land zoning (subsequently called zoning) on built-up land expansion in Zhangzhou City, China between 2010 and 2020. Results on the average effect show that zoning was effective in containing built-up land expansion. Specifically , zoning prevented 27.02 km 2 of built-up land expansion outside the development-permitted zones between 2010 and 2020, which accounts for 32.46% of the observed built-up land expansion outside the development-permitted zones. We found a time-lag effect, with zoning starting to have an effect after 2013. Furthermore, zoning became ineffective in containing built-up land expansion at the end of plan implementation. Based on our findings, we recommend that future evaluations of the effect of spatial planning on land-use change use causal inference and that they explore the influence of time on the effect of plans in greater detail.
Darío Domingo
added a research item
The data set "LUSzoning" stands for Land-use simulations integrating zoning regulations in Spanish functional urban areas.The dataset includes 16 .asc raster layers providing the simulated land-uses under four defined scenarios for Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Zaragoza Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) for 2030. The simulated raster layers were created using CLUMondo simulation framework and have a spatial resolution of 30m.
Ana Beatriz Pierri-Daunt
added 2 research items
Urban expansion is expected to continue at a fast rate, precisely in peri-urban areas of developing countries surrounded by biodiversity hotspots. The need to assess and potentially restructure urban and environmental planning instruments becomes apparent in scenarios where urban expansion is difficult to manage. Indicators based on spatially explicit datasets have been suggested as effective tools to evaluate spatial planning outcomes because they can shed light on the efficiency of planning measures and the fulfilment of claimed goals. In this work, we evaluated the conformance of stated spatial planning goals and the outcomes in terms of urban compactness, basic services and housing provision, and nature conservation for different land-use strategies. We evaluate the 2005 Ecological-Economic Zoning (EEZ) and two municipal master plans from 2006 in a coastal region in São Paulo State, Brazil. We used Partial Least Squares Path Modelling (PLS-PM) to explain the relationship between the plan strategies and land-use change ten years after implementation in terms of urban compactness, basic services and housing increase, and nature conservation. Our findings suggest that the evaluated plans were influenced by the land-use pattern at the time when the plan was approved (2005). For all evaluated plans, the Urban Use strategy was important to explain the Urban Compactness, but most of the new urban isolated areas occurred outside of the zones where the Urban Use strategy was applied. Two out of three of the evaluated plans were considered efficient in terms of nature conservation. In general, the Urban Use strategy can be considered successful in promoting more compact patterns of new build-up areas (axial and infill growth), but not in containing the emergence of new isolated areas outside the zones with Urban Use strategy. Our findings are in line with those from similar studies showing that areas outside of urban cores are often deprived of efficient spatial planning. The increase in Basic Services and Housing was not sufficient to attend the regional demand, and the inadequacy of these services remains a problem in the region. Future policies for land-use management in NCSP need to address the increasing demand for basic services and housing and to enable urban development inside urban core areas.
Landscapes changes are a result of a wide range of interactions between actors and driving forces (DFs). In this study, we quantify the contribution of different types of DFs to processes of land change in the Northern Coast of São Paulo State (NCSP), Brazil, an important region for tourism and the energy sector. We analysed the relationship between DFs and the processes of land change from 1985 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2015 with partial least squares path modelling. The political and technological DFs were the most important groups of drivers for explaining the observed processes, especially the most dominant ones: policies on land use and environment (political DF), distances to the main transportation infrastructure (technological DF), and the presence of steep slopes in Serra do Mar (natural DF) influenced forest persistence and were also determinants for urban settlement distribution. The State Parks and the zones for nature conservation (political DF) were important for the maintenance of forest cover and overall the importance of political DF increased after 2000. In general, the DFs in NCSP were similar to those observed in other coastal and tourist regions, but surprisingly, despite a rapid population increase, demography did not explain urban and peri-urban growth. Urban growth was happening foremost in the zones for urban development and was accompanied by increases in water provision services and waste collection, whereas peri-urban sprawl was concentrated in conservation and agricultural zones, without investments in basic services. We conclude that an increasing demand for housing must be considered in future policies in NCSP, instead of solely focussing on economic interests in tourism and the energy sectors.
Darío Domingo
added a research item
Urban regions worldwide revert to scenario-based simulations to understand and cope with uncertain land-use changes and future land-use demands. Whereas scenarios account for a variety of driving forces to simulate land change, spatial planning has received limited attention. To improve understanding of the potential contribution of planning to urban land change, we developed and simulated scenarios of development for Bucharest, addressing the local scale, and Bucharest-Ilfov Development Region, addressing the regional scale. The designed scenarios reflect (i) expected future land-use demands for living space, built-up areas, green space and agricultural areas, and (ii) statutory and strategic planning intentions extracted from four spatial plans and weighted based on expert opinion. All scenarios, alongside natural and socio-economic driving forces, were simulated for both the local and the regional scales using the CLUMondo land-change model. Findings show that all future demands can be met under all scenarios, but that planning will make little contribution. Moreover, simulations highlight that integrating strategic planning intentions would produce a higher loss of agricultural lands than simulations with statutory planning intentions. Consequences of our findings for the role of planning in driving land change at various scales in multi-level planning systems are discussed.
Anna Hersperger
added a research item
Even though urban land-use change simulations provide useful information for decision makers, planning is generally weakly integrated into land-change modelling. However, the increasingly digitally available zoning data from statutory planning offers new opportunities. This study aims to reveal the potential effectiveness of statutory planning in terms of sustainable urban development by integrating zoning regulations in a multi-scenario simulation. Specifically, the gross floor area that can be built per parcel, as defined in the zoning plan, supports the allocation of varying degrees of urban densities. Using the CLUmondo modelling framework that couples cellular automata and multivariate logistic regression, we simulated urban growth in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Zaragoza Spanish Functional Urban Areas from 2012 to 2030 in four scenarios. The scenarios reflect the degree of planning intervention, ranging from high intervention to unrestricted development, while consider Spanish legislation and urban agenda 2030 sustainability goals. Simulations shows that by shifting growth to zones with urbanization projects almost 4200 ha of grassland and cropland could be saved from overbuilding, and 3800 ha by shifting it to zones without urbanization project. The simulation results provide critical information to support decision-makers and planners in revising plans and designing new plans to achieve sustainable urban development.
Private Profile
added an update
Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce that the keynote presentations of the conference "From Plans to Land Change: Dynamics of Urban Regions" are now publicly available on the conference website:
Best regards, The organising committee
Anna Hersperger Susanne Senn Robert Pazur
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From Plans to Land Change: Dynamics of Urban Regions
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Keynote Presentation Prof. Peilei Fan
From Planning to Land Changes: Perspective from Transitional Economies in Asia
Keynote Presentation Prof. Dr. Stefan Siedentop
Managing Urban Growth: Lessons from Research and Planning Practice
Keynote Presentation Dr. Dena Kasraian
Long–term impact of Spatial Policies on Urban Growth: Insights from the Netherlands
Keynote Presentation Dr. Angelus Eisinger
The Quest for Adequate Planning Strategies in a Drastically Changing Context. Notes from the Zurich Case
 
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Citation:
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 2021: From Plans to Land Change: Dynamics of Urban Regions. 20–22 April 2021, Book of abstracts. Birmensdorf, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, 54 pp. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16904/envidat.217
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Layout:
Susanne Senn, WSL
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Copyright © 2021 by WSL, Birmensdorf The authors are responsible for the content of their contribution.
 
Private Profile
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20.4.-22.4.
Registration is free and the registration deadline is April 11, 2021.
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Cities and urban regions are among the most dynamic land-use systems in the world, with dramatic consequences for the provision of ecosystem services and the livelihood of people. Planning is a multifaceted activity with extensive experience in the management of these urbanization processes. However, our understanding of planning’s contribution to shaping urban land use, form and structure is still incomplete, with serious consequences for the efficacy of urban planning and land change models.
This international conference aims to bring together the community of scholars working on planning evaluation and urban modelling. The participants are offered the opportunity to present their current research and to discuss how theoretical developments, data sources, comparative studies and modelling approaches might advance the field.
The conference is financially supported by the CONCUR project and sustained by Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL.
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Private Profile
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Governments increasingly use place branding to position their cities and metropolitan regions on the inter-regional competitive stage. Simultaneously, strategic spatial planning is gradually being implemented at the urban-regional level for promoting social, economic and ecologically sustainable development. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that spatial planning and place branding have related interests and potential for mutual reinforcement. In this chapter, we discuss the results of a content analysis of the strategic spatial plans of sixteen West European and North American urban regions. The goal was to investigate how strategic spatial planning endeavours deal with place branding. We identified three interrelated narratives. The findings show that few plans refer explicitly to place branding in order to support social cohesion and economic sustainability. Rather, the dominant narratives are place attractiveness and place promotion. We conclude by sketching a practice-oriented agenda, reinforcing place branding as a valuable strategic planning instrument for sustainable spatial development.
Anna Hersperger
added a research item
Although many planning systems are based on a combination of traditional land-use planning and strategic spatial planning, the interplay between the two approaches remains insufficiently investigated. Focusing on the Canton of Zurich, we applied a qualitative content analysis to extract strategic planning intentions from the Cantonal Structure Plan (1995). We quantitatively analysed the compliance of changes in municipal land-use plans between 1996 and 2016 concerning the extracted planning intentions. The overall low rate of changes was accompanied by few active contradictions of land-use planning. Minor deviations from the strategic plan were seen in the spatial allocation of new building zones. Considering the socioeconomic dynamics of the region, surprisingly few changes were detected regarding the permitted building density for residential and mixed-use areas. This leads us to the conclusion that the Cantonal Structure Plan (1995) was very successful in quantitatively limiting the expansion of building zones. However, it showed a limited active steering capacity regarding their allocation and the regulation of building density. Our analysis showed that margins of discretion play a key role in multi-level planning systems, balancing flexibility for locally adapted solutions against statutory boundaries to prevent their misuse, as such they need to be considered in planning evaluation.
Private Profile
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Strategic spatial planning has been a key planning practice at the urban regional level to support the implementation of local spatial transformations. Previously, qualitative comparative research has revealed the complexity that characterizes strategic spatial planning processes; it is multi-faceted, highly context-dependent and embedded in multi-level governance configurations. However, to date, little effort has been made to quantitatively evaluate the 'planning efficacy' of strategic spatial planning processes comparatively, i.e. to investigate the extent to which strategic spatial plans facilitate or hinder the local implementation of concrete development strategies in different contexts. In this paper, we evaluate the planning efficacy of strategic spatial planning processes by applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in the urban regions of Lyon, France and Copenhagen, Denmark. Analytically, we employ a set of components capturing the governance performance and the impact of external forces that are assumed to contextually influence the efficacy of strategic planning. Our analysis shows that a quantitative approach such as the AHP, is a useful way to compare strategic spatial planning across urban regions.
Anna Hersperger
added 3 research items
Globally, planning instruments help shape the development of places under uncertain future conditions. In the context of a multi-level planning system, both land-use and strategic spatial plans are available, mandated by different policies and adopted by various authorities. Notwithstanding the excellent support consistency among such plans can provide for their transformative capacity, studies analyzing how plans interact, forming complex relationships, are rare. Treating plans as relational data gives insights into the outcomes acquired by a network compared to the transformations enabled by a single plan. As the theory of networks prevails for handling relational data, we applied social network analysis to evaluate external consistency among 10 plans of Bucharest, Romania and the surrounding region. All plans are currently in force, have spatial implications, and refer to different administrative levels and sectors, from the metropolitan to the sub-district level and from land-use and transportation to environmental plans. We first developed a framework for consistency assessment, covering four categories of external consistency. Second, following these categories, we extracted relevant plan statements from all plans. Third, we assigned one-way, symmetrical and contradictory relationships between the plan statements. Fourth, using directed and valued network analyses we assessed consistencies, inconsistencies and contradictions between plans. Finally, we validated the results by applying questionnaires to local experts. Our results indicate that consistency among Bucharest’s plans is high on a temporal scale regarding issues and general measures, but low for spatialized planning intentions on both vertical and horizontal scales. We discuss consequences of these findings for the transformative capacity of plans and the effectiveness of plan-implementation.
The conversion of open space to built land is a key feature of urban-rural transformations. In many countries, urban sprawl represents the dominant mode of urban growth. Against this background, urban growth management plays a crucial role in mediating between diverse spatial requirements and curbing sprawl-like land-use patterns, but its effectiveness is not fully understood. Relatively few studies have systematically addressed the goals of growth-management approaches, their implementation pathways and spatial outcomes. Most available work has been carried out as single case studies which hampers solid understanding. In this paper, we first outline the challenge in understanding the role of growth management approaches in land conversions. Then we propose research to focus on: a) comprehending the intended outcomes of growth management, and b) the effectiveness of growth management. We argue that future research in this regard will enable researchers to establish causal links between growth management and land conversions.
Private Profile
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Dear friends and colleagues
I am pleased to announce that the call for abstract is now open for the international conference "From Plans to Land Change: Dynamics of Urban Regions”, taking place August 30 – September 2, 2020 in Birmensdorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
With this conference, we aim at bringing together the community of scholars working on topics of planning evaluation and urban modelling. The conference participants will have the opportunity to present their current research and to discuss how theoretical developments, data sources, comparative studies and modelling approaches might advance the field.
Invited are contributions that link spatial planning and land change research, specifically on the following topics:
·        Planning and urban land use modelling ·        Digital plan data and its uses in land change research ·        The role of planning in urban land use change ·        Governance of plan making and plan implementation
For submission of abstract, please go to: https://www.wsl.ch/concur2020/
The abstract submission deadline is February 29, 2020.
Please distribute this announcement through other suitable channels.
We are looking forward to seeing you then.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee Anna Hersperger
Contact: concur@wsl.ch ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Anna M. Hersperger, Prof. h.c. Dr. Head of Land-Use Systems Group, WSL Member of the WSL Directorate
 
Anna Hersperger
added a research item
Cities and urban regions have become central to ensuring a sustainable future. Many regions employ strategic spatial planning, a transformative and integrative public-sector-led activity, to create a coherent spatial development strategy in order to pursue sustainable development. Due to its encompassing, cross-sectoral qualities, landscape science is expected to strengthen nature-related aspects of urban planning. The aim of this paper is thus to assess the role of landscape in contemporary strategic spatial planning. This study is based on content analysis of the strategic spatial plans of 18 European urban regions. Plans were assessed following a framework that focuses on how plans took advantage of landscape's integrative power, how plans are based in knowledge on functioning of landscape systems, and how plans show the contribution of landscapes to human well-being. The findings show that landscape science contributes considerably to strategic planning. Overall, the strategic plans of European urban regions had a strong anthropocentric perspective on landscapes. Most of the plans are based on knowledge about landscape functioning and show the contribution of landscapes to human well-being. However, only few use the full potential of the integrative power of landscapes in terms of governance processes. Based on our analysis, we identified research needs and suggested recommendations for future strategic planning with the aim of strengthening nature-related aspects in strategic spatial planning.
Private Profile
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Strategic spatial planning is increasingly practised throughout the world to develop a coordinated vision for guiding the medium- to long-term development of urban regions. However, from a theoretical and conceptual perspective, strategic spatial planning is hard to grasp, as it is multidimensional, embedded in sociopolitical and institutional complexity and highly context-dependent. Moreover, current planning debates mainly focus on the outputs of the strategic planning process while largely neglecting the impact that strategic spatial plans can have on urban transformations. Here, we show an empirically-based analytical framework grounded on an analysis of 21 European urban regions, representing the key components of plan-making and plan-implementation as well as the main interrelationships among them. The proposed framework (SPlaMI) reflects current planning practices and intends to contribute towards consolidating a European understanding of strategic spatial planning while providing the basis for dialogue with broader discourses on sustainable development in a global context.
Anna Hersperger
added an update
CONCUR team member Franziska Schmid won the award for the best poster at the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Program in Bern, April 24-26, 2019. She presented a poster on "The Transformative Potential of Strategic Planning - the Case of Zurich, Switzerland". Congratulations!
 
Private Profile
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Recent decades have witnessed a huge change in the global structure of the human population, with the majority of people now living in urban environments. Rural-to-urban migration flows, mainly due to labour opportunities in urban areas, are responsible for the majority of this growth. Such events aggravate the urban-rural divide and compromise sustainable land-use systems. Hence, planning and managing urban areas and rural hinterlands require integrative spatial planning strategies, as well as strong land use management policies. In this regard, strategic spatial plans have been increasingly developed in many urban regions worldwide, as a means to achieve sustainable land use patterns, guide the location of physical infrastructures and shape urban-rural dynamics. It is realistic, therefore, to expect that strategic spatial plans may contribute to fostering the linkage between urban centres and rural hinterlands. This study reviews the content of strategic plans and other spatial policy documents currently in force in European and North American urban regions. The central goal of this study is to analyse the policies and measures in the plans to understand the role strategic spatial plans play in balancing the urban-rural nexus. The findings allow us to distinguish three dominant approaches, which reflect spatial patterns: i) strategic plans in European cases are focused on promoting brownfield redevelopment and stimulating polycentricity as a counter-urbanization measure; ii) strategic plans in Canadian cases demonstrate strong preoccupations with farmland protection for food security in striving for a more equal development of urban and rural areas; iii) strategic plans in assessed US cases are mainly focused on curbing urban sprawl and avoiding further land take for urban and infrastructure development, while rural hinterlands are largely neglected. The study concludes by outlining recommendations intended to support strategic planning processes and sustainable land management.
Private Profile
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Which macro trends are likely to affect the work of place branding professionals in 2018? That’s the question The Place Brand Observer put to the panel of place brand specialists earlier this year. According to the panel, four main factors are going to have a significant impact on the evolution of place branding initiatives throughout the year.
Private Profile
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This paper is aimed at assessing and disentangling how territorial governance configurations influence contemporary practices in strategic plan-making in 14 European urban regions. The findings allow us to distinguish three dominant practices: i) plan-making shaped by consensus building and multilevel government cooperation; ii) plan-making shaped by the involvement of profit-oriented actors and negotiations, and iii) plan-making shaped by consolidated planning practice. To truly grasp plan-making practice, it is necessary to scrutinize who rules and who is ruled while negotiations are unfolding, as well as the extent to which private actors’ interests influence how spatial development goals and strategies are defined.
Simona R. Gradinaru
added a research item
The future development of urban regions is frequently envisioned through strategic spatial plans. The main objectives and means of spatial development contained in these documents, called planning intentions, can be fragmented and are commonly presented throughout the planning document in text, graphs, tables, diagrams, and maps. Presentation of the information rarely allows for clear visualization of each planning intention and of how the synthesis of all planning intentions builds an overall spatial development strategy. In this paper, we present a method to translate planning intentions into maps in order to better understand their spatiality. Focusing on the case study of Copenhagen, we conduct an analysis of the content of the urban region’s latest strategic spatial plan (i.e., the Fingerplan 2013) in order to identify the main planning intentions. For each of these planning intentions, we systematically collect all information contained in the plan, such as details on location, extent, and fuzziness. We then transform the main planning intentions into pixel-based maps to visualize the planning intentions. Finally, a map of the composite planning intention is presented. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the spatiality of strategic planning.
Gaëtan Palka
added an update
Public lectures and demos at WSL on Advancing computational processes to translate multifaceted aspects of spatial planning into land change models
Date:27th Nov. 2018, 09:00 - 12:30 Venue: FlurySaal @ WSL Birmensdorf, Zürich, Switzerland Organizer:CONCUR Project team Language:English General description: Within the CONCUR project ‘From plans to land change: how strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions’ the expert workshop ‘Advancing computational processes to translate multifaceted aspects of spatial planning into land change models’ (27th November) includes public lectures on morning by two international experts and a local researcher. These experts will lecture on issues concerning current limits of land change models in their consideration of spatial policies in urban region specifically on urbanization, nature protection and transportation (further information on the order of the presentations will be soon available).
9:00 - 12:30 Public lectures and demos by
  • Hedwig van Delden, Director of the Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS) in the Netherlands and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide.
  • Richard Hewitt, researcher at the James Hutton Institute in UK and at the Observatorio para una Cultura des Territorio in Spain.
  • Gaëtan Palka, researcher at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
The final program will be soon available. Please check the CONCUR project webpage regularly. We look forward to seeing you.
 
Private Profile
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The number of non-governmental organisations, community movements and academic conferences, along with myriad policy-oriented reports, devoted to debating the impacts of extreme weather events, natural disasters and climate change has grown exponentially. Against the backdrop of such initiatives and reflections on man-made environmental cataclysms, the concept of ‘resilience’ has gained prominence. Although there has been an explosion of debate, policies and approaches about ways to promote resilience systems, a clear definition of what ‘resilience’ actually means or how to apply resilience thinking.
Private Profile
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Die zahlreichen urbanen Räume in Europa weisen bei aller Verschiedenheit eine Gemeinsamkeit auf: Sie werden immer grösser. Dieser scheinbar unaufhaltsame Entwicklungsprozess geht meist zulasten der unbebauten Landschaft. Die Folgen: Neue Siedlungen verdrängen Felder und Wiesen; neue Autobahnen, Flughäfen oder Industrieanlagen zerschneiden Lebensräume für seltene Pflanzen- und Tierarten sowie abwechslungsreiche Landschaften, die der Mensch bisher zur Erholung nutzen konnte.
The numerous urban areas in Europe have, despite all their differences, one thing in common: They are all becoming larger. This apparently unstoppable process is mostly at the cost of natural and semi-natural landscapes.
Private Profile
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Governance Networks in the Public Sector presents a comprehensive study of governance networks and the management of complexities in network settings. Public, private and non-profit organizations are increasingly faced with complex, wicked problems when making decisions, developing policies or delivering services in the public sector. These activities take place in networks of interdependent actors guided by diverging and sometimes conflicting perceptions and strategies. As a result these networks are dominated by cognitive, strategic and institutional complexities. Dealing with these complexities requires sophisticated forms of coordination: network governance.
By reviewing the content of strategic spatial plans (plans with a strong focus on a strategic mission/vision-building, often 20–50 years into the future) the study aims to identify distinctive instruments, programs and measures that are used to halt and reverse Land Degradation.
Private Profile
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To date land-change science has devoted little attention to spatial policy and planning in urban landscapes despite the widely accepted premise that planning affects urban land change. This is primarily due to lack of relevant data and an underdeveloped theoretical understanding regarding the impact of spatial planning on urban land change. To be able to better analyse the role of spatial planning in urban development we need to distinguish: 1) the intentions expressed in the plans; 2) the means of implementation of the plans through governance processes and 3) the role of external conditions influencing implementation. Based on a synthesis of the current literature on how spatial planning is implemented in land-change models, and drawing from the literature on planning evaluation, we sketch a research agenda to further develop the understanding of these three components and their interconnections as well as their application in quantitative land-change modelling approaches for urban regions.
Private Profile
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The CONCUR project team, a team of circa 7 researchers, joined the debate and presented the key findings gathered throughout two years of research on different aspects concerning how strategic planning contributes to the development of urban regions.
Private Profile
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The primary message of Barton’s latest book, City of Well-being, I would then write: “peoples” health and community well-being must be the primary priorities for urban planners and place managers. Hugh Barton, Emeritus Professor of planning, health, and sustainability at the University of the West of England (UK), has produced an engaging, progressive and practice-oriented written account, rich in human interest, of how to put people at the heart of spatial planning at the city, town, and neighbourhood level.
Sofia Pagliarin
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Presentation at the American Association of Geographers AAG
Annual Meeting, New Orleans
April 10-14, 2018
#AAG2018
 
Private Profile
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In this conference paper, we conduct a content analysis of strategic plans currently in force in 20 European urban regions. The focus is on measures describing the role of strategic spatial plans in land degradation reduction.
Private Profile
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Land degradation is becoming a serious environmental issue threatening fertile agricultural soils and other natural resources. There are many driving forces behind land degradation. The expansion of artificial surfaces due to various economic activities, such as housing, industry, and transport infrastructure, known as soil sealing, constitutes one of the most intensive forms of land degradation in urban regions. Measures to halt and reverse land degradation require both strong land-use management policies, as well as effective spatial planning mechanisms. In this regard, strategic spatial planning has been increasingly practised in many urban regions worldwide, as a means to achieve sustainable land-use patterns and to guide the location of development and physical infrastructures. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that strategic spatial planning can counteract the outlined undesired land degradation effects, specifically those resulting from soil sealing. In this paper, we review strategic spatial planning literature published between 1992 and 2017. The focus is on the phenomena causing land degradation that are addressed by strategic spatial planning literature, as well as on the mechanisms describing the role of strategic spatial planning in land degradation reduction. Results show that sustainable development and environmental concerns have become core objectives of strategic planning in recent years, yet references to the drivers of land degradation are rare. The mechanisms that exist are mainly intended to address environmental issues in general, and are not aimed at reducing particular forms of land degradation. The paper concludes by sketching future research directions, intended to support strategic spatial planning and land-use policymaking related to coping with the global phenomenon of land degradation.
Private Profile
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One of the prime spatial challenges posed to contemporary urban regions involves the practice of making and implementing strategic spatial plans. Both processes often involve actors’ participation, strategy formation, institutional capacity building, bottom up as well as top down governance arrangements, which occur within a web of power relations. By building on preliminary findings of a 5 year research project, this paper is aimed at scrutinizing what the preparation and implementation of strategic spatial plans involve. Findings gathered through in-depth interviewing with regional planning experts in the Nordic urban regions of Stockholm, Helsinki-Uusimaa, Oslo and Copenhagen and in the UK urban regions of Edinburgh and Cardiff, show that plan making and plan implementation are supported by a set of territorial governance arrangements. These arrangements consist of negotiations, multi-scale government cooperation and the involvement of private actors as well as civic society. However, the findings reveal also that these governance arrangements are highly context sensitive. For example, while in the Nordic cases strategic plan making and plan implementation are supported by a balance of powers between public and private actors; in the UK cases private actors such as urban developers have a substantial bargaining power to negotiate, for instance, the development of a new housing settlement or a retail facility. The paper concludes that to truly grasp plan making and plan implementation processes it is necessary to go beyond multi-actor interaction and inter-scalar government cooperation. It is necessary to investigate who wins and who loses while territorial governance arrangements are established.
Private Profile
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Implementing strategic spatial plans is a complex task. The process involves strategy formation, institutional capacity building, funding mechanism establishment and governance arrangements, which take shape within complex power configurations. Based on empirical evidence gathered by interviewing regional planning experts, this paper focuses on the role of governance arrangements and funding mechanisms in current practices of strategic plan implementation in 14 European urban regions. This investigation was completed bearing in mind power configurations, which shape and frame governance arrangements and funding mechanism in planning practice. A cross-case comparison provides evidence that, among the governance arrangements influencing plan implementation, negotiation and interest groups involvement are pivotal. Negotiation involves private interest groups, such as real estate agencies and environmental non-governmental organizations. The paper shows that in some case studies private interest groups have a substantial bargaining power to negotiate, for example, the development of a new housing settlement or a retail facility, while other groups struggle to safeguard natural areas. It is also during negotiations that plan implementation intentions are prioritized, strategic urban projects are formulated and funding mechanisms are established. The paper demonstrates that to truly grasp plan implementation praxis it is necessary to go beyond multi-actor involvement and inter-scalar government cooperation. It is necessary to scrutinize the funding sources, investigate who wins and who loses while negotiations are happening, and how plan implementation decisions are actually made.
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This book discusses innovative responses and reforms developed in critical areas of urban governance in European countries. It examines the impact of the European Union’s policies on the urban agenda and on local governance, and the impact of the transition to democracy in Central and in Southern Europe on local self-government systems.
Sofia Pagliarin
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This presentation is a (work-in progress!) about how strategic projects are implemented locally while taking into account the multi-scalar forces affecting urban regions, and how QCA can help us compare the implementation trajectories of different projects across different European urban regions. *** WORK IN PROGRESS *** PRESENTED AT: QCA empirical applications workshop, 12th October 2017 https://uclouvain.be/fr/instituts-recherche/ispole/evenements/qca-empirical-applications-workshop.html
Gaëtan Palka
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Urban growth or urban sprawl, land use change, transport, pollution, risks ... models are indispensable tools for understanding the complex spatial systems in which humans interact. Understanding the impact of humans on his environment, and predicting and scripting the consequences of these actions are more and more important. Indeed, humans are the first actor of these changes, among other drivers, through development and protection policies or strategic and regulatory documents. Models are increasingly evolved with the scientific and technical advances of the various disciplines which create and use them, and they require ever more precise knowledge, involving an increasing interdisciplinary approaches between scientific teams and researchers.
Program (the conference is in French):
  • Reux S., Trajectoires résidentielles et morphologiques des franges périurbaines : une méthode appliquée au Limousin
  • Pavadépoullé K., Sora F., Praene J-P., Gatina J-C., Effets des projets d’aménagement sur le voisinage direct à l’échelle des aires urbaines : Analyse spatiale diachronique en milieu insulaire
  • Stephenne N., Beaumont B., Hallot E., Wolff E., Cartographie de l’occupation et de l’utilisation du sol et modélisation dasymétrique pour la gestion des risques
  • Serrhini S., Palka G., Maizia M., Néron E., Optimisation combinatoire de l’affectation interne de la population de Nice aux centres d’accueil en cas de séisme
  • Castets M., Jahel C., Tran A., Lo Seen D., Degenne P., Modélisation des dynamiques spatiales par l’utilisation de graphes d’interactions : la plateforme Ocelet
  • Reulier R., Delahaye D., Viel V., Davidson R., Conséquence de l'évolution des paysages agricoles sur les processus de ruissellement érosif des sols. Approche par simulation multi-agents
Where: INSA Rouen, France
When: 6th November 2017 at 14h00
More information on the website of the conference: https://sageo2017.sciencesconf.org/
 
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The objective of this paper is to highlight some preliminary findings of an ongoing research project (2016-2020) entitled “From Plans to Land Change: How Strategic Spatial Planning Contributes to the Development of Urban Regions” (CONCUR) in which the author, as a postdoc researcher, and the co-author, as the project coordinator, are involved. The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and is based at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Switzerland. A team of circa 7 researchers investigates different aspects concerning how strategic planning contributes to the development of urban regions. In this paper, we argue that urban regions in Europe and beyond are currently encountering a range of challenges, such as providing a varied and efficient transportation network, affordable housing, green infrastructure, public spaces, and attractive investment conditions (Albrechts et al., 2017). In addition, a number of urban regions have been experiencing dynamic changes in the scale and scope of metropolitan governance (Zimmermann and Getimis, 2017), and new forms of flexible territorial governance arrangements have emerged (Oliveira, 2017). These economic, social and governance driven challenges unfold in a context of limited financial, human, infrastructural, land and ecological resources.
https://doi.org/10.3368/lj.36.2.119 Land Ownership and Land Use Development promises an interdisciplinary and empirically-based approach to the husbandry use, management, modeling and planning of land. The book brings together peer-reviewed papers presented at two symposia of the European Academy of Land Use and Development and is organized in four general themes reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of land change science: (1) key terms in land, from land governance to land use planning; (2) decision-making processes, from urban development to flood risk management; (3) land pattern changes, from data modeling to land and property rights; and (4) future evolution in land policies, from strategies for developing building land to a combination of ecological and sociocultural sustainability.
Simona R. Gradinaru
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Green infrastructure (GI) has been described as a hybridized, umbrella, or most often, holistic concept (Mell et al., 2017; Wright, 2011). Not only increasingly popular, but also evolving at a fast pace, many scholars emphasize the dynamic and multi-layered understanding of GI as evolving from backgrounds of the people engaged in GI research and planning (Lennon, 2015). Although a grounded set of principles, such as multi-functionality, multi-scaling, diversity of green objects, connectivity of green areas, are recognized as providing basis for the holistic approach (Hansen and Pauleit, 2014; Rouse and Bunster-Ossa, 2013), there is a variance of how the principles are addressed at different planning levels and among planning systems. The aim of the research is to reveal if and how conceptualizations and representations of the GI concept converge to reflect the normative holistic approach. By focusing on strategic spatial plans of European urban regions, the study`s objectives are to: 1) determine how GI is conceptualized in the plans, and 2) analyse how elements of GI are visually represented. To fulfill the objectives, we gather empirical evidence on strategic GI planning in 14 European urban regions. Spanning form the Nordic countries to the Mediterranean, the case studies are representative for different European planning systems. A content analysis of the strategic plans is carried out according to a protocol which contains five pre-defined items. Conceptualization aspects are analysed through items which address how GI is: 1) defined; 2) integrated within the overall planning strategy, and 3) conceived to cover multiple functions and scales. Representation aspects relate to: 4) complexity and abstraction of maps which display the GI, and 5) depicted GI elements. Additionally, supplementary documentation on strategic GI planning (e.g. assessment reports, implementation guidelines) and existing scientific literature are consulted to better understand the planning context in each case study. We focus on urban region planning because it is described as the planning level for which GI planning has been strongly advocated, and where GI can be most successfully implemented. Our study goes beyond local assessments and theoretical interpretations of GI and provides an European comparison for the urban region level. The results are expected to shed more light on diversity of interpretations of GI in the European context. Preliminary results highlight different conceptualizations as linked to established (e.g. green areas for built-up containment) or emerging (e.g. climate change) policies relevant at urban region level. Visual representations of the GI network focus on core areas, such as parks or other large scale green elements, while corridors and stepping stones are less often displayed. Findings could provide insights into best practices for incorporating GI into strategic spatial plans. References: Hansen, R., Pauleit, S., 2014, From multifunctionality to multiple ecosystem services? A conceptual framework for multifunctionality in green infrastructure planning for urban areas, Ambio 43(4):516-529. Lennon, M., 2015, Green infrastructure and planning policy: a critical assessment, Local Environment 20(8):957-980. Mell, I., Allin, S., Reimer, M., Wilker, J., 2017, Strategic green infrastructure planning in Germany and the UK: a transnational evaluation of the evolution of urban greening policy and practice, International Planning Studies:1-17. Rouse, D. C., Bunster-Ossa, I. F., 2013, Green infrastructure: a landscape approach, APA Planning Advisory Service. Wright, H., 2011, Understanding green infrastructure: the development of a contested concept in England, Local Environment 16(10):1003-1019.
Sofia Pagliarin
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The International QCA Young Researchers Workshop 2017 provides a unique platform for young researchers using QCA to meet QCA experts, get feedback on their on-going research, and learn about the latest methodological developments in QCA. The workshop is interdisciplinary and interactive and allows for in-depth discussions and individual feedback from internationally renowned QCA scholars. We invite submission of abstracts from doctoral and post-doctoral students applying QCA in various fields of research (e.g., sociology, political science, management, evaluation studies, international relations, medicine, and health) as well as policy and business consultants using QCA in their work.
Send us your abstract to: sofia.pagliarin@wsl.ch
or to the other co-organisers: Manuel Fischer Johannes Meuer Christian Rupietta
When: 12th of December, 2017
Where: ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Cost: Free
 
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Swiss National Fund (SNF) grant no. IZK0Z1_175523 on " Advanced Applications of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to urban transformations", June 2017, UC Louvain (Belgium).
As part of the CONCUR project team, I worked with Prof. Benoît Rihoux on the treatment of my data on project implementation for QCA.
 
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Date:09th Nov. 2017, 09:00 - 15:00
Venue: Englersaal @ WSL Birmensdorf, Zürich, Switzerland
Organizer:CONCUR Project team
Language:English
General description:
Within the CONCUR project ‘From plans to land change: how strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions’ the expert workshop ‘The Impact of Strategic Spatial Plans on Land Change in Urban Regions: Debating Plan Making and Plan Implementation’ (9th – 10thNovember) includes public lectures on Thursday, 9th November (09:00-15:00) by eight international experts. These experts will lecture on issues concerning strategic spatial planning, territorial governance and land-change science (further information on the order of the presentations will be soon available).
9:00 - 12:30
Public lectures by
· Frank Moulaert, The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
· Gertrud Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
· Raine Mäntysalo, Aalto University, Finland
· Jasper van Vliet, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
· Peter Schmitt, Stockholm University, Sweden
· Peter Austin, City of Oslo, Norway
· Thomas Houet, University Rennes, France
· Peter Verburg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
13:45 - 15:00
Public lectures by
· CONCUR project team on the aims of the project and the preliminary theoretical model.
The final program will be soon available.
Please check the CONCUR project webpage regularly.
We look forward to seeing you.
 
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Sustainable Landscape Planning in Selected Urban Regions promises a multidisciplinary approach to the theoretical and practical linkage between urban planning and environmental issues in today’s urban regions. The concepts of sustainable planning, which mainly aims to optimize the allocation of land and human activities in a space-limited context, of landscape planning, which is a part of public policy oriented at managing the environment and “urban regions” that have been identified as key geographical areas in the context of ongoing climate change–related environmental pressures, are empirically investigated throughout the book. Case studies, selected from across the world, investigate urban regions in Asia, Europe, and North America that remain relatively less studied. This is a timely discussion as the desire for sustainable living patterns, planning for sustainable and equitable cities and regions is a serious challenge.
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Urban regions are currently encountering a myriad of challenges. These challenges range from the provision of a varied and efficient transportation network, to affordable housing, to green infrastructure. These challenges unfold in a context of limited financial, human, infrastructural, land and ecological resources. The co-chairs of this track argue that regional planning could contribute to decision-making on how scarce resources can be efficiently used at the regional scale. In this paper, we move forward on this argument by exploring the practical linkage between the implementation of plans through projects and the management of scarce resources.
Simona R. Gradinaru
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In contemporary debates, the concept of governance is employed as a framework to describe the changing interplay among the state, market actors and civil society. Governance is analytically used to frame, on the one hand, the decision-making dynamics, discursive debates, negotiations and conflicts among the numerous actors involved in policy making, and, on the other hand, the institutional context and regulatory systems where policies are inscribed. More specifically, regional governance can capture how actors and groups interact to build networks and achieve collective goals in multi-scalar (e.g. supra-national, national, macro-regional, regional, urban region), multi-functional (e.g. economic, social, cultural) and often multi-actor (e.g. public, private, non-profit) environments. Following this approach, strategic spatial planning can be considered a complex governance process through which shared visions and concerted actions for the future development of urban regions are defined among a variety of actors – public, private and civil society. In the context of the dynamic processes of land change occurring in urban regions, and by drawing from the preliminary phase of the CONCUR project “From plans to land change: how strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, this study aims at establishing a comprehensive theoretical and methodological framework to systematically compare different experiences of strategic spatial plans in Western urban regions, accounting for both spatial (“hard”) and governance (“soft”) factors. The theoretical exploration of this study is conducted by analysing the strategic plans of Barcelona (1991; 2010), Hannover (2005) and Stockholm (2007; 2010). The criteria behind the selection of these three urban regions are: (i) the availability of both academic and technical literature, which allows us to draw important lessons from the governance arrangements that have taken place in the three case studies, and also to reconstruct individual plan making and implementation processes; (ii) the selected cases represent diverse political, geographical and cultural settings as well as dissimilar approaches towards strategic spatial planning. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we propose a preliminary categorization of the information included in strategic spatial plans, based on a systematic analysis of the type of information they contain. Secondly, in order to assess the effectiveness of each of the three trajectories towards strategic spatial planning, the key components of regional governance will be identified and critically analysed. Thirdly, the supra-regional characteristics composing the particular context where the strategic spatial plans took shape will be identified and comparatively examined. The combined analysis of the selected plans from these three different, but intertwining approaches, will account for the multi-scalar, multi-functional and multi-actor complexities leading to the making, approval and execution of the selected strategic (urban regional) plans. The research findings are expected to contribute to the understanding of the connections between regional governance and strategic spatial planning, and how they impact on land change in urban regions.
Simona R. Gradinaru
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Conference presentation
@Simona R. Gradinaru, Anna Hersperger, AESOP Annual Congress 2017: Spaces for dialog and places of dignity, 11-14 July 2017, Lisbon, Portugal
 
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Abstract:
This conference paper investigates processes of strategic plan-implementation in the urban regions of Barcelona, Cardiff, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Hannover, Helsinki-Uusimaa, Lyon, Milan, Oslo-Akershus, Stockholm, Stuttgart and Vienna. Drawing from preliminary findings from the CONCUR project, the paper argues that urban regions have been increasingly implementing strategic plans through development projects.
Examples of such projects include the repurposing of outdated harbour, industrial or railway facilities, the reconfiguration of green infrastructures, the reinforcement of the public transportation network and new residential areas.
The paper aims to scrutinize, first, what are the main reasons behind this fast-track plan-implementation modus operandi. Secondly, it aims to explore the territorial governance arrangements behind these projects such as if they are exclusively public driven, as the result of multilevel government cooperation or developed through public-private partnerships.
Results of the analysis of semi-structured interviews with regional planning experts reveal that in the majority of the selected cases strategic plans have been implemented through projects due to restricted financial means and scarce land resources. Furthermore, while in some of the cases the projects are developed by local governments financially supported by regional funds in other cases public-private partnerships are the backbone of the urban-regional development projects.
The paper contributes to both the conference themes as well as to existing knowledge which highlights that regional planning could contribute to decision-making on how spatial transformation can take shape within the context of resource scarcity.
Authors:
Eduardo Oliveira, Anna M. Hersperger
CONCUR project
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
When and Where:
12th June 2017, 9am, room V1.14
Instituto Superior Técnico , Lisbon, Portugal
 
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Citizen Empowerment and Innovation in the Data-Rich City promises an empirically based analysis of the current transformation of the data-rich cities with particular attention paid to innovative people-centered solutions in urban planning. The book specifically aims “to explore a new perspective on the actual possibility for technological innovations in urban infrastructure and functioning processes to effectively involve ordinary citizens in collective knowledge-production and decision-making” (4).
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AESOP congress 11 - 14 July 2017, Lisbon, Portugal
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Green infrastructures: fostering dialogue across scales and policies
Tuesday, 11th July, 14:30 – room V1.09, Instituto Superior Técnico, Alameda
By Anna M. Hersperger and Simona R. Gradinaru
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Regional economics and scarce resources planning
Wednesday, 12th July, 09:00 – room V1.14, Instituto Superior Técnico, Alameda
By Eduardo Oliveira
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DETAILED CONGRESS PROGRAMME:
 
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Check our track Green infrastructures: fostering dialogue across scales and policies
and stay tuned for further details on our presentations. We would like to see you there.
#JOINCONCUR discussion at #AESOP2017
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CONCUR project team
Project coordinator:
Project team:
 
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What:
Lunch Seminar
When:
TUESDAY, June 13th 2017, 12:00-13:00
Where:
Dep. of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Sweden
Title:
How strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions
By:
Eduardo Oliveira
Agenda:
  • Introducing myself & research trajectory;
  • Introducing WSL;
  • Introducing the CONCUR project;
  • Detailing the 2nd aim of the project on territorial governance & SPP;
  • Clarifying the aims of this short research visit;
  • Sharing forthcoming events;
  • Sharing future research ambitions.
 
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Short research period at Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University on: Refining a Conceptual and Operational Framework for Analysing Territorial Governance in Processes of Strategic Spatial Planning at the Urban Regional Level
The purpose of this visit to the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University hosted by Professor Peter Schmitt, is to refine a conceptual and operational framework for analysing territorial governance in the context of strategic spatial plan-making and plan-implementation processes at the urban regional level. This visit comes in the context of the CONCUR project, From Plans to Land Change: How Strategic Spatial Planning Contributes to the Development of Urban Regions, coordinated by Dr Anna Hersperger (Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL) and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).
This international visit, while brief, is intended to (i) refine the visiting fellow’s proposed framework for analysing territorial governance, within the context of strategic spatial planning, by identifying drawbacks and opportunities, and (ii) discuss with Stockholm-based experts how territorial governance and strategic spatial planning can cross-fertilize with each other.
The visiting fellow*: Eduardo Oliveira, http://cms.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/oliveira/index_EN
The host: Professor Peter Schmitt, Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University, http://www.su.se/english/profiles/pschm-1.188628
CONCUR
Project coordinator:
Dr. Anna Hersperger
Project team:
Dr. Simona Raluca Gradinaru
Dr. Sofia Pagliarin
Dr. Gaëtan Palka
& *
 
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CONCUR WSL - "How strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions" project will be attending:
The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas spring conference, 31 May–2 June 2017, Stockholm County Council
&
Nordic Geographers Meeting, June 18th–21st 2017, Stockholm University
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CONCUR project dedicated webpage
 
Sofia Pagliarin
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4th International QCA Expert Workshop
Zurich, 7-8 December 2016 | RAA G 01, University of Zurich (Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich)
Co-organisers: Johannes Meuer/ETH Zurich, Sofia Pagliarin/WSL, Manuel Fischer/EAWAG and Christian Rupietta/University of Zurich
Co-funded by the SNF Swiss National Research Fund
 
Sofia Pagliarin
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Complexity theory has been considered to have the potential to bridge the natural and the social sciences. This workshop will specifically examine how complexity can be applied to cities. How can we theoretically approach and empirically analyse cities as complex socio-ecological systems? Key experts in this research field will present and discuss the theoretical frameworks and some of the applications of complexity to urban studies. Prof. Dr. Emeritus David Byrne (University of Durham, UK) is a leading sociologist and will introduce the issue of complexity and urban studies. Prof. Dr. Lasse Gerrits (University of Bamberg, DE) is also a sociologist and will focus on the concept of trajectory and how it can help us to unveil urban transformation processes. Prof. Dr. Juval Portugali (University of Tel Aviv, IL) is a urban planner and human geographer, and will discuss the role of urban agents in contributing to complexity in cities. Finally, as part of the CONCUR project, a work-in-progress application of complexity to land change will be offered by Dr. Sofia Pagliarin (WSL). This workshop is an original attempt to actually open gates and blur the ”invisible lines” between the natural and the social sciences, and between qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.
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began this review by typing ‘smart city’ into a popular search engine. I received an impressive number of approximately 32 million entry results, some of which were definitions, while others were links to urban regions that are currently developing the multiple vectors that urban smartness entails. The ‘smart city’ is to many spatial planners and place managers yet another catchphrase that has outlived its usefulness. For example, Haarstad (2016) argues that the smart city appears to be a textbook example of an empty signifier in urban planning, a concept virtually void of any substantive meaning. Dameri and Rosenthal-Sabroux (2014) comment that there is no precise definition of the term, while a handful of urban thinkers have been developing thoughts on how disruptive the smart city movement truly is (e.g. Batty, 2016). From the literature, there appears to be three main vectors of usage related to the smart city: one that stresses the use of information and communication technologies in the emerging global urban system (e.g. Arribas-Bel et al., 2015), a second one focused on its technological determinism (e.g. Calzada and Cobo, 2015) and another that stresses innovation, creativity and cross-sectorial cooperation in urban governance (e.g. Kitchin, 2014).
Environmental governance has, for at least the past fifty years, received considerable attention from planning literature. No clear definition, however, exists of “environmental governance”; the literature has not been successful in bridging the gap between multiple approaches to governance, despite the growing complexity of environmental issues. Decentralization in Environmental Governance takes all who are interested in the challenges of navigating the theory and praxis of a plural governance landscape on a journey, a thought-provoking one which, according to Christian Zuidema: was inspired by the observation that the local level is increasingly seen as a good place to develop and deliver environmental policies. (p. 12)
Simona R. Gradinaru
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We are pleased to invite you to participate at the symposium
Strategic planning – a way of incorporating landscape thinking into regional development http://www.iale-europe.eu/strategic-planning-%E2%80%93-way-incorporating-landscape-thinking-regional-development
at the IALE European Congress 2017 in Ghent, 12-15 September 2017. http://www.iale-europe.eu/iale2017
The objective of this symposium is to assemble talks that present and discuss innovative theoretical and empirical approaches of integrating landscape thinking into regional planning. As regional planning requires a mix of expertise, we encourage contributions which tackle conflicts between the socio-economic and the ecological dimensions, present conservation and planning strategies of green infrastructures at regional level, integrate perception studies into the planning process, account for coupled socio-ecological systems in planning scenarios, or develop tools to incorporate ecosystem services approach into regional planning.
Papers can address various steps of the planning cycle, including governance of regions, actions, implementation and evaluation procedures, and the use of new methods and emergent data types for integrating the ecological and human dimensions within a spatial framework. A focus on urban regions is particularly welcomed.
An online submission form will be soon made available on the congress` webpage http://www.iale-europe.eu/iale2017 .
Deadline for abstract submission is 3rd of March 2017.
 
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Doktorand/in - Analyse und Modellierung räumliche Entwicklung Region Zürich
Sie testen für die urbane Region von Zürich das theoretische Modell und die Tools, welche derzeitig im CONCUR-Projekt entwickelt werden. Die Arbeit wird in enger Zusammenarbeit mit zwei weiteren Untersuchungsgebieten durchgeführt. Insbesondere führen Sie Experteninterviews durch, analysieren Planungsdokumente und erstellen räumliche Analysen, um damit das Zusammenwirken von Akteuren, Raumplanung und räumlicher Entwicklung während den letzten 25 Jahren in einer detaillierten Fallstudie aufzuzeigen. Weiter werden Sie mittels CLUE-S, Sleuth o.ä. ein räumlich explizites Modell der Landnutzung entwickeln, um damit den Beitrag der strategischen Raumplanung und ihrer Akteure auf die Entwicklung der Region abzuschätzen.
Bitte richten Sie Ihre vollständige Bewerbung an Sabine Hirt, Human Resources WSL. Für Fragen steht Ihnen Anna Hersperger, anna.hersperger@wsl.ch, gerne zur Verfügung. Die WSL strebt eine Erhöhung des Frauenanteils an, weshalb qualifizierte Frauen nachdrücklich ermuntert werden, sich zu bewerben.
 
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Editorial for virtual special issue: The emergence of new forms of flexible governance arrangements in and for urban regions: an European perspective
Featured Articles
New approaches in European governance? Perspectives of stakeholders in the Danube macro-regio
Pôles métropolitains: the French approach towards inter-city networking
The impact of place on policy outcomes
Moving away from local-based flood risk policy in Austrian
Between national constraints and the legacies of the past: explaining variations in inter-municipal cooperation in Italian regions
Changing home-to-work travel in England and Wales
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Early Career Papers Editors
Marcin Dąbrowski (Lead Section Editor, Early Career Papers Section), Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Paul Benneworth University of Twente, The Netherlands
Sabrina Lai University of Cagliari, Italy Lee Pugalis University of Northumbria, UK Marijana Sumpor The Institute for Economics, Zagreb, Croatia   
 
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The special issue involves six papers in which three specific knowledge lacunae are visible. The first is the emergence of new kinds of governance spaces dealing with this issue of fuzziness. Secondly, there is the emergence of a new setting of interterritorial cooperation as flexible territorial-based governance arrangements. Finally, there is the emergence of new kinds of functionality regarding urban regions based on the labour market and home-to-work travel.
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Book review of Schmitt, P. & Van Well (2016) Territorial governance across Europe: Pathways, Practices and Prospects, Oxon, UK: Routledge. This book provides a comprehensive framework for analysing, comparing and promoting territorial governance in policy relevant research. It reveals in-depth considerations of the emergence, state-of-the art and evolution of the concept of territorial governance.
Graz welcomed the delegates with a very warm early spring, and both the weather and the programme made it a privilege to attend the conference. The four plenary, as well as the 98 parallel sessions, were distributed in an intensive three-day programme. Several special sessions, including sessions especially oriented to academics in the early stages of their careers, have also strengthened the conference programme and contributed much to the position of the RSA as a leading association in supporting academic researchers’ career development.
Simona R. Gradinaru
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The Research Unit Landscape Dynamics studies patterns, causes and pro-cesses of landscape change. The ERC-project CONCUR develops and tests a theoretical model on how planning contributes to the development of urban regions. For this, WSL is offering two 3.5 years positions, starting in spring 2017, as
PhD in land-change analysis of Bucharest (RO) - Apply here: https://apply.refline.ch/273855/0636/pub/1/index.html
and
PhD in land-change analysis of Austin, Texas (USA) - Apply here: https://apply.refline.ch/273855/0634/pub/1/index.html
 
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Dear all,
We would be happy if you would consider submitting an abstract to the Track 5 (details below) at the upcoming AESOP conference in Lisbon.
More information on how to submit an abstract (deadline, 9 of January 2017): http://aesop2017.pt/index.php/presenters/abstracts-full-paper-submissions
5. Green infrastructures: fostering dialogue across scales and policies
Co-chairs: Anna Hersperger; Stephan Pauleit; Isabel Loupa Ramos
Green infrastructure principally refers to a multifunctional network of healthy ecosystems and serves the interests of both people and nature. We strongly believe that in the light of the implementation of the EU green infrastructure strategy (European Commission 2013) this is a relevant topic to be discussed amongst the European Planning community at the AESOP conference in Lisbon 2017 in order to foster the development of approaches and tools towards its implementation.
It is widely acknowledged in academia and practice in Europe and beyond that green infrastructure should be designed and managed as a multifunctional resource capable of delivering a wide range of benefits to humans and ecosystems, such as flood control, climate mitigation, biodiversity conservation, production of renewable energy, enhancing identity, cultural values and resilience etc. (see e.g. the project Green Surge in the 7th Framework program). Building blocks of green infrastructure are natural and semi natural areas, features and green spaces ranging from large wilderness areas to green roofs in urban environments. Green infrastructure is thus connected to many policy domains such as agriculture, forestry, nature, water, transport, and disaster prevention.
Spatial planning as a part of public policy can provide an overall framework and individual methods and tools required for a successful implementation and maintenance of a green infrastructure from local to EU-scales. Spatial planning seems best suited to ensure the necessary coordination across spatial scales and policy sectors, to facilitate the adaption of spatial concepts to real landscapes and to include the relevant actors.
Thus a session on green infrastructure provides a great opportunity to critically discuss current research and praxis on the planning and implementation of green infrastructure and explore ideas of how to progress on these issues. The session will particularly explore green infrastructure planning from rural to peri-urban and urban areas. Following, a preliminary list of potential questions and issues to be explored in a session:
  •  What is the status of green infrastructure planning and implementation in Europe? What are achievements and good practice? Where are the shortcomings?
  • How can spatial concepts for green infrastructure be developed and operationalized in the context of spatial planning from European to local scale?
  • How can relevant sectoral planning in e.g. regarding flood management, climate change and biodiversity and cultural heritage conservation be integrated into an overall green infrastructure strategy to maximize to provision of ecosystem services?
  • Which governance regimes are suited to ensure that green infrastructure, once in place, can persist long-term?
  • How can the maintenance of green infrastructure be financed benefitting from the integration of sectoral policies?
  • How do people perceive and value green infrastructure and what do they expect from green infrastructure planning?
 
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I thought about writing a review of this book for European Planning Studies the moment that I noticed it had been officially published. This 24-chapter book – Situated practices of strategic planning – on the subject of strategic spatial planning and edited by 3 scholars known worldwide – Louis Albrechts (KU Leuven, Belgium), Alessandro Balducci (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Jean Hillier (RMIT University, Australia).
Simona R. Gradinaru
added an update
Looking forward to seeing as many of you at the Global Land Project 3rd Open Science Meeting (GLPOSM16)
Follow our session: S27  - Conceptualizing and modelling spatial planning as a driver of land system change in urban regions, on Thursday, 27th October
@Sofia Pagliarin @Anna Hersperger @ Private Profile
 
Private Profile
added an update
The preliminary schedule for the Global Land Project's 3rd Open Science Meeting in Beijing - October 24-27 2016 is now online:
and We CONCUR WSL will be there with several presentations.
 
Private Profile
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Job announcement PostDoc Modelling Spatial Development in Urban Regions
The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is a part of the ETH domain. Approximately 500 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.
The Research Unit Landscape Dynamics studies patterns, causes and processes of landscape change. The ERC-project CONCUR develops and tests a theoretical model on how planning contributes to the development of urban regions. For this project WSL is looking for a PostDoc Modelling Spatial Development in Urban Regions
 
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Complexity and the urban environment: cities as complex socio-ecological systems
Date:12th July 2016, 09:00 - 15:15
Location:Engler-Saal, WSL Birmensdorf
Complexity theory has been considered to have the potential to bridge the natural and the social sciences. This workshop will specifically examine how complexity can be applied to cities. How can we theoretically approach and empirically analyse cities as complex socio-ecological systems? Key experts in this research field will present and discuss the theoretical frameworks and some of the applications of complexity to urban studies. Prof. Dr. Emeritus David Byrne (University of Durham, UK) is a leading sociologist and will introduce the issue of complexity and urban studies. Prof. Dr. Lasse Gerrits (University of Bamberg, DE) is also a sociologist and will focus on the concept of trajectory and how it can help us to unveil urban transformation processes. Prof. Dr. Juval Portugali (University of Tel Aviv, IL) is a urban planner and human geographer, and will discuss the role of urban agents in contributing to complexity in cities. Finally, as part of the CONCUR project, a work-in-progress application of complexity to land change will be offered by Dr. Sofia Pagliarin (WSL).
 
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added a project goal
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Period of the project: 2016 - 2021
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Funding body: Swiss National Science Foundation - ERC TBS Consolidator Grant
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Project web page
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Principal Investigator:
Anna M. Hersperger