Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies
New conditions of the network society and relational geography have rapidly influenced urban and regional development. Urban activities are becoming increasingly interrelated on very different scale levels, and a large portion of the requisite communication seems instantaneous. Dynamic social and economic forces change local and regional spaces, requiring new methods of organising spatial collective action. Collective action, in turn, faces new threats and opportunities in transforming spaces.
Urban Planning focuses on the organisation of collective action in a more and more fragmented, complex world. Research deals largely with the interrelationships between social and spatial interaction, alongside the need for taking collective action to transform spaces. New ways for organising collective action are sought out in the dynamic social and spatial context, with a focus specifically on three closely interrelated problem areas, namely:
- Integrative strategic planning and projects in contexts of metropolitan transformation
- Mobility and spatial planning in transforming spaces
- Institutional capacity to realise environmental protection.
The broad aim is to uncover forms of collective action and to test their legitimacy and effectiveness. Collective action is investigated in its institutional meaning and - at a more operational level - in the expression of spatial and environmental interventions via planning, policies and projects. Analysing levels and the points where they interact, this research considers both the meaning of institutions and their operational interventions as the essential ‘variables'.
The mission of this programme group is to maintain and further develop a significant scientific contribution to the international scientific community as well as to the practices of planning and policymaking.