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Division of Urban and Regional Studies

Social, economic and environmental knowledge underpin the political processes which determine the futures of urban and metropolitan areas in an era of globalization and climate stress. Decisions are related in a complex and interlinked way. Planning for the management of this complexity therefore embrace new research challenges.

The division is massively engaged in teaching planning, public policy and sustainability issues at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. A major feature of the division’s work is cooperation with a broad range of partners in academic environments and practitioner institutions in an attempt to do research with high societal relevance. For the division it is essential that its research will address issues of fundamental long-term relevance to society and that research staff be known both for scientific skill and academic scholarship.

Our research and educational engagement is organised in three programmes;

Our activities are currently concentrated on the following areas:

  • Actors, planning and planning processes
  • Governance and Institutional capacity
  • Regional planning and development
  • Planning for urban and regional infrastructure
  • Housing standards, social conditions and economic development
  • Culture, heritage management and city marketing
  • Urban design, retail and services


The division aims to contribute to the scientific study of the theory and practice of planning, strategy and public policy with particular relevance to sustainable urban development. Our focus is on actor interaction in complex and long-term decision processes using strategic planning theories, scenario methods and decision-support infrastructure systems as tools.