Regional planning and development - RPD
Focus and area of activity
The activities within RPD are broadly focused on regional development and transformation processes where both planning for regional and intra-regional (local) development as well as analyzes of regional and local processes are at the center. The research that is conducted takes place from both a macro and a meso and / or micro perspective. In this case, macro means focusing on national and international phenomena and processes and its impact on regional and local development patterns, meso stands for regional and / or interregional perspectives, while micro refers to intra-regional and local focus. Another basis for division - which is complementary rather than alternative - includes the concepts of conditions, content and processes with different emphases depending on the nature of the research objects.
The combination of regional development and regional planning should give rise to a cross-fertilization where the two "legs" develop in symbiosis with the opportunities for synergy effects. In some cases, national and regional development gives rise to reactions in the form of regional planning, while the opposite prevails in other cases - ie regional and national planning affects development at different levels. This also means that theory and method development play a central role in the activities and that these should influence each other in a positive way. This applies to both applied research and basic research. This division contains both quantitatively and qualitatively oriented research as well as theoretically and empirically oriented.
Since research is often focused on processes and processes - the procedural perspective is a cornerstone of the activities- the cause-and-effect problem plays a central and explicit role in the studies that are done. Thus, the time dimension will also have a central role in explaining conversion processes and effects of various planning efforts. However, this does not exclude qualified descriptive studies such as “state of the art” overviews with emphasis on where the research front is today. Instead, this contributes to an additional dimension in the group's work. Descriptive studies and meta-analyzes that produce and / or compile new knowledge also occupy a prominent place in the group's activities. Without knowing how it is, it can be problematic to ask the "right" questions and hypotheses, which are often prerequisites for further and more in-depth research. This also means that both inductive and deductive methods justify their place in the group's research and activities.
From different theoretical perspectives, different methods will be used. Incidentally, this is up to the researcher / research project to decide - however in dialogue with the group's other members as well as with external experts - which can be more or less formally linked to the group's activities. As mentioned above, both deductive and inductive methods can be used, which also means that the research will be based on both qualitative and quantitative methods. An important element is to support the method development within the group's area of activity, both in terms of regional and local planning as well as various forms of development and transformation processes. The latter also applies not only to growth and positive development processes, but also to decline and stagnation falling within this framework. Not least this applies to polarization and segregation problems, which are often an effect of both external and internal factors.