Institute of Geography

Economic Geography

Urban and Regional Development Policy

Current Projects

Expert Input


Expert Input for Postulat Brand

We currently work on ideas related to regional development policies in rural and moutain regions. We submitted an input paper to the seco, which is in charge of working on the so-called Postulat Brand. The Postulat requires the Federal Council to develop a report about the medium to long-term development potentials of Swiss mountain regions. In our paper, we discuss ideas for territorially differentiated regional development policies.

Completed Projects

Governance in Regional Development: Features and Functions Using the Examples of the Regional Nature Parks and Their Implementation in the New Regional Policy
Project Timeline October 2014-September 2017
Funding Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
Description This research project characterizes the features of regional governance regimes in Switzerland and evaluates the regime`s functionalities using the examples of nature parks and the New Regional Policy.
Strategies and recommendations to improve the functionality and performance of regional governance regimes are developed.
Involved Researchers
  • Marco Pütz, WSL
  • Heike Mayer, Universität Bern
  • Martin Müller, Universität Zürich
  • Yasmin Willi, WSL
Federal Strategy For Mountain Areas and Rural Regions in Switzerland (Expert Mandate)
Project Timeline January 2013-April 2014
Funding State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
Description Based on the so-called Motion Maissen the Swiss Federal Council was assigned to develop a coherent strategy for the development of Swiss mountain and rural regions. We developed several input papers and a final report. 
Involved Researchers
  • Heike Mayer, University of Bern
  • Paul Messerli, University of Bern
  • Daniel Baumgartner, Ernst Basler & Partner
  • Erik Gløersen, University of Geneva
  • Jacques Michelet, University of Geneva
AGORA Projekt InnoFutures
Project Timeline March 2014 - February 2016
Funding Swiss Naitonal Science Foundation
Description In a global economy affected by the financial crisis, increasingly interconnected activities and by growing concerns for sustainable development, established models of economic and territorial development are profoundly called into question. This implies not just transposing existing theories and policy practices to new topical fields of action. It fundamentally calls for a new conception of policy intervention and territorial governance. INNO-Futures is a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and which was launched at the universities of Neuchâtel and Bern to promote interactive reflections between policy makers and scholars.
Involved Researchers
  • Heike Mayer, University of Bern
  • Tina Haisch, University of Bern
  • Olivier Crevoisier, University of Neuchâtel
  • Hugues Jeannerat, University of Neuchâtel
State Science and Technology Policy Strategies in the United States
Project Timeline 2007
Funding National Governors Association & Pew Center on the States
Description For this project we examined science and technology strategies in the United States at the state level and developed recommendations for governors.
Involved Researchers
  • Heike Mayer, University of Bern
  • Joseph Cortright, Impresa Inc.