Political Urbanism and Sustainable Spatial Development

Spatial planning practices are changing rapidly in Switzerland. The need to increase density, improve quality standards, renew ageing infrastructures and buildings has a deep impact on planning processes since solutions have to found to accommodate interests in a land that is already built. Local authorities have to collaborate with one another on complex projects. Our research group focuses on the analysis of actors and their strategies in order to understand these present far-reaching changes.


University of Bern | Institute of Geography | Political urbanism and sustainable spatial development | Hallerstrasse 12 | CH-3012 Bern

Tel +41 31 631 88 62 | Fax +41 31 631 85 11

News & events


European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for Christoph Oberlack

For his project “Is environmental justice necessary for human well-being? Comparative analysis of certification schemes, inclusive business, and solidarity economy strategies (COMPASS)”, Christoph Oberlack of CDE and GIUB, University of Bern, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. The project examines the role of environmental justice in enabling certification systems, inclusive business models, and solidarity-economy strategies to enhance the well-being of smallholder producers. In particular, it investigates the value chains of coffee and cocoa in Peru and Switzerland.


New scientific publication

Barnett AJ, Partelow S, Frey U, García-Lozano A, Mancha-Cisneros MdM, Oberlack C, Ratajczyk E, Smith H, Villamayor-Tomás S, Whitney CK. 2020. Defining success in the commons: addressing problem orientations, multi-dimensionality, norms and trade-offs. International Journal of the Commons (in press).


New PhD-candidate

We are happy to welcome Jessica Verheij to our unit. Jessica's PhD-project will analyze processes of governance that can lead to the densification of cities, by looking at case-studies in Bern and Utrecht (the Netherlands). Focus will be on understanding how issues related to social sustainability can be ensured over time.


New PhD-candidate

We are happy to welcome Josje Bowmeester to our unit. Josje's PhD project focuses on the conditions under which spatial planning can more effectively lead to increased densification while also retaining urban quality for all, including vulnerable socio-economic groups.


New publication

Van Bers C., A. Delaney, L. Cramer, H. Eakin, S. Eriksen, T. Evans, L. Jones, K. Korhonen-Kurki, C. Oberlack, C. Pahl-Wostl, M. Purdon, I. Vasileiou. 2019. Advancing the research agenda on food systems governance and transformations. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (in press).

Defense of Timothy Adams dissertation

Large-scale Land Investments, Institutional Change and Gender Relations: An In-depth Analysis of Land Investments in the Sugarcane Sector of Malawi

Location: Institute of Geography, Hallerstrasse 12, Bern
Room 001
Date: August 29, 2019 at 09.30 am.



More News