Institute of Geography

Political Urbanism and Sustainable Spatial Development

Completed projects

Gouvéole - Spatial governance of wind energy activities
Duration March 2014 - January 2017
Funding SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation)
Description This research project analyzes the decision-making processes concerning the social acceptability of wind turbines and proposes social engineering tools to improve the dialogue and negotiations among the actors of the concerned areas.

For more information have a look at the research homepage.

Involved persons
  • Florent Joerin, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD)
  • Jean-David Gerber, University of Bern
  • Stéphane Nahrath, University of Lausanne (IDHEAP)
  • Pierre-Henriy Bombenger, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD)
  • Marie-Joëlle Kodjovi, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD)
  • Kevin Blake, University of Lausanne (IDHEAP)
  • Adeline Cherqui, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD)
Spatial development strategies in the context of the economic development priorities of the Canton of Berne
Duration January 2011 - July 2013
Funding SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation)
Description This project focuses on the strategies followed by local authorities to shape their spatial development in a context where the public sector is under pressure to increase its cost-efficiency. It addresses a research gap in the study of spatial development in Switzerland by analyzing how local authorities use different instruments stemming from private law (public-private partnerships, non-monetary compensations, long-term leases, public property) or public law (land consolidation/reallocation, inciting instruments such as taxes and subsidies, use quotas, building obligation) to complement planning instruments (binding general plans, non-binding master plans, zoning, private plans).

The proposed research is broadly positioned within the critical literature on New Public Management that examines the impacts of the new managerial models on social, economic and environmental sustainability. It draws upon an emerging trend in critical geography (political ecology) to revive the debates on the importance of property rights to understand spatial development.

Involved persons
  • Jean-David Gerber, University of Bern
  • Hanna Jäggi, University of Bern