Urban land-use change: The role of strategic spatial planning

Anna M. Hersperger*, Eduardo Oliveira, Sofia Pagliarin, Gaëtan Palka, Peter Verburg, Janine Bolliger, Simona Grădinaru

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To date land-change science has devoted little attention to spatial policy and planning in urban landscapes despite the widely accepted premise that planning affects urban land change. This is primarily due to lack of relevant data and an underdeveloped theoretical understanding regarding the impact of spatial planning on urban land change. To be able to better analyse the role of spatial planning in urban development we need to distinguish: 1) the intentions expressed in the plans; 2) the means of implementation of the plans through governance processes and 3) the role of external conditions influencing implementation. Based on a synthesis of the current literature on how spatial planning is implemented in land-change models, and drawing from the literature on planning evaluation, we sketch a research agenda to further develop the understanding of these three components and their interconnections as well as their application in quantitative land-change modelling approaches for urban regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


This research was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation through the project “ From plans to land change ” (CONCUR, ERC TBS Consolidator Grant number BSCGIO 157789 ).

FundersFunder number
European Research CouncilBSCGIO 157789
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung


    • External conditions
    • Governance
    • Land-change modelling
    • Plan implementation
    • Planning intentions
    • Strategic spatial planning


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