UGoveRN members unite around four interrelated research themes that are distinguished by our interdisciplinary governance approach. This approach sets us apart as we tackle these themes from multiple perspectives, transcending disciplinary boundaries and fostering a holistic understanding of contemporary urban governance challenges.

Urban Planning

The research theme of ‘urban planning’ brings together researchers who are dedicated to studying planning as a complex practice of spatial governance in various contexts. We take an interdisciplinary approach to urban planning processes by involving researchers from disciplines such as public administration, law, planning, and real estate. 

Our primary objective is to comprehend the interactions between planning institutions and the diverse actors from public, private, and civil society spheres who play a role in governing cities through their planning activities. We examine these activities at multiple scales.

Our research goes beyond urban design and delves into the social issues that arise from these interactions among diverse actors. Furthermore, we are particularly interested in studying spaces that exhibit extreme inequality.

Property Markets

The research theme of ‘property markets’ brings together researchers who are committed to understanding the dynamics and complexities of actors and regulations across different property sectors.

Our governance perspective delves into the intricacies of property markets, influenced by factors like economic conditions, urban planning, law and policy. We also examine a wide range of actors with distinct roles and strategies, leading to property market variations at national, regional, and local levels.

What makes us unique is our interdisciplinary governance approach to property markets. It allows us to break free from disciplinary boundaries and question commonly held assumptions about property market actors and processes in urban development.

Spatial Regulation

The research theme of ‘spatial regulation’ brings together researchers who explore regulations as a key element of urban governance. Our focus on spatial regulations means that we examine regulations with an impact on the built environment while acknowledging the intricate connection between physical structures and social processes.

Our target is to investigate how spatial regulations are formulated, negotiated, and how they influence the behavior and relationships among actors involved in urban development.

Our interdisciplinary approach to spatial regulation allows us to gain a better understanding of the processes, actors and consequences of regulatory efforts in cities and regions.

Law and Policy

The research theme of ‘law and policy’ brings together researchers who are deeply interested in understanding how law and policy shape and govern human behavior in the context of urban governance.

We recognize the intrinsic connection between law and policy, as legislation often serves as a means to implement specific policies. Moreover, we explore the increasing significance of law and policy in governing urban development projects, for instance through the use of contracts.

Our strength lies in our interdisciplinary governance approach to exploring law and policy, which encourages collaboration among experts from various fields such as legal studies, legal anthropology, urban studies, sociology, public administration, and planning.