The research encompassed in this department fall under the  umbrella them ‘ Europeanisation of spatial planning’. This research concerns both the vertical aspects of Europeanisation (by international or EU influence on planning systems in EU member states) and horizontal processes of cross-border cooperation. Conceptually, the focus is on institutional and cooperative approaches. From a methodological point of view, the main interest lies in comparative studies.

The following topics illustrate the research interests of the department:

  • Integration of the spatial aspects from sectoral policies: questions relate to the scope and efficiency of planning systems for the integration of sectoral policies, and the resulting need for institutional change at European and national level.
  • European spatial planning and territorial cooperation: research interest relate to the identification of the added value of transnational cooperation and the conditions under which transnational networks and learning processes can lead to institutional and political innovations in cross-border or transnational regions.
  • Communicative and institutional challenges for the network society: questions include how networks and functional relationships can be understood, visualized and communicated in planning processes at the transnational and metropolitan levels; and to what extent cartographic visualizations can support transnational communication processes.
  • Comparative planning and planning systems in Europe: this further relates to the question of whether and to what extent EU influence contributes to the convergence of national and regional planning systems.
  • Generation and use of scientific knowledge in planning and decision-making processes: included are comparisons of knowledge infrastructures in different European countries with the question of country-specific characteristics and the relevance of global trends.