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

Related GLP Member: Anna M. Hersperger


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.