Link zu WSL Hauptseite Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

Dr. Sofia Pagliarin - Personal Homepage

Organisational unit Landscape Dynamics
Landscape ecology
Address Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf

Room Bi HL E 31
Contact Phone: +41 44 739 2392
Fax: +41 44 7392 215
Web / E-Mail


  • Urban theories, urban development, socio-political factors influencing urban growth and land-use change (territorial governance, spatial planning), complexity theory
  • Urban sprawl, suburbanisation, periurbanisation, territorial dispersion patterns of residential areas
  • Tourism studies, with a focus on tourist service workers and the construction of the tourist experience
  • Qualitative research (interviews, document analysis)
  • Set-theoretic methods and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA)

Ongoing Research Project

2016-2017 Two-year post-doc position in the CONCUR project 

The CONCUR research project aims at the construction of a model able to synthetise the influence of strategic spatial planning on landscape change. Models of land-use change will thus be able to account for local, socio-political and cultural factors affecting planning and, consequently, landscape change. 

My task within the project is to identify the main supra-regional conditions, and their combinations, that can influence, and potentially explain, local land-use changes (i.e. incidents and accidents) in urban regions, and their connection with strategic spatial planning. This aim will be attained by adopting complexity-informed methods for empirical research, such as case studies, interviews and  qualitative comparative analysis (QCA).

Training and Education

2010-2014 Ph. D. in Urban and Regional Studies (European Urban and Local Comparative Studies, URBEUR programme) at Bicocca University of Milan (Italy), in co-tutorship (joint doctoral diploma) with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven KUL (Belgium), Department of Architecture, Urban Design and Regional Planning and Development. 

Additional Certification as Doctor Europaeus

Thesis: Territorial dispersion patterns of residential areas. Urban sprawl as an outcome of multi-scalar territorial governance processes of land bargaining in the Barcelona and Milan metropolitan regions. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Matteo Colleoni & Prof. Dr. Frank Moulaert

2012 European Module in Spatial Development Planning (EMSDP), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven KUL (Belgium).

2009-2010 Course in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Barcelona UB (Spain).

2006-2007 Exchange student, Autònoma University of Barcelona UAB (Spain).

2005-2007 Master in Sociology of Regional and Urban Development, Trieste University (Italy).

2003-2004 Master in Cultural Studies and Exchange student, Lund University (Sweden).

2001-2004 Bachelor in Sociology, University of Padua (Italy).


  • Pagliarin S. & De Decker P., Rescaling Pahl's “social gatekeepers” in the sprawling city. Urban sprawl as a public land management issue. (submitted)
  • Pagliarin S., Working leisure: A performative perspective on the routine practices of tourist entertainers in enclosed tourist resorts. (submitted)
  • Pagliarin, S. (2013). Working Entertainment. The knowledge, emotional and physical labour performed by entertainment workers in the Italian tourist industry, in Cappello, G., Modi, I. & Lo Verde, F. M. (Eds.), Mapping Leisure Across Borders (p. 252-270). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Pagliarin, S. (2012). Empresariado étnico y formación de enclaves comerciales: el papel de las redes sociales en el caso de la calle de Sant Pau en Barcelona, in Biblio 3W. Revista Bibliográfica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales. University of Barcelona, XVII:962. 
  • Pagliarin, S. (2008). Il golf: una lentezza d'élite, in Lavarini, R. (Ed.), Viaggiar lento. Andare adagio alla scoperta di luoghi e persone (p. 112-127). Milan: Hoepli.