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Land-use systems

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Head:Prof. Dr. Anna Hersperger

The land-use systems group studies landscape patterns and processes and their changes over time. We focus on urban, rural and alpine landscapes and their multifunctionality while conducting research in the following topics:

  • Development of models for simulating future landscape dynamics and for estimating the resulting landscape services.
  • Analysis of historical changes in ecosystems and landscapes (focus on the past 100 to 250 years) and their implications in the context of historical ecology.
  • Analysis of actors, driving forces, and land change and their interaction to understand the causes of landscape change.
  • Contributing to the further development of landscape planning, based, for example, on conflict analysis and the evaluation of planning instruments.
  • Analysis of social-ecological networks and the assessment of their ecological connectivity in urban and peri-urban areas.


The land-use systems group combines methods and theories from natural sciences and social sciences on spatial scales from single ecosystems to continents. We are equally committed to theory development and innovative applications.