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Economics and Social Sciences

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Head: PD Dr. Irmi Seidl

The Economics and Social Sciences Research Unit is concerned with economic, institutional and societal questions of WSL-Research topics, in particular with landscape, natural resources, spatial development and natural hazards. It addresses real and specific problems and deals with them in an interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary or disciplinary way.

The work of the research unit is undertaken in accordance with the idea of sustainability and improves the knowledge of systems, of objectives, and of transformation.

The researchers

  • investigate societal claims, attitudes, valuations, and participation and decision processes regarding the topics mentioned above;
  • analyze economic, societal, and spatial processes, as well as societal structures, institutions, and relevant policies (e.g. governance) as to their effects on the environment, resources, and life quality;
  • develop and evaluate communicative, persuasive, regulative, institutional, and economic measures, instruments and strategies.
 

Topics

Urban Development

The configuration and extent of settlements affect biodiversity and quality of life. We analyse settlement development and its consequences.

Landscape Development and Monitoring

We use monitoring programmes to document and quantify how our landscapes change.

Energy and Landscape

Energy Strategy 2050 provides for a conversion of the existing energy system. We identify its benefits and possible consequences for the landscape.

Vor der Gemeindeverwaltung in Brienz, einem grossen Holzhaus, türmen sich Schlamm- und Geröllmassen von einem Murgang. Verschiedene Autos liegen kreuz und quer davor.

Dealing with natural hazards

Responding to and managing natural hazards has a long tradition in Switzerland. Through research and services, we help to reduce the risks.

Landscapes for Health and Recreation

Landscapes with high recreational values contribute to human health and well-being. We study the features of these types of landscapes.

Management and Participation

Land use and landscape development are influenced by numerous stakeholders. We study how, why and by what means stakeholders act.

Forest economics and policy

Our forest economics and policy research examines the impact of economic and social activities on the forest and vice versa.

Nature conservation and reserves

We investigate the societal and economic effects of nature reserves of national significance and other protected areas.

 

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