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Regional Economics and Development

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Head: Dr. Marco Pütz

Research Interests

The research group "Regional Economics and Development" is concerned with economic aspects of regional development. The group's focus is on local and regional consequences of economic, social and environmental change as well as on possible adaptation strategies of local players.

We are conducting both basic and applied spatial and environmental research applying a broad spectrum of qualitative and quantitative methods.

With our research we intend to support public administration on federal, cantonal, regional and municipal level by providing the scientific foundations for a sustainable spatial development. Hence, we analyse regional policies and other activities by the federal government, cantons and regions. We also develop and evaluate economic and political strategies, concepts and instruments which encourage sustainable development.

Research Topics

Our research deals with projects around the two focus regional governance and valorisation of regional potentials.

Regional Governance

  • What economic and political impacts, mechanisms and instruments govern and coordinate spatial dynamics?
  • What strategies, measures and instruments are suitable for cities, communities and regions in order to adapt themselves to global change (e.g. climate change, demographic change)?
  • What strategies, measures and instruments foster a soil-conserving and space-saving settlement development?
  • What are people’s preferences in the field of habitation, recreation, nature and environment (ecosystem services) and management of natural hazards and other risks? How should policy react to those preferences?
  • What conflicting uses exist between economic, social and the environmental demands? How could such regional or local conflicts be solved?

Valorisation of regional potentials

  • What regional economic potentials (locational qualities) exist and how to activate them with the objective of a sustainable regional development?
  • In doing so, what is the role of natural resources and natural amenities (e.g. forests and landscapes)?
  • What are the regional economic effects of specific economic sectors (e.g. nature-oriented tourism) and specific policies (e.g. New Regional Policy NRP)
  • What specific problems and regional disparities characterise Swiss cities, communities and regions?
 

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