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The SUSTAIN_GOV research team aims at investigating sustainable spatial development policies in the context of governance, both with respect to both Luxembourg and, by way of comparison, Switzerland, a country:often considered at the cutting edge of innovative approaches in spatial planning policies in Europe similar to Lux in terms of economic success, a high degree of internationalisation, and  patterns of urbanization;  with a model of spatial planning grounded in the legal and political context of direct democracy, which can provide insights into modes of participation and horizontal consensus building in Luxembourg. Particular focus is placed on the so calledGlattal-Stadtin the area of Zurich Nord.

SUSTAIN_GOV builds directly from the conceptual and empirical foundations of the SUSTAINLUX Project that has shown that the Grand Duchy’s policy, planning practices, and institutions of governance remain underdeveloped. Despite the intense urbanization pressure, strains on land resources and infrastructure, and the political dilemmas these issues raise, policy, planning, and governance practices in the Grand Duchy fail to meet stated best-practice standards and requirements, particularly in the domain citizen involvement in public decision-making. SUSTAIN_GOV aims at a nuanced scientific understanding of participation, governance, and integrated sustainable spatial development, and is informed by contemporary literature in urban and regional studies.

Download the research's  4 streams of thought:

SUSTAIN_GOV.pdf 26.04 kB

Research Objectives 

Our research objectives and related research questions are as follows:

  • To explore the contents, strategies, and challenges of ‘integrated’ sustainable development planning, in the Swiss planning system;
  • To understand policy-making at both the state and local levels in the two countries;
  • To understand the social, institutional, and political arrangements in the Glattal-Stadt;
  • To understand the practices of participation and related conflicts in the Glattal-Stadt;
  • To cross-reference the results with Luxembourg's system of planning practices, policies, and governance;
  • To address the comparative dimensions conceptually.

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