Image by Marc-Olivier Jodoin


Research Summary

Members of the UGoveRN Planning+Property Chapter focus on disentangling the complex inter-relations between actors, organisations and institutions in contemporary urban development. They specifically scrutinize the interplay between planning regulations, property investment, and development practices, as well as the interactions between planners, policy makers and property industry actors. 

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Planning and the wider Urban Studies grapple with the complexity and fast-paced nature of the property industry. The existing literature on (global) investments and property development in these fields has been critiqued for its limited empirical base (Crosby and Henneberry 2016), its poor differentiation between types of developers (Ballard and Butcher 2019) and investors (Özogul and Tasan-Kok 2020), and its oversimplification of investment decisions by private sector actors (Raco et al. 2019). UGoveRN Planning+Property Chapter members are interested in exploring governance actors beyond stereotypes and vast generalisations, in order to generate novel insights from an interdisciplinary perspectives. 


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Public sector regulations influence property markets (Adams and Tiesdell 2012), yet detailed knowledge on this process remains scarce in Planning and the wider Urban Studies. Some new scholarly work invites us to understand the dynamics of property markets better (Campbell et al. 2014), and novel research projects such as WHIG (What is Governed in Cities?) started to closely examine the relationship between property investment and planning regulations. Planning+Property Chapter members are at the forefront of pushing the frontiers of existing knowledge with critical research which – instead of making bold claims based on shallow data and generalisations – is based on fair and thorough empirical evidence.

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Public and private sector actors increasingly collaborate and co-produce the urban built environment, and various networks exist that link public and private actors in property investment and development. They serve multiple purposes ranging from formal and informal networking, to knowledge sharing and policy influence. Members of UGoveRN Planning+Property Chapter pay special attention to these networks and closely examine what role they play in and how they shape the spatial governance of contemporary cities.​