Research on urban development and urban planning has a long tradition and a strong position at our department. We study the spatial, social, cultural and economic developments of cities, urban regions and towns, and we focus on how today's urban development can become more sustainable.
At our department, we investigate how today's cities and urban spaces are designed and developed, and the role that power relations play in urban development. Both human geographers and sociologists study spatial segregation and social inequality in cities, producing valuable knowledge about sustainable urban development.
Our research topics include:
- What consequences will current urban developments have for people's quality of life and for social inclusion? As cities become increasingly attractive, urban districts are gentrified and housing prices are rising – what are the implications for social inequality?
- How can today’s policies for urban sustainability and the current compact city strategy, make attractive spaces and public goods less accessible for less prosperous groups?
- What are the implications of growing up in different parts of a city region, in neighborhoods with different population composition and schools with a variety of students and resources? How does specific social problems, such as poverty, crime and substance abuse, play out in local urban settings?
One strength of our research is that we can combine studies of social inequality with research on sustainable urban development, which makes our research particularly relevant to today's societal challenges. We do empirical studies, contribute with critical reflections and provide input to current and future urban policy and planning.
Our research on urban development is internationally recognised and based on collaboration with researchers in other countries. Researchers at ISS are also important contributors to the Norwegian professional and public debate on urban development and policies.