Department of Spatial Planning, TIFP

Department of Spatial Planning

The Department of Spatial Planning is one of six departments at the Faculty of Engineering.

Head of Department: Peter Schlyter
Department coordinator: Annica Skytt


The research activities are oriented toward the study of changes and mutations that occur in the interaction between humans and their social and physical environments. Consequently, research in the area has a wide disciplinary breadth.

Research activities within the research field consist of four research lines. The research lines have all an emphasis on planning for sustainability and urban development:

Inclusive urban design and urban morphologies
This research line addresses the morphogenesis of urban forms and the configurations of urban patterns, and their mutation through time. Through this morphological perspective principles and frameworks for urban development are set up with the purpose of achieving more sustainable built environment. The researchers advocate an inclusive and participative conception of planning and urban design.

Planning processes and power relations
This research line addresses planning processes for sustainable development and the related power relations and decision-making. The research in this line develops a critical reading and analysis of the municipal comprehensive planning processes. It investigates the current strategies, trends and status of land use and spatial planning which target the development of sustainable built environment.

Spatial relations and processes in planning and built environment
This research area adopts a socio-material perspective on subjectivity, power and spatial practices are enacted and experienced in and by planning and the built environment. The mutual influences between 1) visions, ideas and intentions, 2) material space, and 3) experiences, are investigated. Focus is on relations, processes and decision-making analysis, contemporary and historical.

Environmental planning processes
This research line addresses spatial planning from a broad range of perspectives, e. g environmental, law and technology. Complexity and dilemmas of the planning processes are dealt with in a social, spatial and legislative context. New technologies and the emergence of environmental considerations in large-scale planning projects are also addressed.


The department’s researchers and teachers are involved in many programmes and courses.