10 years after EU-FP6 PLUREL

•19/10/2020 • Leave a Comment

10 years ago the final conference of the EU FP6 research project PLUREL – Peri-urban land use relationships, took place in Copenhagen. Although a bit worn out, the tote bag from back then still does good service.

plurel-bag_10-years

PLUREL was a four year European research project with over 30 partners and a 10 million Euro budget, running from 2007 to 2011. My former boss at University of Copenhagen, Kjell Nilsson, and colleague Thomas Sick Nielsen led the project. I was a PhD student at the time, learning a lot on research collaboration. The project’s homepage has been offline for a while. The URL was overtaken by a predatory US domain host in 2017, using “our” traffic for pseudo-scientific posts, adds and commercials… but this is a different story. In the project, lots of research was done, reports and papers published. You can find some of it on researchgate. The main written joint products were

If you are interested in a printed version of the book or the synthesis report, contact me, we still have some in stock.

20 years of migration within the Øresund Region

•09/10/2020 • Leave a Comment

Back in 2006, when working on my master thesis, I looked into statistics on cross-border relations in the Øresund Region for the first time. Part of the integration of the region, which got connected by a fixed link (bridge + tunnel) in 2000, was a collaboration between the Swedish and Danish Statistical Offices, providing unique statistics for the region. The portal still exists and gets updated, although some of the statistics, as cross-border communting, are difficult to produce because of privacy issues regarding the data exchange between the two offices.

One interesting development at the beginning of the 2000s was the migration of Danes to the Swedish side of the region, where housing and living cost were lower, while keep working on the Danish side. The figure below shows the migration from one side to the other by citizenship since 1998. It shows clearly that most people migrating are persons with Danish citizenship. Up to 2007, there was a steady increase of Danes moving to the other side. This has changed significantly and today is balance and relatively low compared to previously. For persons with Swedish citizenship, the opening of the Øresund link did not make a big change. However, since 2008 more Swedes are moving to the Danish side, than Swedes moving from the Danish side. For persons with other citizenship, the pattern is similar to those of the Danes. In general we can see that the main migration direction changed since 2008. The financial crisis as well as changes in immigration laws for non-EU citizens certainly have influenced that, but we can also assume a certain consolidation of the migration (similar to the stagnating commuting levels) in the region.

Data was retrieved from www.orestat.se

Digital plan data – what’s the state in Europe?

•25/02/2020 • Leave a Comment

We just started a new ESPON project on the state, use and perspectives of digital plan data and digital planning. We will work with 6 in-depth cases, including Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. Prior to that, we will collect material from 15 European countries to provide a first overview on the state of digital plan data. Looking forward to the work! The project is led by the Spatial Change and Planning Group at University of Copenhagen in collaboration with NMBU, WSL and Nordregio and will be finished in January 2021. Feel free to contact us if you are interested.

See also my previous post related to the topic on the potential of digital plan data to evaluate spatial planning.

photo1
ESPON DIGIPLAN kick-off meeting in Copenhagen, January 2020

Rhino in Urban Planning education

•30/01/2020 • Leave a Comment

I am teaching in a course on urban planning for undergraduate students in landscape architecture. This year we introduced Rhino to use it as part of the design process. It was a first try for us, ourselves novice in Rhino, and ambitions were set to basic: Getting introduced to Rhino basics and producing a simple urban landscape model. The students took the model from Rhino and refined it in Illustrator. We were quite satisfied with the results and the usability of them for their final project. Have a look below.

rhino-present_A2

Urban planning education in a data rich world

•20/06/2019 • Leave a Comment

I just came across the following statement which I think highlights an important lack in our current planning education:

We have entered a data rich environment, where we can have data on systems and behaviors for more frequent time increments and with a greater number of observations of a greater number of factors. Planners are still being trained in methods that are suitable for a data poor environment. [… V]isualization, simulation, data mining and machine learning are the appropriate tools to use in this new environment.”

Its from French, Barchers & Zhang (2017) How Should Urban Planners Be Trained to Handle Big Data? – I can recognize that from our own education in landscape architecture and urban design. However, I think we still need the ‘traditional’ methods like interviews, observation in field etc. especially when working on a small scale. But I can agree that urban planners or urban designers are often not taught in these new methods – with GIS as exception, as also the authors write, and probably a bit in visualization, but not in others. Most of it let to other professionals as computer scientists, some sociologists or physicists. A basic understanding of these methods is though necessary to make use of these data but also to develop a critical position to it.

Digital plan data to evaluate planning practice?

•16/04/2019 • 1 Comment

Can we use digital plan data to look into changes in planning practice? In a recent article we suggest to have a closer look at the potential of emerging digital plan data to contribute with new research perspectives.

For example in Denmark, where a national open geodatabase with all spatial plans exists since 2007, we can see, with the help of such data, that the use of “mixed zoning” opposite to other, single use zoning categories for local development plans has been increasing over the past years and is currently at about 20 % – higher than ever before. We could take this as an indication that modern planning is used to support the development of more mixed use areas or to provide from flexible frameworks for development.

share_of_mixed_zoning

Source: Fertner, C., Christensen, A. A., Andersen, P. S., Olafsson, A. S., Præstholm, S., Caspersen, O. H., Grunfelder, J. (2019) Emerging digital plan data – new research perspectives on planning practice and evaluation, Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, 119:1, 6-16, DOI: 10.1080/00167223.2018.1528555

Rush hour in 49 cities

•28/11/2018 • Leave a Comment

I am sure many of you are regular users of Google Maps and have seen the estimation of the real-time traffic situation which Google provides for major roads around the world. I am not sure what the data is based on – probably Google’s own information from phones using Google products. In any case, as it was Thursday afternoon I was impressed to see traffic pressure around cities in the Central European Time Zone. The figure below is just a collage of quick screenshots I took on my mobile within 20 minutes. I included some cities from neighboring time zones. So besides that the rush hour probably starts and ends at different times in different countries, the time zone plays of course also a role when taking screenshots at the same time. But full comparability was not my aim, rather giving a quick impression of the daily rush of cars around our cities.

CETplusminus1_traffic

Swiping through historical plans of Oslo

•08/11/2018 • Leave a Comment

While being with my students in Oslo, I played a bit with ESRI’s story maps. A retired colleague of mine collected a few historical maps and plans, e.g. Harald Hals‘ Generalplan from 1929 for a new regulation of the city. Click on the screenshot to have a look at this a few other plans.

https://cphunigis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=8d2e57bde0c64259a214f82ab782b19e

Planning research in Europe – cities in AESOP 2018

•17/07/2018 • Leave a Comment

Last week the annual conference of European planning schools took place in Gothenburg. Presenters came from a many parts of Europe and beyond. However, not surprisingly, most contributions came from traditionally heavy visibly research environments in planning as the UK and the Netherlands. The map below shows the appearance of European cities in the conference programme. Cities are limited to those included in Eurostat’s Urban Audit database with at least 100,000 inhabitants.

Single cities mentioned at least 15 times are London, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Helsinki/Espoo, Rotterdam/Delft, Dortmund, Lisbon, Paris and Vienna. Copenhagen, including Frederiksberg, Lyngby and Roskilde, was represented 13 times which is quite more than back in 2013 (though the data might not be 1:1 comparable).

AESOP2018_cities

Digitale plandata – program online

•18/06/2018 • Leave a Comment

Now the programme for the seminar on research perspectives in digital plan data is online. There will a couple of presentations in English, some more and a panel debate in Danish – everybody interested is welcome to join – registration per e-mail to me latest on 24 June.

digiplan_program_Page_2