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City and place

In virtue of it being a national centre of urban and regional research, urban and place studies make up one of the main stands of many of the projects undertaken in the four departments at NIBR. For the same reason, it can be difficult to isolate urban and place research from other areas such as regional, planning, housing, governance and democratic process research.

Much of the research under the urban and place research heading inquires into

  • population change, housing patterns, segregation
  • urban development, climate adaptation
  • urban development, planning and public participation
  • differentiation and conflict/inclusion and cohesion
  • globalisation and migration
  • power and forms of government (urban governance)
  • place identity, belonging, place qualities

NIBR undertakes research on urban arenas in Norway, other European countries, development countries and the extensive processes of urbanisation found in developing countries. Despite many differences, both settings share several common denominatiors: accelerating migration; inequality and differentiation among groups and among urban areas; cultural complexity; new forms of government; and the emergence of inter-urban political and economic networks.

When opening for a development policy, Norwegian local authorities want to know more about succeeding in the increasingly intense competition to attract industries, businesses, trade, tourism and new residents. With its staff of researchers, experts in the social sciences and other disciplines, NIBR can offer analyses of how the various components within these social areas interlock and reinforce each other with positive or negative results.

NIBR's project portfolio in the field of urban and place research covers large-scale programmes and Research Council projects, major commissions and smaller analyses of city districts and municipalities. One of the Strategic Institute Programmes, Challenges for Governance in Cities and Municipalities (2011-2014), explores in particular challenges to urban development arising from a changing climate, while also analysing topics in the field of governance, planning and public health.

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