Current ResearchIn 2005 the NETHUR board changed the name from Housing and Urban Research into Urban and Regional research, and the research programme was adjusted accordingly. The research programme shows three clear lines. The first line concentrates on the social aspects or urban and regional change and deals with citizens as private agents. The second line deals with the economics aspects and the actions of entrepreneurs in the system. The third line pertains to the governance of urban and regional dynamics and the role of public agents in the process. Two cross-cutting themes link these lines. The theme “Spatial conditions for knowledge cities” combines the clustering of innovative economic activities with the attractiveness of cities as a home to the creative class and intervention strategies of private an public agents in both the built environment and institutional arrangements to strengthen the economic base of cities and regions. The theme “Urban context and Social Change” concentrates on the effects of economic, social, and institutional change on the opportunities for the urban population and urban consumers.
Looking at the projects of the PhD members that started their research in 2006, one finds that many of those clearly fit into one of the lines. The interaction between spatial structure and spatial behaviour of citizens is clear from the analyses of travel, residential mobility, and international migration within the wider spatial and institutional framework of infrastructure, housing markets and legislation. Firm behaviour is analysed in relation to the regional context in which they operate and the effect of this behaviour on urban development are prominent topics. In the projects on governance, power relations and co-production have roused the interests of our senior and junior researchers. At they same time there seems to be a revival of environmental impact assessment both at the micro-level of housing complexes and at the macro level of metropolitan regions.