Urban development and mobility

The department's vision is to be one of the European leading institutes in interdisciplinary research on urban development in close collaboration with societal actors. The aim is to understand and to improve the use and development of the transformative capacities of individuals, households, firms, and other actors in urban areas and systems to stimulate sustainable urban transitions.

Major thematic issues on the research agenda are housing, financial networks, spatial development, cross-border integration, local and cross-border mobilities, public health, and smart cities. The two national observatories, the Housing Observatory and the Observatory of Spatial Development and the Social Observatories at the municipal level contribute to the research of UDM staff and influence via data analyses and advices policymaking of its stakeholders.

The UDM Department contributes also to the two interdisciplinary research programmes:

  • Cross-border issues are central to many studies of the department. Analysing cross-border flows and the relationships with political, social, cultural, economic and institutional factors fosters multiple collaborations with the Crossing Borders interdisciplinary programme.
  • UDM has developed strong competences in research on the health implications of mobility and exposures to urban environments and in health interventions, which will be further extended to contribute optimally to the Health & Health Systems interdisciplinary programme.

A word from our Director of department, Martin Dijst

In a (de)globalizing world, Luxembourg like other European countries is facing major societal challenges involving various stakeholders. This is touching issues, like passenger and residential mobility, affordable housing, cross-border integration, sustainable finance, populism, population and employment growth, pandemics like COVID-19, unhealthy lifestyles, energy transition, and climate change. To address these challenges, understanding the complex societal problems and developing jointly with all relevant stakeholders and disciplines effective solutions are crucial. Two complementary approaches are taken by UDM to reach these objectives. First, integration of large-scale datasets in combination with advanced analytical and visualization methodologies. Second, applying geo-experimentation and participatory research methods, like living labs and citizen science, in which we have close collaborations between science and stakeholders to accelerate the realizations and scaling of solutions.