23 Jan 20 | News

Three LISER international & multilateral projects (INTER) retained for funding!

Thematics covered include: fare-free public transport, sustainable residential densification as well as populism in Europe

LISER is pleased to communicate that Belgium research funding agencies Fund for Scientific Research-FNRS (F.R.S – FNRS) and Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO), in cooperation with the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) have retained three INTER projects for funding.

Through the INTER programme, LISER researchers will conduct bilateral projects with scientists in different research institutes. The objective being for international collaboration to be a driving force for excellence. Lasting for a period of four years, the joint research projects retained are:

From Low fares to no fares: An analysis of economic, operational, socio-spatial and political dynamics of fare-Free public Transport (LiFT)

Project Summary:
The proposed project focuses on the policy of abolishing fares in public transport (PT) systems, otherwise known as fare-free public transport (FFPT). Although FFPT has become an established practice, discussed and implemented by policy-makers across Europe, it remains largely controversial and under-researched. The main objective of the project is therefore to understand both transport-related (economic, operational) and urban (social, spatial and political) aspects of FFPT. The project builds on three research strategies, each involving both qualitative and quantitative methods.

First, to unpack economic and operational dimension of FFPT (i.e. to understand how much fare abolition costs, and how it works), a global survey of all its detected cases will be conducted, providing the most comprehensive analysis of the policy to date. Second, the particular cases of Dunkirk and Luxembourg will be studied. Multisource user surveys and in-depth interviews will be conducted to investigate how fare abolition affects travel behaviour, lifestyle and well-being across diverse socio-economic groups. Local stakeholder, political bodies, electoral programmes and media will be analysed to unpack the spatial and political impact of FFPT, across institutions and administrative boundaries. Third, together with expert focus groups, the project team will build on insights from Dunkirk and Luxembourg to project and analyse scenarios for potential fare abolition in Brussels.

48 months

Main LISER researchers:
Veronique Van Acker (Principal Investigator)
PhD Student (to be recruited)

External researchers:
Prof. Dr. Kobe Boussauw, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Dr. Wojciech Keblowski, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Advisory board with two external experts TBD

Sustainable Residential Densification (SusDens)

Project summary:
In-fill developments and residential densification have gained much attention as an effective strategy to reduce the consumption of agricultural land, improve the access to services and reduce distance travelled by car. Still, there is a number of limitations to residential densification. These aremainly related to
i) market factors (and more specifically on land tenure and land value);
ii) the individual and social livability of residential areas (and more specifically on the perception of densification); and
iii) the effects of residential densification on the urban environment (and more specifically on urban heat island effect - UHI).

The aims of this project are to:
i) identify significant drivers explaining residential densification over time, in different urban settings;
ii) simulate potential residential densification, at the city scale, through a vector-based Cellular Automaton;
iii) study the manifold positive and negative effects of residential densification on the economy (i.e. land values), the environment (i.e. UHI) and the society (i.e. perception and well-being of citizens).

48 months

Main LISER researchers:
Hichem Omrani (Principal Investigator),
Magdalena Gorczynska,
Brano Glumac,
Philippe Gerber,
Konrad Skoczylas, 
Ahmed Mustafa (post-doc researcher)

External researchers:
Prof Jacques TELLER (Principal Investigator), Université de Liège
PhD-student (to be recruited)

Globalization, Inequality and Populism across Europe (EUFIRST) 

Project summary: 
The surge of populism in Europe is usually perceived as a rebellion of globalization’s losers. Combining theoretical and empirical analyses, EUFIRST is a 48-month, cross-university project gathering experts in trade/migration economics and political economy. EUFIRST aims to shed light on the complex relationships between globalization, inequality and populism. Relying on macro- and micro-data, our objective is to gain understanding of:

i) the conditions that cause natives’ hostile or positive reactions to trade and immigration;
ii) the specific determinants of left-wing and right-wing responses;
iii) the political competition induced by the entry or by the rise of populist parties (how does populism affect the political platform of traditional parties?); and
iv) the reverse impact of populism on the size and structure of trade and immigration.

On this basis, we aim to explore the dynamic properties of a model accounting for the bi-directional relationships between globalization and populism: can globalization and its related financial/economic shocks trigger vicious circles, long-lasting episodes of populism, or populism traps? We will confront our theory with the data, and use it to elaborate prospects for the coming decades.

48 months

Main LISER researchers:
Prof. Frédéric Docquier (Principal Investigator)
Prof. Eugenio Peluso
Prof. Hillel Rapoport (LISER & Paris School of Economics)

External researchers:
Prof. Gonzague Vanoorenberghe (UCLouvain, Belgium),
Prof. Florian Mayneris (UQAM, Canada),
Prof. Massimo Morelli (Universita' Bocconi),
Prof. Massimo Anelli (Universita' Bocconi)