Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey | Landscape Planning and Urban Systems

NFP 68 OPSOL – A Model-based Decision Support System for Integration of Soil Ecosystem Services in Policy and Planning

Sustainable land use must coordinate the numerous demands on the soil by considering the functions of the soil. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey and her team developed a 3D visualisation platform so the actors involved can develop strategies for a sustainable land use together. The use of the platform is accompanied by the development of new policy instruments, in order to derive recommendations for the sustainable use of the land.

Both as a basis of production for agriculture and forestry, as well as a habitat for organisms and a buffer for various cycles, the land ensures the provision of food, water and raw materials. It protects against flooding and regulates the climate. The increasing sealing of the soil is only one of the uses of the ground that affects these functions and thus prevents the soil from providing its economically relevant benefits in the long run.

The goal of the project is to develop a decision-making platform for sustainable land use. An interactive platform links spatial information on soil characteristics and functions with economic, environmental and social effects of different land uses and visualises the results in 3D. Thus, actors are able to track the effect of different land uses on soil characteristics and functions in real time. In a joint iterative learning process, they could determine sustainable land uses for the future in this way. Two case studies investigated the development of innovative institutional and fiscal policy instruments.

In addition to a 3D decision-making platform that is based on the ground data of the land data information system NABODAT, the project is developing optimal land use scenarios for the regions of the case studies. It gains knowledge about the decision-making process and formulates recommended courses of action. The findings from the combination of soil characteristics maps with soil functions and 3D visualisation of the soil services, will allow the use of the platform in other areas and thus to support the development and implementation of sustainable regional strategies for the land use.


Prof. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
Sander Kool


Schweizerische Nationalfonds (SNF): NFP 68 Nachhaltige Nutzung der Ressource Boden


Lukas Bühlmann and Samuel Kissling (Co-Authors), VLP-ASPAN, Bern

Project timeframe

12 Months (01.10.2016 – 30.09.2017)


Completed project