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

SUMSOR – Towards a More Sustainable Management of Soil Resources by Redistributing Economic and Ecological Added and Reduced Values

Motivation Preservation of the resource soil

The pace and scale of the demand for land is increasing worldwide, as population becomes urban, lifestyles change, and industrial agricultural practices are intensifying. Although, there is a large amount of policy instruments available for spatial planners, none of these instruments has proven to be effective in the preservation of the resource soil at the fringes of urban areas.

Goal – Identifying optimal and realizable land-use patterns

Our aim is to identify land use patterns which on one hand maximize ecological and economic values and on the other can be realized using innovate policy instruments such as Tradable Development Rights, Levy on Added Value and Impact Fees .

Approach – Combining land-use pattern optimization and policy scenario analysis

We will optimize the land-use pattern in the canton of Bern regarding economic and ecological values. Since the optimal land-use pattern depends on trade-offs between the conflicting objectives of maximizing economic and ecological values, there is not only one optimal solution, but instead a whole set of optimal solutions. This set is called Pareto Front. The optimized land-use patterns will be compared with results of land-use simulation models that are driven by different policy scenarios. These policy scenarios include a single policy instrument or a mix of the instruments Tradable Development Rights, Levy on Added Value and Impact Fees .

Expected results – Ranking of policy instruments and identification of trade-offs

We expect to find a relation between proximity to Pareto optimal solutions and the different policy instruments. A policy instrument that drives land-use patterns toward the Pareto Front is a favorable instrument securing both ecological and economic values


Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey
Jonas Schwaab
Maarten van Strien

In collaboration with

Stéphane Narath (IUKB)
Markus Gmünder (ECONLAB)
Géraldine Pflieger (UNIGE)
Roland Prélaz-Droux (HEIG-VD)

Project timeframe

June 2013 – June 2016


Completed project