The research projects aims at detecting driving forces of the on-going urbanization trend and secondly at developing strategies and programs to control and guide the resulting urbanization patterns towards a resource saving, and socially and economically balanced utilization of limited resources. It is assumed hereby that the way how the limited resource land is managed plays a crucial role. Thus the research program will focus on land use and land use change, land use planning / zoning, land registration systems, land ownership, allocation and purchase, land value and land markets.

Two complementary case studies will be carried out that allow detailed insights in and reveal specific characteristics of the two in-parallel processes of urban expansion and transition on the local level. Systematic mapping of land use and settlement patterns in selected areas together with interviews conducted with key informants and representatives from governmental institutions will accumulate up-to date data to be correlated with urban development policies, physical planning standards, and residential building types.