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Department of regional studies

At the forefront of innovations, vitality and societal impact

Regional Studies is an interesting combination of administrative sciences and geography. We review society and management from a regional perspective. This can mean for example examining the development of a campus area, village, city-region, or a state in relation to a wider global picture and societal trends. We analyze societal phenomena through complex spatial relations, shedding light on the interactive nature of management, leadership and development in social, physical and digital environments. Also people’s relationship to both natural and built environments have been of interest to regional studies for a long time, being still the cornerstones of wellbeing and vital regions.

Altogether, the competitiveness of cities and regions necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the networked nature of public management and leadership, which are at the core of our research and education. These complex societal issues are not learned by sitting in the lecture room of the university. Instead, the surrounding cities and regions act as our laboratories for both learning and research, and many of our courses are organized in collaboration with different societal actors and potential future employers.

Our team is keen on doing research with high societal relevance. We are involved in multidisciplinary research related for example to digitalization and big data, climate change, smart campus development and smart specialization. At the moment we are working on themes such as innovation ecosystems, strategic urban development, place-based development, urban-rural hybrids, societal and development utopias, and the role of companies and citizens in knowledge-based regional development. Our strengths in different collaborative arenas are related to the integrative and holistic understanding provided by the regional studies education: in the world of specialized knowledge and diverging views, we try to search for the interlinkages and build bridges between different actors and ways of seeing the world.