How land plots can support urban diversity: towards sustainable planning and management of urban land property

9 oktober, 2019

Popular Science Presentation by Evgeniya Bobkova: How land plots can support urban diversity: towards sustainable planning and management of urban land property.


191009_Pop-science-talk-landplots-godisUrban diversity and land use mix are considered important for sustainable urban development and also are propagated by UN Habitat (2014) as one of the five key principles of sustainable urban development. At the same time precise measures of urban diversity remain ill-defined. This, in turn, results in implementation deficits in the practice of urban development.

In her PhD study, Jane Bobkova links urban diversity to the layer of land plots (or land properties) in cities. The layer of land plots that is, at the first sight, invisible, plays a critical role in urban planning and design, since it connects physical structure of cities (i.e. buildings) to their non-physical structure, such as land uses, zoning codes, types of ownership or the like.

The study is based on the spatial capacity concept, that proposes that a higher number of land plots within an urban area provides a potential to host a higher number of owners and in turn owner strategies, what means for instance a greater diversity of economic activity in the area. More generally, the central principle behind the concept is that in order to provide the potential for artefacts or uses to remain different, we need to introduce some sort of spatial division or differentiation between them. This can be drawers in a chest of drawers, which allow us to categorise clothes, or even containers in a candy shop.

In cities, land plots allow us to designate different owners, uses or buildings to particular sites. The more urban land is divided into separate plots, the greater is
the opportunity to sort people, things or functions into a greater number of categories.
In her presentation, Jane will discuss the implications of the concept and the role of land plots for the practice of urban planning. She will also give an overview of another aspects of land plots that contribute to a creation of adaptive and socially sustainable neighbourhoods in cities. In addition, the results of studies from several European cities will be presented, providing the empirical support for the relation between the number of land plots and diversity of economic activity in cities.

Welcome to this interesting presentation! Where? In ”Skogen” conference room at Ekocentrum, Aschebergsgatan 44 in Göteborg.

No registration needed – first come, first served!


Evgeniya Bobkova

Doktorand vid Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Stadsbyggnad


Jane Bobkova är arkitekt inom stadsbyggnad och doktorand i forskargruppen Spatial Morphology Group (SMoG).Hon studerar relationen mellan diversitet och stadens form med målet att identifiera grundläggande rumsliga variabler som bidrar till socio-ekonomisk diversitet. Hon undersöker särskilt konceptet rumslig kapacitet det vill säga hur uppdelning av mark påverkar diversitet.Projektet har sitt fokus i Göteborg och kommer att utvidgas till en jämförande analys av tre städer i Sverige (Göteborg, Eskilstuna och Stockholm) och tre internationella huvudstäder (Stockholm, London och Amsterdam) som en del av ett pågående större forskningsprojekt – Spatial Morphology Lab. Konceptet rumslig kapacitet kommer här att bidra till den kvantitativa och kvalitativa klassificeringen av urbana miljöer.


Keywords: urban planning and design, land plots, urban diversity, diversity of economic activity, land
use mix.