social sustainability

Jolanthe Kugler

Researcher Name: 
Jolanthe Kugler

University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, School of Social Work, Institute for Social Planning, Organisational Change and Urban Development

Contact Email:

Description of Research in Relation to Placemaking : 

My research focuses on socially sustainable urban development, democratisation of planning processes and collaborative planning and development of settlements, neighbourhoods and cities. A further focal point is the planning and governance of social space and the potential for conflict that arises in urban development processes from the stakeholder’s different demands, expectations and idealizations on space.

Currently, I am investigating place-making through ideal perceptions of different stakeholders in urban planning and design at the local scale. I am also interested in how digitalisation creates new forms of communication, negotiation and intervention, how these question the power relations in urban development projects, and what new forms of urban governance emerge from this.


Interest in Contribution Field/Context: 
  • exchange of information and knowledge related to contemporary ways of multi-actor planning and design of urban space and the exploration of digital tools in place-making processes
  • comparative analyses and evaluation of digital tools in urban development projects 
  • methodological discussion and the development of suitable research strategies for research on digital tools and hybrid space
  • cooperation in publications (preparing, writing, editing, reviewing)
  • participation in discussions, seminars, meetings, conferences
  • organising STSM at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland
Case Studies Conducted / Participated In: 

Placemaking through Idealizations and the role of local knowledge and practices in the age of digitalization, Swiss National Science Foundation, 03/2021 – 02/2023


External Stakeholders Engaged With: 

Municipalities and local administrations, community centres, municipal housing associations, neighbourhood associations and initiatives

Modes of Investigation: 

Morphogenetic analysis, qualitative methods of social research (e.g. ethnography, case studies and discourse analysis), cartographic approaches