• SENSE Research Cluster XIII: Land use, spatial analysis and modelling / ecosystem and landscape services

    Land use typically serves different purposes which partly depend on environmental functions and values. Integrated local planning, landscape design and management demand sophisticated decision support taking due note of these functions and values. The concept of ecosystem and landscape services promises new perspectives in spatial design. Participants in this SENSE research cluster develop insight in how this concept may contribute to decision making on sustainable landscape change in different settings, and use this insight to develop decision support systems for spatial planning and design. By applying them in practice in cooperation with users, they learn the impact on the social process and how decision making can be improved. Also, they develop effective financial mechanisms regarding ecosystem and landscape services and explore possibilities and pitfalls of novel planning, management and decision-making concepts.

    Design and assessment of multiple land use has a high scientific complexity. Sustainable land use is of high societal relevance. Participants in this SENSE Research Cluster strive for scientific excellence, combined with clear societal involvement.

    Featuring subjects, mechanisms and methods that are being developed and applied in this SENSE Research Cluster are, for example:

    • concepts and decision support tools for spatial planning and management
    • measurement and mapping of ecosystem and landscape services
    • novel mechanisms to finance multi-functional landscape planning

    We welcome experts in the field of spatial analysis of land use and ecosystem services to participate in this research cluster to exchange knowledge and stimulate new innovative developments (if you are not a member of the SENSE Research School but involved with this subject, then you are still welcome to enroll and participate in this research cluster).

    To read more about the SENSE research clusters in general, click HERE.

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    Coordinators and experts


    SENSE key experts:

    Prof. Paul Opdam (WU-LUP/Alterra)
    Prof. Peter Verburg (VU-IVM-SPACE)
    Dr. Dolf de Groot (WU-ESA)
    Prof. Martin Wassen (UU-COP)
    Prof. Rik Leemans (WU-ESA)
    Dr. Pieter van Beukering (IVM-VU)
    Prof. A. (Alfred) Stein (UT-ITC)
    Prof. A. (Anne) van der Veen (UT-ITC)
    Prof. M.F.A.M. (Martin) van Maarseveen (UT-ITC)

    Contact information:

    For more information about this research cluster, please contact Dr. Monique Gulickx (

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      Here you will be able to find interesting articles, links to books that are worth reading, presentations that caught your attention, etc. To suggest items that should be placed here, please follow the instructions mentioned below or send us an email.

      Cluster Documents

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      Add a document to the Library

      Do you have any interesting articles, reports or other documents that you want to share within this research cluster? You can add the by clicking on Upload Documents below. Please note that your document will not be visible in the library immediately, because it first has to be approved by the coördinator. You can also contact him if you would like your suggested document to be brought under our attention in a different way or if you would like the document to appear differently in the library (there are some options available for that).

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        Discussion forum

        In this forum topics related to cluster XIII can be discussed, varying from scientific issues to organizational matters. The forum is very easy to use.

        To enter the forum, click on Forum RC XIII below. You will go to the overview page of the forum, where you can see all existing discussions. If you click on a discussion title, you will enter the discussion. You can read all posts and you can also respond to them, by clicking Reply.

        To add a new discussion topic, you can click on Add a new discussion topic on top of the overview page. Please make sure that your new discussion is really new and does not overlap with existing discussions, otherwise the forum will get messy.

        The forum is maintained by the technical coordinator of the research cluster, who will remove any inappropriate contributions to the discussions.

        Please note the following!

        Everyone who enrolls in this course, is automatically subscribed to this forum and will receive e-mail notifications of every post on the forum. If you do not wish to be subscribed to the forum, you can click Unsubscribe from this forum in the top right corner of the forum overview page.

        If you do not want to receive too many notifications, you can adapt the forum settings for your account. To do so, follow these steps:
        a. Click on your username, which is always visible in blue in the bottom left corner of the page. You will go to your personal profile.
        b. Click Edit profile.
        c. Click Show advanced.
        d. In the field E-mail digest type you can now choose one of the three options: standard - notification of every post; daily an e-mail of all posts in full text; daily one e-mail with the titles of all posts. If there are no posts at all, you won’t get a summary e-mail either.
        e. You can also adapt other settings if you like.
        f. Scroll down and choose Update profile to activate your new settings.

        If you want to give feedback on the functioning of the forum or group page in general, then you are most welcome to leave a post in the discussion Technical feedback. The SENSE team will keep an eye on this discussion and will try to process your feedback as good as possible.