PLUS Change

  • Environment

A new project called PLUS Change: Planning land use strategies to meet climate, biological and social goals in a changing world. Funded by Horizon Europe, the project will start on 1 June and run for 4 years. It involves 23 partners from across the EU, UK and Switzerland, including research institutes, universities, SMEs, planning authorities and regional development agencies.

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The PLUS Change project is based on the recognition that we need to change the way we make decisions about land management. The way we use land can bring benefits for the well-being of society, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity restoration and conservation. However, this requires changes in the behaviour of citizens to change social demands for land use; of land managers and owners to change the way land is managed directly; and of politicians and decision-makers to shape the conditions under which land is managed and social demands are shaped. Planning decision makers face a particular challenge in balancing the societal needs of cities, communities and regions while meeting national and EU policy objectives from different economic and environmental sectors. This challenge needs to be addressed in the face of current changes in the social and physical world, especially in a changing climate.


As part of the PLUS Change project, we are working with 11 planning authorities and regional development agencies as practice partners to address these challenges. We use a range of approaches from the social sciences, humanities and performing arts, underpinned by land use modelling, to understand the historical and future trajectories of land use change in these cases and the factors that shape them (including tenure, values and approaches to governance).


Using land use modelling and participatory scenarios, we will explore future land use systems that deliver social, climate and biodiversity benefits. This will include tactile, art-based methods that engage citizens from different parts of our practice in depicting alternative land uses and needs. Using a range of serious games and deliberative approaches, we will explore how changing behaviours and policies can create pathways to achieving sustainable land use systems. We use a range of social psychology, sociology and transformative research approaches to test approaches that can support behaviour change and decision making towards sustainability.

What does this mean for people?

The project will develop a planning toolkit with modelling tools and methods for engaging planning authorities. Users of this toolkit should be able to explore future land use options and identify key changes that can be made to achieve benefits for society as a whole, biodiversity and climate. Roadmaps to sustainable land use will be available. Engagement methods will represent key approaches to stimulate behavioural change and decision-making at different levels of decision-making, and will be accompanied by clear guidance on their ethical use. We will also develop policy recommendations at national and EU level, supported by workshops for policy makers. We will have an art exhibition PLUS Change, which will engage a wide range of audiences in discussions about land use and sustainability.



Name of project

PLUS Change: Planning Land Use Strategies for meeting climate, biodiversity and social goals in a Changing world

Grant provider

Horizon Europe


Institute of Global Change Research, Czech Academy of Sciences


It involves 23 partners from across the EU, UK and Switzerland, including research institutes, universities, SMEs, planning authorities and regional development agencies.

Period of implementation

1. 6. 2023 - 1. 6. 2027

Responsible for this project