Human activity is strongly associated with land and places; our homes, workplaces and leisure activities are all linked to the specific places where they are performed.
The connection between humans and places implies connections between people, through their connection to places. A person's activities will therefore also affect other people connected to the same place.
Places can be described in different ways, for example as a geographical location or as a legal concept. A property simultaneously defines the geographical location and boundaries of a place and the legal rights and obligations associated with it.
The connections that the property creates between different people and activities can be described as legal relations, such as rights, freedoms, and obligations. The legal relations are often included in established bundles of rights, such as ownership, tenancy or right of public access. To reserve a property for a certain use also implies a choice to use a limited resource for a certain use, which excludes competing use. This is also the definition of an economic choice, and all use of a property can thus be described and studied in economic terms. With economic method, we can study both the motives for and the consequences of a certain use of a piece of land, i.e., a property. We can also study the consequences for land use of different distribution of the rights, freedoms and obligations.
Research on land use includes investigations into the motives behind individual action, conducted by individuals in various roles, as owners, consumers, lobbying groups, producers, bureaucrats, and politicians/lawmakers. It also includes investigations into the institutional setting in which individual action is carried out, such as the organization of production, the law, and the legal system in general.
The group carries out research on how land is used, with particular focus on how a specific use comes about and which consequences it brings, to individuals and to society. How land is used is determined by individual action within an institutional context and the group´s research combines methods from the economic and legal sciences to study the choices of individual actors in different roles, the law and the making of the law. Within this framework, the group has in recent years studied the use of both urban and rural land and phenomena such as transport infrastructure, housing, planning, and forestry.