Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Economics – LEURE

The LEURE team conducts research on the public and private management of the natural and built environment. It aims to advance scientific knowledge in the analysis of the socio-economic mechanisms that govern the evolution of the environment, in the normative reflection on the desirable evolution of the environment, as well as in the development of methods and instruments of regulation that allow the environment to evolve in a sustainable manner.


Environmental … Economics” in LEURE refers to our courses and research on sustainable development and on environmental and climate policies. “Urban Economics” in LEURE (or LEUrE) refers to our courses and research on land, real estate and housing markets and on policies that apply to these markets.

Main competencies

  • Modelling and assessing environmental policies, in particular for climate mitigation and adaptation
  • Analysing the land, real estate and housing markets and their policies
  • Developing and teaching property valuation methods

Some current projects


PARIS REINFORCE – Delivering on the Paris Agreement: A demand-driven, integrated assessment modelling approach
PARIS REINFORCE is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to underpin the development of climate policies that go beyond the commitments of the Paris Agreement with authoritative scientific processes and results. The project improves the science-policy interface by developing an integrated policy assessment framework based on the demand of European Union stakeholders and a selection of third countries. LEURE is contributing to this project with its GEMINI-E3 model. (2019-2022)

Building Climate Readiness

Using Spatial Data to Appraise Real Estate Valuation and Climate Risk
By partnering with Wüest Partner, a real-estate consulting company, this Ph.D. research project of Adam Swietek aims to first assess whether, and if to what extent, climate stressors are already captured in current property valuation models. As the null hypothesis is that they are not, we will explore new machine-learning-based methods to learn feature maps indicative of climate risks and climate readiness. Ultimately, this project aims to provide a systematic workflow to measure the value-at-risk, which enhances an investor’s capacity to make informed investment decisions relating to resilient building design. (2019-2023)

Assessment of a Swiss Climate Fee & Dividend

The aim is to evaluate the modalities, feasibility and repercussions of a “climate dividend” in Switzerland, i.e. a general tax on greenhouse gas emissions, the revenue of which is redistributed in full to the population. This project is of interest to the Federal Office for the Environment in view of the post-2030 climate policy, which is why it is supporting it financially. (2020-2023)


Policy mix for full decarbonisation by 2050
We interpret the Federal Government’s new climate policy goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 as implying essentially zero CO2 emissions from energy. The existing and planned sets of policies in the fields of energy, transportation, buildings, waste, etc. are not sufficient for full decarbonisation − hence the search for stronger and for novel instruments. These can be particularly effective and more acceptable if they are combined with a view to reinforcing their effects and conveying a coherent message to energy users. We will identify possible instruments and show how they can be combined to attain carbon-free energy in 2050. We will estimate the distributional effects and acceptability of these policy designs. (2020-2023)

Identifying barriers to the energy renovation of buildings at the neighbourhood level and State measures to remove them

As part of the implementation of the Canton Vaud’s Energy Concept, the Directorate General for the Environment (DIREN) is working with LEURE to identify the barriers to energy renovation, particularly at the neighbourhood level, and to propose action levers to speed up the process. Furthermore, the project will test the applicability, on the scale of the canton or on a portion of it, of the objectives defined by the Federal Council in its 2050+ energy strategy as well as the objectives of the Canton as set out in its climate plan. (2021-2022)

From farm to fork: The true cost of food

Until today, the food system remains widely neglected despite its massive impacts on climate change, resource use, and health. To develop sustainable business models for the whole food value chain, we aim to assess and implement the true cost of food, from farm to fork. This project aims at addressing this situation and shift consumer preferences and agricultural production towards products and practices with lower social and environmental impacts. (2022)

Pathways to a hydrogen economy

For the transport and buildings sectors in the EU and Switzerland under a net-zero case by 2050
The goal of this project is to identify the key actions, mechanisms and policies on a pathway conducive to a hydrogen economy in the EU and in Switzerland that achieves the existing hydrogen targets by 2050. There will be a focus on the transport and building sectors, as they make up around 60% of the GHG emissions of Europe and show significant potential for integrating low-carbon hydrogen technologies. The goal will be pursued by identifying the barriers that need to be overcome and the measures necessary to create a growing market environment to boost hydrogen production and support scaling up its utilisation in the transport and building sectors. (2022-2026)