Urban Studies

The subject of Urban Studies is incorporated into the Department of Planning and assigned to the Faculty of Sociology; nevertheless, part of its work is trans-department,  inter-faculty and also takes place in extra-mural networks.

This means that the basic specialist research perspectives in the social sciences also go hand in hand with urban structures and processes: urbanism is investigated in the context of its effect on various levels: urban design, regulatory planning, digital transformation, and society. The focus is on interdisciplinary research on the transformation of urban space and its causes. The interest of the research lies in the social and spatial transition triggered by changed, digitalised lifestyles and milieus. It also investigates the effects of reconstruction processes in the urban space on the living environments in the city. In contrast to investigative approaches to urban research based on a critical Neo-Marxist standpoint, increasingly intensive work is being invested in research projects and innovative formulations of a sensitised urban sociology oriented on the cultural sciences in the following four fields of research: 

  • Typical city – character of a specific city
  • Creativity of the city – milieus and lifestyles
  • Potentially impoverished urban spaces - social city and participation
  • Smart and digital city – technological transition and space

At present, the key focus is on a three-year innovative project (IP/Personal – sponsored by the Rectorship of the TU Wien until the end of 2019), which investigates the effects of the digital technologies of a so-called smart city on both the urban space as well as on the different lifestyles. Starting point of these research perspectives is located in contemporary digitalising processes and their cultural and societal manifestations in the living environment of the individual person. Urban lifestyle typologies are used as basis for describing different forms of handling digital technology and analysing their significance for planning culture and participation in urban development.

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Copyright header photo: Gursky, Montparnasse