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Fields of Expertise

Socioecological Urban and Regional Development

Socioecological research is transdisciplinary. It takes as its starting point new and complex challenges, involves urban ecology, socioecology and environmental sociology, and recommends means of optimising people\’s urban or local environment – their home base.

In view of the threat of resource scarcity and the increasingly evident impact of climate change, sustainable urban and regional development is a hot topic. The Department of Building, Energy and Society is designing forward-looking projects which combine social and ecological topics as a continuation of the ÖKOTOPIA project. This requires transdisciplinary cooperation between the engineering, social and creative sciences.

They ask the following key questions:

  • How can we design urban and regional development to ensure it is socially acceptable?
  • What does the (strong) population drain from the regions to the cities mean for the quality of life?
  • What must be done to secure the key basics of life – air, water, recreation, activity and pleasure – in these changing areas?
  • How can we best organise living, working, mobility and intergenerational support?
  • What role can structural, social-communicative and energy technology measures play in achieving these goals?

The research focus of socioecological urban and regional development combines empirical and normative results.
The aim is to:

  • understand the structure and dynamics of socioecological urban and regional systems,
  • understand the methods and concepts for targeted change, and
  • understand the desired social conditions.
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