The Research Unit Land Policy and Land Management, established in 2015 at TU Wien’s Institute of Spatial Planning, opens in new window, conducts university teaching and research in the areas of land policy, land management, land law and spatial planning law. The main focus is on political and professional decision-making logic, processes and actions in connection with land use. Priority subject areas generally concern the tensions between public interests (the “common good”) and private concerns (“fundamental right to property”) in relation to land and land use.

Instruments, procedures and measures related to land use and planning are addressed at all planning decision levels at the interface between formal/sovereign and informal (legally non-binding) control approaches. Given the increasing diversity of interests, instruments and procedures, the control methods and limits of the different instruments and procedures will be presented in order to define approaches – especially interdisciplinary approaches – for improvement.

Specifically, the following topics are addressed in the Research Unit:

– Land availability and mobilisation of building land
– Reducing land take and preventing urban sprawl
– Contributions of spatial planning and land management to affordable housing
– Planning approaches to commercial sites and shopping centres
– Planning procedures, participation and legal protection options.

These focal points are supplemented by efforts to address current challenges, for example in the field of natural hazard management, energy planning or alpine spatial planning, with the Research Unit contributing its land and spatial planning policy expertise and legal competence through interdisciplinary research partnerships.

In addition to its special practical relevance to teaching, research-led teaching is an important concern for the Research Unit. Therefore, as well as teaching basic knowledge in Bachelor’s degree programmes, the Research Unit also regularly carries out Master’s projects and international field trips related to the above-mentioned research priorities.

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Research Unit, an activity report was published. The activity report is intended to provide a structured overview of the various university activities of the Research Unit in general and of the individual staff members in particular. The compilation of the diverse professional focal points since the founding of the Research Unit should (also) demonstrate the importance and added value of the now eighth Research Unit at the Institute of Spatial Planning.