Research projects

Overview of ongoing and completed research projects at IFOER/with participation of IFOER

on behalf of the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), 2010

What is the future of the development of the Emscher Landscape Park in the Ruhr region? This question is the focus of the memorandum on the Emscher Landscape Park entitled "The Productive Park" edited by Rudolf Scheuvens and Marion Taube at the Department of Spatial Development, Infrastructure and Environmental Planning. The book with numerous expert contributions was presented at the end of the European Future Congress on the Emscher Landscape Park on October 1, 2010 in Essen. The memorandum advocates involving the various users and the people of the region more than before in the active development, use and appropriation of Europe's largest regional park.


Rudolf Scheuvens, Marion Taube (Hrsg.): Der Produktive Park. Denkschrift zum Emscher Landschaftspark; Regionalverband Ruhr, Essen/Wien/Dorsten, 2010, ISBN: 978-3-902707-06-2; 216 S.

on behalf of and in cooperation with Magistratsabteilung 18 - Stadtentwicklung und Stadtplanung, Vienna 2011/12

Like the public life of a city, public spaces are characterized by diverse possibilities of use and stay. In a city like Vienna, urban planning and urban development must make it their task to preserve as much of this as possible, to restore lost diversity, and to create the conditions for continuously renewing existing qualities and stimulating new ones. In this context, the examination of the city's ground floors, in neighborhoods shaped by the Gründerzeit as well as in new urban districts, becomes an important field of action. It is the relation of the ground floors to the public space, their quality as a membrane between the inside and the outside, between the private and the public, that constitutes their significance as a zone of interaction and as a "means of production of urbanity" (Franz Pesch). 

The importance of dealing with the ground floors for the city of Vienna can be seen in the multitude of initiatives, studies and model projects that have been carried out in recent years. Each project, each location, each constellation of actors requires specific approaches and solutions. But: it also becomes clear that such processes need a stable legal framework and a policy of enabling. The ground floors are parts of the highly dynamic structure of the city.

The "PLATTFORM EG-ZONE" established by IFOER in cooperation with MA 18 takes this understanding into account. Based on existing initiatives, studies and model projects for the revitalization and use of the ground floor zone, a multi-layered working and discussion process was started as a basis for the examination of future perspectives of the ground floor zones. The focus of interest was on utilization models and activation strategies as well as the interplay between the inside and the outside, between politics and the market, between civil society responsibility and state control. 


Rudolf Scheuvens, Theresa Schütz u.a.: Perspektive Erdgeschoß [=Werkstattbericht Nr. 121]; in Buchreihe "Werkstattberichte", Herausgeber: Stadt Wien; MA 18, Stadtentwicklung und Stadtplanung, Wien, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-902576-56-9, 298 S.


on behalf of the municipality of Bad Vöslau, 2011/12

Based on the objectives of an extensive planning and participation process for urban renewal and the results of the urban design ideas competition "Bad Vöslau City Center", a strategic and implementation-oriented development concept, a master plan for Bad Vöslau City Center, was developed. The master plan elaborated by IFOER is understood as a coordination instrument to strive for jointly and mutually coordinated goals of economic development and retail development, urban form and utilization structure.

It was therefore crucial to develop and maintain new forms of cooperation between politics, administration, business, retail and citizens from the very beginning. The entire planning process became a demanding communication and design task, a social and cultural learning and qualification process.

Usual information processes were supplemented by new, creative formats of participation and active involvement. The focus was on open dialog, debate, the struggle for quality and an idea of what the city center of Bad Vöslau should be in the future. 

An empty industrial hall became an unusual and inspiring place for creative cooperation between citizens and planners, business, politics and administration. Open project communication created the necessary transparency and established the necessary equal eye level and the ability of the participants to speak. 


Rudolf Scheuvens, René Ziegler, Philip Krassnitzer: Perspektive Innenstadt: Masterplan zur räumlichen und strategischen Entwicklung der Innenstadt von Bad Vöslau; Wien/Bad Vöslau 2012

in cooperation with Magistratsabteilung 21 B- Stadtteilplanung und Flächennutzungsplanung Süd-Nordost, Vienna 2010

The image of the city's future knows no fixed lines. Working on the future begins with a careful reading of its structures and qualitative moments. The work requires dialogue and agreement on goals and values. It is designed to become a reliable and equally motivating guide for future activities. All this characterizes the requirements for the establishment of a PLATTFORM MASTERPLAN, in which dialogue becomes the method.

The publication "Planung als Prozess - Gestaltung dialogorientierter Planungs- und Umsetzungsprozesse" (Planning as a Process - Designing Dialog-Oriented Planning and Implementation Processes), which was developed by IFOER, is primarily concerned with providing assistance in structuring and programming complex urban master plan processes.


Rudolf Scheuvens, Werner Tschirk, Philip Krassnitzer: Planung als Prozess. Gestaltung dialogorientierter Planungs- und Umsetzungsprozesse [= Werkstattbericht Nr. 109]"; MA 18, Stadtentwicklung und Stadtplanung, Wien, 2010, ISBN: 978-3-902576-42-2; 75 S.

With the master plan "Wiener Neustadt 2020", a strategic planning instrument for the future structural-spatial development of Wiener Neustadt was created for the first time. It is a "guideline" for urban development in the next 10 to 15 years.

Special attention was paid to the broad participation of politics, administration and external actors. Over a period of more than two years, the know-how of numerous experts was incorporated both in internal administrative meetings and through the specially founded advisory council for "Urban Development and Business Settlements".

Based on the processing of three Graz study areas and sub-areas, a spatial model was developed for the city of Graz in the period 1998/99. In this model, based on an analysis of the existing situation, the general conditions for the structural-spatial development of the urban area are to be worked out and guidelines for this development are to be drawn up in relation to the area. As a preparatory step, the possibilities of transferring original data of the city of Graz and the IT support possibilities within the scope of the inventory, analysis and structure of the model were examined on the basis of selected digital data stocks.

The further development of the settlement system, its infrastructural subsystems, its settlement and development structures is currently facing major challenges, which are rooted in a multifaceted, partly dynamic change in the framework conditions (e.g. demographic change, climate change) and a shortage of available resources (land, energy). This problem is exacerbated by the unchecked growth in settlement and traffic areas.
The demands for energy savings, life cycle assessments and material flow management in the building sector have been taken into account at the property level for some time. Concepts for the construction of low-energy houses, passive houses and energy-autonomous houses are available and are being implemented in practice as individual examples. The potential for saving energy and resources at the level of building and settlement structures is enormous, but is virtually untapped. Suitable concepts at the scale of settlement and development structures, which aim to limit energy and resource consumption through reproduction, substitution and regeneration, and to take balanced account of user demands, urban ecology, urban design and public space, are lacking or are insufficiently considered in planning practice. 
What is required are settlement systems that must meet the quality requirements of landscape and urban form as well as resource efficiency at the level of settlement structure.

In the context of a contemporary nature conservation legislation for the state of Vienna, the differentiation of the urban area according to "urban ecological function types" created the basis for an ecologically oriented urban planning and thus contributed to a dynamic, spatially integrated nature conservation

In this project, a usable, i.e. operationalizable "model of space" is developed for the methodology of spatial impact assessment. For this purpose, a differentiated view of the space understood as a system is taken as a starting point: "shape", "household" and "image" of the space are presented. For this purpose, the present work offers a "basket" of characteristics / evaluation criteria and possible indicators for the systematic recording of inventory (actual) and planning (target), which can be accessed as needed in a problem- and project-oriented manner.

On the one hand, living conditions in villages have improved; on the other hand, many functions have been lost due to structural change. Since the beginning of the 1970s, numerous initiatives have been launched to deal with rural areas. A critical examination of these measures and initiatives as well as the identification of new, dynamic planning processes for rural areas with the involvement of the population are the contents of this work.

The demands for energy savings, life cycle assessments and material flow management in the building sector have been taken into account for some time. However, appropriate frameworks of urban development planning, land-use planning and transportation planning aimed at limiting resource consumption are still too little known. This work deals with the development of energy-efficient building structures including the energy optimization of the individual object.

This project discusses the possible scope of an "(urban) space laboratory", understood as a space-related simulation environment, which should enable an experimental handling of space. This laboratory should be a central working tool for a "space-related quality management", support planning and design processes with its possibilities and contribute to raising awareness among all actors involved in the planning process by illustrating planning measures.

For the spatially-strategically important development areas of Ratzersdorf and St. Georgen, which are of significance beyond the municipal boundaries of the provincial capital of St. Pölten, various development scenarios were elaborated using a combined "bottom-up" and "top-down" approach.

The project dealt with the evaluation of selected local development concepts of the province of Upper Austria by means of a catalog of qualities and test criteria. A structured analysis of the text parts and functional plans form the basis for a summarized evaluation and elaboration of recommendations.