Understanding of research and planning

In the tradition of regional science, urban and regional development is interpreted as the result of economic and social developments under certain territorial conditions. Within a planning-oriented perspective, these territorial conditions include not only geographical, but also political-administrative, socio-economic and technological conditions (or their transformation). These conditions have a massive influence on spatial overcoming, site evaluation and site utilization. Thus, urban and regional challenges are seen as the result of the interaction of spatial economic and social trends, that establish themselves under certain territorial conditions. These are shaped more or less directly by spatial development policy and planning (infrastructural and land use planning, regional and strategic planning) as well as by corresponding  interventions and development projects on different levels.

At the centre of research and teaching is the theory-driven analysis of territorial conditions as driving forces of spatial development processes. This analytic-systemic approach allows (1) the identification and explanation of trends, (2) their evaluation according to criteria of efficiency, social and environmental compatibility and (3) the conception and evaluation of strategies and measures for the control of spatial development.

Main tasks and objectives of this research unit:

  • processing and independently further developing theoretical and methodological foundations of regional science,
  • explaining urban and regional structures as well as identifying current problems of urban and regional development,
  • pointing out possible alternatives for action and strategies,
  • providing specific decision support for public (local, regional, national and European policy and planning departments) and private actors (businesses, investors, NGOs, advocacy, civil society, ...),
  • establishing research-led teaching on urban-regional topics, on the importance of planning and the efficient use of methods of urban and regional research in lectures, exercises and seminars.