urban development | competitiveness | Smart City | Resilience | territorial capital

Rudolf Giffinger studied Geography at the University of Vienna and specialized in Regional Science and Urban Studies during his academic activities at TU Wien as well as in several cities of European and South American countries. In his former academic research, Rudolf Giffinger concentrated on the topics of housing market dynamics, rehabilitation as well as on segregation. Since some years, his research activities are focussing on the development and positioning of cities in European or global perspective considering modern planning approaches as crucial component of territorial capital. In particular, his research focuses on Smart City development and corresponding meaning of ICT for sustainable and resilient urban development in a social-ecological or social-technical context. Basically, he teaches theory and methods of urban and regional development, territorially embedded policies for urban transformation in a multi-level context.

Rudolf Giffinger is publishing books, contributions in books and articles in international and national Journals on topics like immigration and segregation, housing market dynamics, urban competitiveness, polycentric urban development and on place-based Smart City development. Based on his international teaching and research activities he became Foreign Member of the Academy of Construction Science of Serbia, 2018, and Member of the Scientific Board for Environmental Issues of the City of Vienna. He was awarded as Honorary Professor of the Intelligent Urbanization Co-Creation Center for High Density Region, Shanghai; as well as author of the most cited research articles by 2021, published in 2018 in the Journal Cities, Elsevier-Publisher. At TU Wien he was member of different academic committees and Vice-Chair of the Senate of TU Wien.

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Topics of teaching: theory of urban and regional development; methodologies and methods of spatial development; urban transformation towards competitive, smart and resilient development, challenges and strategies in European countries and the Global South.


  • Introduction in Regional Science, Bachelor (in German language)
  • Theory of urban and regional development, Bachelor (in German language)
  • International Urbanisation, Master (in English language)
  • Policies of Spatial Planning, Master (in English language)

Lecture exercises and practices:

  • Methods of Regional Analysis, Bachelor (in German language)
  • Methodology of empirical spatial Research, Bachelor (in German language)
  • Integrated regional development in developing countries: Theory and Practice, Master (in English language)
  • Strategic Planning and City Marketing, Master (in English language)


  • Challenges of sustainable urban development, Bachelor (in English language)
  • Strategies of sustainable and resilient urban development, Master (in English language)
  • Planning and Development in Agglomerations, Master (in English language)

Current courses, opens an external URL in a new window

Collaboration in (inter-)national projects:

  • Housing Conditions and Segregation of Immigrant Groups (1994 - 1998) which was realised for several European cities within the European Network of Housing Research (ENHR). 
  • City competition between Wien and Budapest (2000 – 2003) which focussed on the challenges of urban development in an increasingly competitive situation and compared corresponding strategic efforts of urban development policy in both cities – a cooperation with the Metropolitan Research Institute in Budapest (MRI)
  • Economic Restructuring in the core city of Vienna (2003  2004) which focussed on the challenges in urban restructuring and redefinition of urban centres for the urban development planning (STEP 2005)
  • Competition of Cities: Opportunities and Risks of Cooperation - dealing with the competition and cooperation of cities in Central Europe. This project started in 2002 and was initiated by him with a working group of the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) in Hanover, Germany. He chairs this working group and, in addition, this initiative has become an own working modul within the project SPECTRA/PERSEUS which is located in Bratislava, Slovakia, and founded through the 5th. Research Frame Program of the European Union.
  • SMART CITY Profiles (2007 – 2008) which focussed on the development of a ranking approach of medium-sized cities in Europe and a comprehensive analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the smartness of distinct cities – a cooperation with TU Delft, Netherlands, and with the University of Ljubljana. http://www.smart-cities.eu/ 
  • POLYCE: Metropolisation and Polycentric Development in Central Europe which concentrates on metropolitan development of Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Praha  and Wien and investigates how territorial cohesive development can be strenghtend. TU Wien/SRF was the lead partner of a consortium of scientists (Politecnico di Milano, CEPS/University of Luxenburg; University of Pecs, TU Bratislava, Charls University Prague, University Brno and Ljubljana) and planners of respective Planning Departments of the 5 partner cities.
  • PLEEC: Planning energy efficient Cities (2013 – 2016) as a recent FP7-project is realizing a planning approach which identifies energy efficient innovation potentials. The activation of these potentials are discussed in terms of technical, structural or behavioural measures/activities in most relevant domains of urban development. In this project the lead partner is the City of Eskilstuna, Sweden; the Centre of Regional Science, TU Wien, is leading Work Package 2 with a specific smart planning approach. In this project he collaborated with 6 partner cities (Jyväskylä and Turku, Finnland; Eskilstuna, Sweden; Tartu, Estonia; Stoke-On-Trent, England; Santiago de Compostela, Spain). Together with his team in the Centre of Regional Science they discussed     with the respective Planning Departments of the 6 cities their most recent challenges and elaborated their most relevant innovation potentials for a sustainable development. 
  • SMART KOM: Smart City Krakow, Poland, (2013 – 2015) is a cooperative project (EU_EFRE) which identifies potentials and strategic projects with a roadmap for becoming a smart city. Krakow Technology Park is the lead partner which organizes workshops on urban-regional development in different key fields and is elaborating the roadmap. The Centre of Regional Science supports this process through strategic advice and based on a network approach. http://sse.krakow.pl/pl/smart-kom.html 
  • E_Profile (Energetische Transformation im Stadtquartier): is a cooperative project (Programm ‘Stadt der Zukunft’ issued by BMVIT, Austria) fostering the transition process towards more sustainable development through increase of energy efficiency in the housing sector, shift to renewable energy sources and affordable costs. TU Wien/Centre of Regional Science is the lead partner of a consortium of two other Centres at TU Wien (Centre of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy; Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology), one institute of University of Economics Wien (Research Institute of Urban Management and Governance), the planning office MECCA_Vienna and Ars Electronica Futurelab and the City of Linz. 
  • RESIST - Resilienz in Stadtregionen: Anforderungen und Forschungsbedarf zu kritischen Infrastrukturen: is a cooperative project (supported by Klima- und Energiefonds, Austria, based on the programme ‚Energy Transition 2050‘ in collaboration with PlanSinn.at. RESIST addresses scientific research and experiences of implementation of resilience concepts. It aims to bring clarity to the understanding of resilience and resilient urban development, to explore requirements for resilient urban-regional development, and to outline recommendations for future research priorities in this topic area. The focus was on the adaptive capacity of critical infrastructure systems in the face of climate change and COVID-19. This was determined by considering the central components of vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Based on the experiences and expectations of experts from practice and research, recommendations for future inter- and transdisciplinary research and research policy were derived.

Most relevant publications since 2014

  • Giffinger, R. and Kramar, H. (2022) Benchmarking, profiling, and ranking of cities: The “European Smart cities” approach. In Albert, S. and Pandey M. (eds.) Performance Metrics for Sustainable Cities. P. 35 – 52. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Giffinger, R. (2020) Smart City: the importance of innovation and planning. In Helfert, M., Klein, C., Donellan, B. and Gusikhin, O. (Eds.) Smart Greens, Vehicle Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems. 13 pages,: Switzerland: Springer 
  • Giffinger R. (2020) Raumentwicklung als smarte Aufgabe: Anforderungen an die planungsbezogene Stadt- und Regionalforschung. In Getzner M., Kanonier A., Zech S. und Dillinger Th. (Hrsg.) Jahrbuch der Raumlanung. 13 Seiten, Wien: NWV (Publikation in Vorbereitung).
  • Giffinger, R. (2019) Smart City: The Importance of Innovation and Planning; in Smart Cities, Green Technologies and Intelligent Transport Systems, M. Helfert, C. Klein, B. Donnellan, O. Gusikhin (eds.); p. 28 – 39; Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
  • R. Giffinger and G. Haindlmaier (2018) Benchmarking the Smart City: A Sound Tool for Policy-Making? Scienze Regionali. Italien. Journal of Regional Science. 1/2018; special issue, edited by A: Caragliu and Ch. Del Bo; pp.115 – 122;
  • J. Suitner, J. Dangschat, R. Giffinger: "Die digitale Transformation von Stadt, Raum und Gesellschaft"; in Buchreihe "Jahrbuch Raumplanung", Buchreihen-Herausgeber: J. Suitner, J. Dangschat, R. Giffinger; herausgegeben von: Department für Raumplanung; NWV Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Wien & Graz, 2018, ISBN: 978-3-7083-1204-0, 248 S.
  • V. Fernandez-Anez, J. Fernandez-Güell, R. Giffinger: "Smart City implementation and discourses: An integrated conceptual model. The case of Vienna"; Cities, 78 (2018) (2018), S. 4 - 16.
  • J. Desdemoustier, N. Crutzen, R. Giffinger: "Municipalities' understanding of the Smart City concept: An exploratory analysis in Belgium"; Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 142 (2019).
  • Suitner, R. Giffinger, L. Plank: "Innovation in der Raumproduktion. Band 5 des Jahrbuchs Raumplanung"; in Buchreihe "Jahrbuch Raumplanung", Buchreihen-Herausgeber: J. Suitner, R. Giffinger, L. Plank; herausgegeben von: Department für Raumplanung; NWV Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Wien und Graz, 2017, ISBN: 978-3-7083-1143-2.
  • R. Giffinger, J. Suitner: "Polycentric Metropolitan Development: From Structural Assessment to Processual Dimensions"; in: "Second Rank Cities in Europe. Structural Dynamics and Growth Potential", R. Camagni, R. Capello (Hrg.); Routledge, London, 2016, ISBN: 978-1-13-895104-4.
  • Giffinger R. (2016) Smart City - Ein Konzept für sozial nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung?; AK Wien, Standpunkte Nr. 22 - Wien wächst - Smart City (Neues Konzept, offene Fragen), Band 22, 2016, ISBN: 978-3-7063-0660-7; S. 24 - 33.
  • Giffinger R., Berger M. (2016) Evidenzbasierte Steuerungsansätze für eine energieeffiziente Raumentwicklung; R. Scheuvens (Hrg.) Die Fakultät für Architektur und Raumplanung; Böhlau Verlag Wien - Köln - Weimar, ISBN: 978-3-205-20119-9, S. 175 - 178.
  • Giffinger R. (2015) Smart City Concepts: Chances and Risks of Energy Efficient Urban Development; in K. Krempels, M. Helfert, C. Klein, B. Donnellan, O. Gusikhin (Hrg.) Smart Cities, Green Technologies, and Intelligent Transport Systems, 579: Communications in Computer and Information Science; Springer Verlag, Switzerland, ISBN: 9783319277530, S. 3 - 16.
  • Giffinger R. and Suitner J. (2015) Polycentric Metropolitan Development: From Structural Assessment to Processual Dimensions; European Planning Studies, 23, 6; S. 1169 - 1186.
  • Sohn Ch. and Giffinger R. (2015) A Policy Network Approach to Cross - Border Metropolitan Governance: The Cases of Vienna and Bratislava; European Planning Studies, 23, 6; S. 1187 - 1208.
  • Giffinger R. and Lyu H. (2015) The Smart City perspective: a necessary change from technical to urban innovations; Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano, 2015, ISBN: 978-88-6835-104-5; 32 S.
  • Giffinger R., Ecker M., Kalasek R., Latzer D. (2015) E_PROFIL - Quartiersprofile für optimierte energietechnische Transformationsprozesse; in BMVIT (Hrg.) Stadt der Zukunft: Tagungsband für Projekte der 2. Ausschreibung, Wien, 2015, S. 65 - 66.
  • Giffinger R. (2014) Smart City - Stadtentwicklung im Spannungsfeld technologischer und integrativer Anforderungen; in: W. Blaas, J. Bröthaler, M. Getzner, G. Gutheil-Knopp-Kirchwald (Hrg.) Perspektiven der staatlichen Aufgabenerfüllung. Zwischen budgetärer Knappheit und integrativem Anspruch; Verlag Österreich, Wien, ISBN: 978-3-7046-6554-6, S. 313 - 330.
  • R. Giffinger, N. Pichler-Milanovic: "Le citta Europee di medie dimensioni in competizione per la crescita: smart, sostenibilli, inclusive?"; Bimestrale di Informazione - Degli Architetti, Pianificatori, Paesaggisti, E Conservatori, Lombardi, Marzo - Aprile (2012), 488; S. 12 - 14.
  • R. Giffinger, J. Suitner: "Danube Region Strategy: Arguments for a territorial capital based multilevel approach"; spatium. Urban and spatial planning, architecture, housing building, geodesia, environment, 23/2010 (2010), ISSN: 1450-569x; S. 9 - 16.
  • R. Giffinger, A. Hamedinger: "Borders in Metropolitan Development: The Case of Vienna"; Journal of Borderlands Studies, 28 (2013), 2; S. 205 - 219.

Complete list of publications, opens an external URL in a new window