The Institute for Urban and Regional Research is the only spatial science oriented non-university research institute in Austria conducting application-orientated basic research at the highest level and not directly involved in planning-related activities. It is engaged in the analysis of structures and the dynamics of modern society in both urban and regional contexts, analysing population and society together with the natural, built and social environment. The ISR emphasises the multi-perspective and transdisciplinary approach to research, placing societal problems or scientific investigation at the heart of the analysis, independent of disciplinary parameters. The institute works together with other such institutes throughout Europe and considers academic excellence and the relevance of the research questions to be the most important aim of scientific work. Most of our projects are comparative and internationally orientated to increase quality and produce additional knowledge. Our spatial focus lies specifically on Vienna, Austria and Europe, however, the comparative element beyond national boundaries is an important element.

Our research concentrates on the topics of society, migration and economy. Since 2016 and 2023, our research projects are oriented along three research groups “Migration and Urban Diversity”, “Housing and Urban Economies” and Sustainable Urban Regions.

The institute offers talented young scientists from all over the world the opportunity to work – in the form of a temporary contract, an internship or as a research fellow – in the institutional context. The institute works particularly closely with the University of Vienna to include Masters and PhD students in research projects.