Goals and Research Questions

The project is based on the atlas of the growing urban region, developed 2008-2009 at the Institute for Urban and Regional Research (ISR) in a related project, called “SRO – Strategies for the Spatial Development of the Eastern Region”. The atlas is comprised of a variety of thematic maps, which are still used today in daily spatial planning routines and provide detailed information on the Vienna urban region’s demographic and economic profile. Based on population projections from 2006 by the Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning (ÖROK) – which projected a population growth of 400,000 residents until the year 2031 – the analysis defined high, medium and low potential areas, where future population growth should take place from a planner’s perspective.

Taking this as the point of departure, this project aims to analyse how many additional residents have already settled in the urban region and where this growth has taken place. Further research questions are: Which migration patterns are the most prevailing? How are current developments perceived by spatial planners and other experts in this field? And, has the spatial pattern of high, medium and low potential areas shifted? Additionally, the project aims to develop the foundation for a spatial monitoring of the Vienna urban region, which will be conducted on a regular basis in the future under the umbrella of Planning Association East (PGO).


The further analysis of the Vienna urban region has, above all, shown that population growth was higher than presumed in the 2006 projections. From 2006 until 2031 (i.e. for a period of 25 years) an additional growth of 400,000 people was projected, however after only 10 years 260,000 additional persons have already settled here. Interestingly, it is the core city of Vienna that exhibits the highest growth rates, while the surrounding districts are only slightly higher than the original projections. The City of Vienna is the main attractor for international migration and migration from other areas in Austria (urbanisation, reurbanisation). On the other hand, the surrounding districts have a positive net migration balance with the core city (suburbanisation).

Population growth can largely be observed in high potential areas. Central locations with high quality facilities are attractive – no clear tendency for further urban sprawl (high growth in low potential areas) has been observed. Furthermore, the overall pattern of high, medium and low potential areas has remained relatively stable over the past years. If anything, a higher potential is apparent in those areas where traffic infrastructure has been upgraded (e.g. extension of the A5 motorway towards the Czech border). 

Further information and downloads can be retrieved from the website of the Planning Association East.


Eder, Jakob, Elisabeth Gruber, Peter Görgl und Markus Hemetsberger (2018): Wie Wien wächst: Monitoring aktueller Trends hinsichtlich Bevölkerungs- und Siedlungsentwicklung in der Stadtregion Wien. In. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 1-17. [epub ahead of print]

Görgl, Peter, Jakob Eder, Elisabeth Gruber und Heinz Faßmann (2017): Monitoring der Siedlungsentwicklung in der Stadtregion+. Strategien zur räumlichen Entwicklung der Ostregion. Wien. Endbericht.

Head of Project

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Faßmann

ISR-Project team

  • Jakob Eder, MA



2015 to 2017