Objectives and research questions

In the light of current projections of a high population growth in the City of Vienna and its surroundings, the Planning Association East (PGO) identified the need for a research project to address the questions arising from such population growth and the associated challenges in areas such as transport, settlement patterns, subsidised housing, integration of migrants, suburbanisation, etc.

The main goals of the project are to analyse the demographic and economic development of the Vienna urban region and develop ideas and proposals for targeted strategies to deal with the future growth. The project is divided into five work packages, of which ISR is working on the first two: WP1 offers an “analysis of the development of the Vienna Urban Region 1991-2007”, WP2 addresses “scenarios on the future development of the Vienna Urban Region”.


WP1 delivered a detailed analysis of the development of the Vienna urban region in terms of population, migration, settlement patterns and economy from 1991 until 2007. The output was displayed in various thematic maps and tables (see “Atlas of the growing urban region”). Based on this quantitative analysis, the driving forces behind the observed developments were identified and described.

Building on this, WP2 analysed, if and how the expected population growth could be handled in a meaningful way, minimising the consumption of space. In doing so, dedicated but as yet undeveloped areas were analysed throughout the urban region, based on 1500m raster cells.

Subsequently, the Vienna urban region was divided in three categories for potential future settlements, to answer the question of how many residents could settle in high potential areas (according to accessibility, facilities and settlement patterns). The analysis showed that already at this time there was already adequate high potential dedicated land reserves to accommodate the expected population growth of 400,000 people – even if not all land reserves were available for immediate development. This served as the theoretical foundation for the planning paradigm of the “Structured Urban Region”, which is still used for the spatial development of the city region.


Faßmann, Heinz, Peter Görgl und Marco Helbich (2009): Atlas der wachsenden Stadtregion. Wien. Endbericht.

ISR-Project team

  • Uni.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Faßmann (Head of Project)
  • Dr. Peter Görgl
  • Dr. Marco Helbich


04/2008 to 12/2009