The project investigates the spatial transformation of former industrial sites in the agglomerations Vienna and Bucharest. The deindustrialisation of the two cities developed in dissimilar ways. In the case of Vienna, deindustrialisation is related to the post-capitalist transformation of society and economy, but for Bucharest, one can observe a post-socialist transformation of the social, political, and economic system. A combination of methods and approaches will help us to identify the differences in governance of former industrial sites in these two cities. We will consider the institutional context as well as national and local governance strategies. Apart from applying classical instruments of spatial planning, we will also take local actors involved in transformation into account.

The analysis addresses the following main research questions:

  1. How did the usage of industrial sites change in the two cities since the 1980s? Which spatial and structural patterns can be observed in both cities?

  2. Which strategies and practices are applied towards the transformation of industrial sites in the two cities?

  3. How are local-level actors drawn into the process of transformation of industrial sites? To what extent does the protection of industrial sites as an urban memory feature in related decision-making processes?

The research project will apply a mixed methods approach combining qualitative methods and quantitative GIS analyses. One of the key elements of the proposed research cooperation is mutual learning from Vienna’s and Bucharest’s experience in the field of industrial site transformation. An understanding of the challenges experienced with the transformation of former industrial sites in both cities is equally relevant for actors in politics and in planning in each of these cities.