Mag. Dr.

Alois Humer

FWF Erwin Schrödinger Fellow

T +43 1 51581 – 3528


Alois Humer is a senior postdoc at the ISR. He has obtained a master and doctoral degree both with distinction in Geography, Spatial Research and Spatial Planning at the University of Vienna (2008, 2014), during which he had a short research visit at KTH Stockholm (2012) In between his studies, he was a scientific referee for the Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning ÖROK (2008-2009). In October 2016, he was awarded with an FWF Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship to become a Research Fellow at Aalto University in Finland from Spring 2017 to Spring 2019. Since July 2019, he has returned to ISR to finalize his FWF project.

Alois uses various quantitative and qualitative methods of applied geography and frequently takes a European comparative perspective. His research interest captures questions of…

  • regional disparities and small-scaled spatial dynamics (urbanisation, peripheralisation)
  • theoretical geographical concepts for the integration of urban and rural spaces (polycentricity, city networks, central places and flows)
  • “region” as socially and politically constructed space between actors’ interests, changing institutions, and organizational relations (strands of new-institutionalism in planning theory)
  • sustainable land use planning practice and reduction of land consumption through urban and infrastructural extension, relating to the UN SDGs 11, 13 and 15 (new instruments of land use policy such as negotiated land use plans, contractual planning)
  • Spatial implications of the postmodern welfare state and conceptual answers (rescaling, liberalization, city-regionalism, foundational economy, grounded city/region)

Teaching and learning of geography and planning students in interdisciplinary context

Research Areas

  • Human Geography
  • Spatial Research and Spatial Planning
  • Regional Development

Recent Publications

Humer, A. & Granqvist, K. (2020) The gradual city-ness and town-ness of public service locations: towards spatially sensitive sector policies; Geoforum;

Humer, A. (2020) Conceptual freedom and students’ methodological learning; Planning Practice & Research, online first;

Granqvist, K., Humer, A. & Mäntysalo, R. (2020) Tensions in city-regional spatial planning: the challenge of interpreting layered institutional rules; Regional Studies;

Humer, A. (2018) Linking polycentricity concepts to periphery: implications for an integrative Austrian strategic spatial planning practice; European Planning Studies, 26(4), 635-652;