Sanela Pansinger

Sanela Pansinger (2015), Airport Site - Urban Development: The In-Between as a Storeroom?, Institute of Urbanism; 1st reviewer: Grigor Doytchinov, 2nd reviewer: Andreas Voigt; 579 pages, German.

The use of spaces in the area around the airport as well as between the airport and the city means that the current urban conditions and development trends reveal clear topological relationships and morphological structures. These differ greatly from other structures on the periphery, causing a hierarchy of spatial organisation. The relationships and structures emerge as a recognisable spatial pattern with specific characteristics, which can mainly be seen on the edge of the city. This paper focuses on the theory of the emergence, appearance and development of these patterns, which will be explained using specifically created terms and investigated using empirical case studies. The case studies focus on Austrian provincial capitals with airports, namely Graz, Linz, Innsbruck Salzburg and Klagenfurt. The results of the case studies are indicators for the present processes and relationships brought about by airports in urban regions. In order to understand the logic behind the organisation of the urban layout between the airport and the city, a method has been developed, which takes into account systems science, urban morphology and topology. This allows for the structural and spatial fabric to be evaluated and makes it possible to ascertain which spatial and organisational components influence the area between the airport and the city. At the same time, the dependence of the urban development on the airport’s location becomes evident and it can be seen whether the airport site functions as a hindrance or as a motivation for urban development. Numerous actors with different interests are responsible for the complex interaction of different spatial production processes in the airport’s surroundings. Nevertheless, it is important to take this aspect of planning into consideration in order to be able to better recognise both the potential and the risks resulting from the interaction between the airport site and the city. One potential matter for discussion where this aspect needs to be considered is the question of whether an airport should be moved.

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