The Institute of Urbanism appreciates a vivid research work. The Institute's research team "URBA Graz" is a "think tank" that combines research and design, in order to contribute to a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable development of the territory. The institute's projects can be assigned to three main subject areas:
1. TERRITORY/MOBILITY - Mobility is a fundamental need and its planning influences infrastructural and spatial but also social structures. The research projects that deal with this focus not only seek to develop a better understanding of the role and function of mobility, but also focus on the interrelation between mobility and space. Spatial and strategic concepts are designed to contribute to the promotion of active and emission-free forms of mobility and to increase the quality of public space, as well as to enable fair access to mobility.
2. TERRITORY/PLANNING- For the sustainable development of cities and municipalities it is important to understand them as part of a larger area. Mobility, public spaces, and settlement structures should be considered in a regional context. Urban designing needs to recognize the potentials and challenges that result from spatial formations. In this research area, the Institute of Urbanism is concerned with strategies for sustainable development which include, strengthen, and use interrelationships between the region and individual municipalities.
3. INTERSTITIAL SPACE - Publicly usable spaces are a basic prerequisite for public life. This applies to dense urban centers as well as in peri-urban fringe areas and rural communities. The research of the Institute of Urbanism in this area focuses on different forms of urban open spaces and the qualification of the entire space between buildings. Initially an analysis and social, ecological and economic qualification of the publicly accessible spaces in different contexts are elaborated. These form the basis for the development of recommendations for future designs of urban open spaces.
The Institute of Urbanism attaches particular importance to interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration with committed people from the realms of research, administration, politics, business, NGOs and advocacy groups. This allows for the integration of topics such as sustainability and ecology, sociology, energy efficiency, resource management, technologies, and sociology into urban design. All these aspects are considered with the aim of improving the quality of the space for its users.