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Smart District Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities

We are living in a time of rapid social and technological change. It is particularly the small and medium-sized cities and urban regions of Europe that are challenged by this development.

Increasing prevalence of unoccupied buildings in the centres, difficulties managing sustainable mobility and the lack of coupled energy and spatial planning affect exactly the towns that have the least financial and human resources. It is important to help smaller cities and towns to overcome these development problems, in order to protect existing qualities and to make these towns fit for the future.

The university course Smart District Development in Small and Medium-Sized Cities is designed to give people who work on the urban development processes of small and medium-sized cities and towns insight into topics of sustainable urban development. The course presents detailed information on current topics and tasks of urban and regional development and examines real examples. Participants also have the opportunity to reflect on their own work and exchange ideas on projects.

Contents and Topics

The university course was developed by the Institute of Urbanism of TU Graz in cooperation with the Department of Spatial Planning at TU Wien and the Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing (SIR) and is made up of 8 modules.

Module I: Public Space
Principles: Potential of public spaces for revitalization of small cities
Examples from European planning practice

Module II: Mobility
Principles: Sustainable mobility strategies in the periurban and regional context
Examples from urban planning

Module III: Inner Urban Development
Principles: Densification strategies for small and medium-sized cities
Examples from planning practice

Module IV: Process and Governance
Principles: Innovative development and planning methods and participation in small and medium-sized cities
Examples of innovative processes

Module V: Energy
Principles: Implementing the energy system transformation in the context of small and medium-sized cities
Examples from planning practice

Module VI: Excursion

Module VII: Utility Infrastructure (ICT, Sewers, …)
Principles: Socially oriented technology for urban planning in small and medium-sized cities
Examples from urban development

Module VIII: Conclusion
Concluding lecture

Source: Martin Grabner

Dates and Deadlines

Course dates:

  • 7 February 2019: Module 1, Public Space (TU Graz)
  • 8 February 2019: Module 2, Mobility (TU Graz)
  • 11 April 2019: Module 3, Inner Urban Development (TU Graz)
  • 12 April 2019: Module 4, Governance (TU Graz)
  • 9 May 2019: Module 5, Energy (Salzburg)
  • 10 May 2019: Module 6, Excursion (Salzburg)
  • 12 September 2019: Module 7, Utility Infrastructure (TU Graz)
  • 13 September 2019: Module 8, Conclusion (TU Graz)

Programme (in German)

Quick Facts

  • Duration:  8 modules in 4 blocks of two days each
  • Certificate: Confirmation of participation
  • ECTS credit points: 4
  • Language of instruction: German
  • Participation fees:

    • 1,900 € (VAT free) including course notes, drinks and excursion
    • 1,650 € (VAT free) for member cities of URBA Graz and for 2 or more participants from the same institution

  • Number of participants: max. 20
  • Location: TU Graz


Target Groups

The university course is aimed at people who are involved in urban development processes in small and medium-sized cities, for example:

  • Civil servants
  • Civil engineers
  • Spatial planners
  • Architects
  • Representatives of political parties
  • Consulting institutes

Admission Requirements

Participants in the course must fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • At least two years’ professional experience in the fields of urban planning, spatial planning achitecture/urbanism, urban development, regional devleopment
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in subjects related to spatial planning (e.g. urban planning, architecture, spatial planning, urbanism, landscape design, sociology, geography, sustainable development, law, economics)

Programme Directors

Arch. Univ.-Prof.
Institute of Urbanism

Mag.arch. M.Sc.
Institute of Urbanism
Phone: +43 316 873 6286

Student employee

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Phone: +43 316 873 4932