Fields of Research


(A) Analysis of urban structures and urban development
Recent research activities can roughly be grouped into three major issues: A traditional field of research deals with questions of city development, examining spatial concentration and specialisation of economic and social activities within cities in detail. In this context the researchers are not only concerned with general trends of urban development (e.g. centralisation, suburbanisation, polycentric development), but also with specific issues such as economic transition and demographic change in cities (e.g. segre-gation, gentrification) or housing and real estate markets.
(B) Urban systems and hierarchies
A relatively new field of research deals with the position of city regions in the global urban system. This approach strongly focuses on the issue of city competition trying to reveal relevant local conditions in general and to point out specific strengths and weaknesses of selected cities. The results of the empirical analysis are incorporated in strategic recommendations which aim at enhancing the territorial capital. Furthermore they are practically applied to define alternative scenarios of political action and to point out potential fields of political or economic co-operation. In this context the theoretical and methodological foundation of city rankings is examined thoroughly in order to reveal relevant competitive factors, to define innovative indicators and comprehensible concepts for rating cities and finally to develop effective approaches for strategic planning.
(C) Driving forces of regional development
A third field of research examines the driving forces of regional economic development. In order to show effective ways of political intervention it is not enough to describe existing disparities, but it is necessary to reveal the main requirements and factors of economic growth. In different projects the role of transport infrastructure and accessibility has been theoretically explained and empirically tested to be able to assess economic effects of road or rail projects in a spatial dimension. On the European level the socio-economic development of regions is examined with regard to the goal of territorial cohesion. Due to the increasing significance of knowledge-based activities, substantial regard is paid to the location of R&D, creativity and innovation and to their role in economic development.
Current Topics of Research (Selection)

Spatial Development
Innovation in Space
City Rankings

Competition, Positioning and Territorial Capital

Real estate markets and real estate evaluation

Cohesion Policy of the EU

Innovative Milieus

City competition

Polyzentrism and urban systems

Urban development and Segregation

Urban Renewal

Effects of spatial planning

Tourism and Recreation in Space

Infrastructure, Transport and spatial development

© 2006 Hans Kramar, letzte Änderung am 16│20│09.