Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-12-01 - 2025-11-30

Mountain regions, such as the 435 mountain biosphere reserves, are particularly vulnerable to the accelerated consequences of global change. They struggle with the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, digitalisation and depopulation. For five decades, “people across the globe have utilized biosphere reserves, designated under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme, to explore local solutions to global challenges. The World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves enhances the capacity of 435 mountain BR to act as laboratories for sustainability, research and learning. The high decision stakes, but also the conflicting and pressing nature of many sustainability problems, ask for new forms of knowledge production, dissemination and uptake, and, hence, new models of science-society interaction. At the same time universities and researchers in particular are challenged/ retained to participate in such td-research collaborations due to ongoing competition for funding, students and prestige; prevailing compartmentalisation, performance measurements via rankings, all of which have negative effects on inter- and transdisciplinarity. In this project we will investigate to which degree mountain biosphere reserves have established themselves as models for transdisciplinary science-society interaction to spur transformations towards sustainability in mountain BR. • Which types of science-society interaction (e.g. strategic and functional partnerships, research activities, institutionalised forms of collaboration) have BR experimented with, tested and established on a global level and in BR? • Which ‘knowledge-in-use’ and actual impact have td research projects created and to which degree did they spur sustainability transitions in the Mountain-BR • What are general models of successful science-society interactions in mountain BR for what circumstances? How can future science-society interactions of different types in biosphere reserves in the Alpine DACH region be supported?
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-11-01 - 2025-04-30

Adapting to changing climate signals is a central challenge in spatial development for Austrian cities and municipalities. Some Austrian cities and municipalities already have small-scale exposure and vulnerability analyzes on changes in selected climate signals. For several years, cities have focused on analyzing and adapting to increasing urban overheating. However, changes in the area of ​​precipitation regimes are also becoming increasingly noticeable and become an area of ​​action for adaptation (also for smaller towns and rural communities). However, the integration of concrete adaptation measures into the spatial development or the different projects, plans and programs of a city based on these analyzes is a challenge. Two central aspects in particular often hinder comprehensive adaptation: the lack of knowledge about which areas of a city have a particularly high risk and which measures are possible or effective depending on the specific city structure. In addition, there is an increasing requirement to adapt to the increasing heat stress and changes in the precipitation regime (drought and heavy rain events), "to think together and synergistically". This is where the “GreenAdaptation” project comes in. The aim of the project is to develop a set of tools and methods to support Austrian communities.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-02-01 - 2023-01-31

The market town of Lustenau is taking a large educational building project in the Rotkreuz district as an opportunity to dedicate itself to the integrative development of an existing quarter. This includes existing non-profit housing estates from the 1940s and 1980s, a planned new non-profit housing estate "Betreutes Wohnen" and a planned public open space of the community ("Rotkreuz Generation Park") that connects the area. Due to the spatial scale as well as the social and settlement policy importance, the following challenges arise with regard to an integrative approach to sustainable district development: (1) Consideration of different social groups and their requirements regarding settlement and green space; (2) Awareness of climate change and the need to develop resilient urban neighborhoods; (3) Development of criteria for the implementation of everyday usability, sustainable mobility, preservation and promotion of biodiversity. The integrative development of urban districts - taking social, ecological and climatic aspects into account - leads to conflicting goals and requires the negotiation of contradictory demands on (public) space: e.g. reduction of sealing vs. desired densification or social usability vs. ecological qualities. The development of the urban (green) infrastructure, as an essential part of an integrative and resilient neighbourhood development, requires the involvement of different actors. The overarching goal of the "IQ_Lustenau" project is to create the basis for resilient and integrative neighbourhood development in order to coordinate subsequent planning processes and to generate synergy effects for climate protection and climate change adaptation, always taking social and ecological requirements into account.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations