Research Project

The project ‘Vienna in Transition’ aims to enrich the academic debate about the specificity of the European City Model today, analysing the social and the policy transformations in a context traditionally portrayed as highly representative of this model. Although, the literature acknowledges several new social risks as challenges to the European City Model, the magnitude of the changes and their impact is not felt and dealt with in the same way. We will use the European city framework as a starting point in order to investigate how Vienna – in a comparative perspective with other European cities – adapts to recent urban challenges.

Despite the fact that Vienna represents a prime example of a European city under growing pressure, no systematic and conceptually encompassing research has yet investigated the role of policies and institutional frameworks in shaping urban inequalities and social conditions in the city. In order to bring together the fragmented landscape of existing research and advancing the state-of-the-art, we specifically identify the following research gaps to be addressed:

o  The lack of integration of the multiple dimensions of investigation. Rarely are labor market, housing and social policies analysis combined and related to the respective contextual conditions and their transitions.

o  The lack of integration of the multiple territorial levels within which the city is embedded. Rarely is the interplay of supranational, national, regional and local governance dynamics disentangled.

o  A systematic international comparison of Vienna with other European cities is widely missing. 

Finally, the project aims at enhancing an integrated urban development policy approach. More specifically, it will highlight the virtues and the barriers to multilevel coordination between spatial and sectorial aspects of key areas of urban policy in order to understand how the trade-off between neoliberal economic change and the capacity to govern social and economic transformations plays out in the city. Is it possible to combine socially inclusive policies, environmental protection and (socially) innovative initiatives with economic competitiveness? What preconditions are necessary?

 Research Team

Univ.-Prof. Yuri Kazepov, PhD


Department of Sociology, University of Vienna
Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090 Wien, R.217

Byeongsun Ahn, PhD


Department of Sociology, University of Vienna
Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090 Wien, R.214

Dr. Elisabetta Mocca


Department of Sociology, University of Vienna
Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090 Wien, R.215

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Roland Verwiebe


Derpartment of Sociology, University of Potsdam
Campus Griebnitzsee, H.1, R. 1.55, August-Bebel-Straße 89, 14482 Potsdam
+ 49-331-977-3558

Mag. Michael Friesenecker


Institute of Landscape Planning (ILAP)
Peter-Jordan-Straße 65, 1180 Vienna

+43 1 47654-85412