Co-Principal Investigators

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alexa Färber

Alexa Färber is Professor of European Ethnology at the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies. She explores how values and culture shape urban space and its images and the promises it holds. Through her expertise in cultural urban studies, she will contribute to investigate how promises in and of the city and their related fragmented practices shape our understanding of the urban and how the challenges of urban inequalities and super-diversity translate into personal experiences. A conceptual and critical clarification of what the “European city” is, what it promises, will also be on the agenda and will be investigated by unveiling the translation exercise from the global, to the national, the regional down into concrete everyday life experiences - and vice versa. Her methodological expertise in urban visual research will help disentangling this translation exercise through a theoretical understanding of cities as a result of a process of assemblage through which multiple meaningful scales conflate in the personal (and local) experience in everyday life.

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Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann

Thilo Hofmann is Professor of Environmental Geosciences at the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science. He works on the impact of anthropogenic pollutants on the environment, including micro-plastics, nanoparticles, and pollutant dynamics in soil and water. He is the director of the environmental science research network on at the University of Vienna. In this capacity he will act as hub to all researchers working on environmental sustainability at urban level. His understanding of how pollutants affect the envi-ronment [of cities] will further help to understand how cities have to be planned and governed, for example regarding questions on how to reduce emissions being responsible for adverse effects including climate change.. Hofmann is also the vice head of the Research Platform "Plastic in the Environment and Society", in which the research team deals with the environmental impact of plastic that pollutes and influences the ecological footprint.

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Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Alois Humer

Alois Humer is currently Professor of Applied Geography, Spatial Research and Spatial Planning at the Department of Geography and Regional Research. He will bring in a systemic, urban-regional perspective. Cities of the 21st century are the economic and infrastructural nodes of global networks. At the same time, cities continue to be in a state economic function as centre for their hinterland. Normatively spoken, cities hold a responsibility towards their hinterland. Under these tensions, Alois interprets cities beyond constituting a single locality but looks into polycentric formations, regional city-hinterland disparities, centre-periphery dynamics, and the multiple roles of a city as a ‘place’ and regional centre. This interest forms the basis for analyzing strategic urban planning practices, including concerns of urban service, housing and infrastructure provision in regional contexts. Empirically, he provides long-standing experience in European/internationally comparative research. This is of particular importance in the field of urban planning, in which institutions and governance cultures vary significantly.

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Univ.-Prof. Torsten Möller, PhD

Torsten Möller is Professor for Visualization and Data analysis at the Faculty of Computer Science. He is the chair of the research group on data visualisation and the speaker of the Research Platform Data Science @ UNIVIE. His expertise will contribute to the analysis of the governance of complex urban systems that increasingly require data that can support decision-making processes. In effect, data visualisation provides insight into these complexities raising awareness on relations that are not immediately evident. The workshop series planned each year within the framework of the platform activities will allocate a fixed time slot dedicated to data visualisation that will be thematically framed. The emerging importance of ICTs in everyday life influences societal change and the way in which space is perceived and used in everyday life and in planning ranging from smart city frames to dystopian images of a controlled urban society. Big urban data can provide information of human behaviour, and cast light on the processes and socioeconomic transformation in urban areas connecting micro-processes to macro-trends.