Department of Urban Design
Field of study
The main focus of the work of the department encompasses the spatial, built and design aspects of urban and regional development, with particular focus on the historical, cultural, procedural and constructional aspects of development strategies, together with their social, political and economic implications. In terms of scale, the main emphasis lies on those scales which, while being larger than that of the individual building, are still within the realm which is open to direct spatial perception. The pursuit of these issues takes place both in the field of academic research and in the context of teaching on both of the degree programmes of the faculty, namely architecture and urban and regional planning. The work of the department is intentionally located at the Interface between theory and design and planning practice. As a consequence the department's sphere of activity includes the critical evaluation of planning methods and Instruments, äs well äs of approaches to managing the development process and their further development.
The range of teaching offered by the department is addressed to students of both architecture and urban and regional planning. In addition to concentrating on providing a comprehensive introduction to the basic issues of urban design in the form of lectures and design Studios, at the masters level the department offers opportunities for more in depth study and for the development of special skills and competences in the field of planning (in the module Territorial transformation'), urban theory (in the module on 'Urbanism') and management (in the module for 'Development processes'). In the context of design Studios and projects, students are confronted with specific and topical challenges within the field of international urban and regional development. These are closely coordinated with the modules and field visits which are organised by the department.
Within the context of doctoral dissertations, habilitation studies as well as research and practicerelated projects, the department addresses a ränge of fields, including the after-use of derelict industrial sites, urbanisation tendencies in developing countries and aspects of the design of urban space, city morphology and local development planning. Important historic figures in urban design, who were associated with Vienna, such as Karl Heinrich Brunner, Karl Schartelmüller and Camillo Sitte are also an important focus of research. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Camillo Sitte a new edition of his bequeathed work was founded. As a result of the cooperation between the Vienna University of Technology and the Polytechnic University of Lviv, new research areas are being developed which relate to the common interests of Austria and the regions of Central and Eastern Europe within the field of urban development. Since 2001 the department is also focusing on Tourism as a research and teaching issue. The planned new department of 'Urbanism' is intended to provide a further field of research, which will be associated with the department of urban design.
The department is involved in co-operation agreements with the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota ( Unal ), the Architecture Faculty of the Lviv Polytechnic University in the Ukraine and is aiming to establish a similar agreement with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grand do Sul (Porto Alegre, Brazil).
At present the department has two professorships, one university lecturer, three assistant Professors, one university assist-ant and six Student assistants. Some 2000 students attend the department's courses every year. The university's 'urban design library' currently contains some 30,000 books. Since 1963 the department has also been responsible for the Camillo Sitte archive, which encompasses some 5000 Sketches, plans, manuscripts and letters.