Research department DYNAMICS OF COMMUNICATION, KNOWLEDGE AND SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT

The research department focuses on communicative action and knowledge processes in spatial transformations. It examines how communicative action facilitates the emergence and dissemination of new spatial knowledge, social processes and material configurations of space. The current fields of work in the department include: spatial transformations by innovative processes in structurally weak areas; by digitalisation processes in the context of urban planning and design as well as by processes of climate change adaptation in cities and regions.

With regard to structurally weak areas, the department examines how innovative ideas, practices and projects of spatial development emerge, become established and spread. These ideas, practices and projects are also referred to as "social innovations". In this context, attention is given to the innovation-driven communicative action of local policymakers, public authorities, civil society actors, and social entrepreneurs. The investigation of digitalised forms of action in the fields of urban planning and design is focused on the question of how far changes in planning practices itself, but also in the constitution of public spaces (e.g. by digitalised processes of communicative planning) as well as in material and spatial arrangements can be observed. The research on climate change examines how global challenges due to climate impacts are perceived and discursively processed in different ways on a national, regional or local level, in particular how socio-cultural factors shape the ways vulnerability is perceived and resilience is constructed.

Ongoing lead project

The lead project explores municipalities in structurally weak rural areas where citizens and actors from politics, administration or business seek creative ways to solve local problems. The lead project’s aim is to investigate these innovative projects in rural areas. The civic engagement under study ranges from renewable energies, local supply as well as arts and culture. more

News
23. April | 2018
Social Entrepreneurship in Rural Regions

In a seminar held at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) Dr. Richard Lang, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Innovation Management (IFI) at Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), introduced a multi-level model for social entrepreneurship in rural regions and their institutional environment. Lang developed the model together with Prof. Matthias Fink (IFI) referring to concepts rooted in regional and rural development, social entrepreneurship, innovation, social capital and network research. Empirical evidence comes from research in four marginalized rural regions in Europe in the context of the EU-funded project “RurInno”, in which the IRS and IFI are leading research partners. The seminar was part of the visiting fellowship Richard Lang has spent at the IRS between 16th and 20th of April, 2018. more info