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[image from Brenner et al. 2024, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]
2024-01-22
New Paper: What drives densification and sprawl in cities? A spatially explicit assessment for Vienna, between 1984 and 2018

Led by fresh KLI alumnus (former Writing-up Fellow) Anna-Katharina Brenner, this paper explores the long-lasting impact of settlement arrangements in cities on sustainability, and emphasizes the importance of understanding the drivers that change settlement patterns. Using Vienna, Austria from 1984 to 2018 as a case study, the study employs a mixed-methods approach that combines ‘geostatistical analysis, qualitative desk research and expert interviews to investigate Vienna's settlement dynamics and identify potential regulatory, economic, and demographic drivers of change over a span of 34 years’. The research identifies five types of settlement dynamics:  persistently dense areas with increasing use intensity, re-densification of dense areas, persistently sprawled areas, redensification of sprawled areas, and persistently isolated buildings. While urban renewal initiatives, coupled with green space policies, have successfully limited urban expansion, the demand for single-family housing and corresponding zoning regulations pose a challenge impeding the efficient re-densification of sprawled areas crucial for sustainable urban development.

 

Brenner, A.K., Haas, W., Krüger, T., Matej, S., Haberl, H., Schug, F., Wiedenhofer, D., Behnisch, M., Jaeger, J.A. and Pichler, M., 2024. What drives densification and sprawl in cities? A spatially explicit assessment for Vienna, between 1984 and 2018. Land Use Policy, 138, p.107037.