Demographic and Socio-Economic Change
Research Field I investigates social and economic change and associated adaptations of settlement structures, economic configurations and infrastructure from integrative planning perspectives. With demographic transformation, including the sub-processes of aging, shrinking and internationalisation, social structures and value systems are also changing.
Such developments correspond with complex socio-economic transformations. These include, on the one hand, socio-cultural changes in society, such as the pluralisation of lifestyles, and new gender relations and family models. On the other hand, the economic world and working environment are undergoing a sustained process of transformation involving flexibilisation and globalisation of methods of production and structural change towards a service and knowledge society. Alternative economic concepts, like post-growth approaches, are being put to the test, particularly regarding planning control options to ensure social, economic and ecological sustainability. The same is true for the area of new information and communication technologies, which with comprehensive digitalisation and innovative production methods are fundamentally changing economic and social structures.
Research Field I is increasingly concerned with large and small-scale socio-economic inequalities that emerge, for instance, due to processes of socio-spatial segregation, exclusion and polarisation. Multiple disadvantage is an especial problem in this context, as economically disadvantaged population groups often live in areas characterised by social deprivation, deficits in urban fabric and high levels of environmental pollution. These inequalities and disadvantages are problematic for those affected and for society as a whole, not only in terms of socio-spatial justice but also with regard to social cohesion and future economic development.
In Research Field I, the initial spatial conditions and impacts of processes of demographic and socio-economic transformation are investigated and new planning approaches, control options and impacts are analysed. Normative points of reference for the analysis of spatial developments and planning approaches are provided by the notions of equivalent living conditions, public services, and land-use that caters for the common good.