From Planning for Rural Development to Planning for Deliberation

Reflecting the Mehr als Wohnen 4.0 Project


  • Eva Schwab TU Graz, Institute of Urbanism



regional, scale, sphere of influence, participation, rural exodus


This article is a twofold reflection. It narrates the reflections going on during the first phase of a project within the wider context of shrinkage and pro-growth regional planning and in the course shows the little shifts in action and adjustments of attention that happened in consequence. It presents a tailored participatory approach that links the local and the regional scale and, in doing so, highlights the challenges of working within fixed geographical and regulatory boundaries as well as within established planning goals and strategies. Based on these experiences surrounding the development of a regional vision for “more than housing” in eastern upper Styria, the article offers a critical analysis on the reach of the project.

Author Biography

Eva Schwab, TU Graz, Institute of Urbanism

Eva Schwab trained as a landscape architect in Vienna and Barcelona, and after some years in practice developed a career in research - focusing on the politics of public space production and use, spatial justice and urban development, especially at the urban periphery. Her doctorate won both the Landscape Research Dissertation Prize and the Talent Award of the City of Vienna in 2016. She has been teaching and researching in interdisciplinary and international teams at TU Wien, BOKU Wien, Uni Kassel and FH Nürtingen. She joined TU Graz in 2018, where she is deputy head of the institute of urbanism and is responsible for the institute’s research agendas. Recently, she co-edited the books Basics of Urbanism and Territorial Justice (GAM 15).


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