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Shared spaces of work, housing and public spaces in the example of the City of Graz

Funding authority: Styrian Provincial Government, Department of Science and Research

Funding: 92.285 Euro

Period: 31 months: 09/2018 – 03/2021

Lead: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ermann

PhD Cand.: Malte Höfner, B.Sc. M.Sc.

Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ermann



  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Rolshoven und Assist.-Prof. Dr. Judith Laister (Department of cultural anthropology and european ethnology, University of Graz, AT)
  • Univ.-Assist. Mag. DI. Dr. Manfred Omahna (Institute for City and Building history, Technical University of Graz, AT)
  • Assoc.-Prof. DI. Dr. Franziska Hederer (Institute for Spatial Design, Technical University of Graz, AT)
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Lindner (Department of Human Geography, University of Frankfurt am Main, GER)
  • Assoc.-Prof. Alberto Vanolo, PhD (Department of Culture, Politics and Society, University of Turin)


  • Scan: Agency for market and social analysis (Mag. Rainer Rosegger)
  • StadtLABOR – Innovations for urban quality of life (GmbH) (Mag.a Barbara Hammerl)
  • MANAGERIE e.U. & district project ANNENViERTEL (Association) (Maria Reiner)


Considering demographic and economic transformation processes such as immigration, re-urbanisation, increasing mobility and the effects of digitalisation (Sharing Economy), the research project explores questions of how urban space is shared in everyday life. Qualitative case studies in the three everyday areas of work, housing and public space are looking for structures of acting that create new spatial configurations through "practical sharing” on the one hand and simultaneous practices of spatial "dividing" on the other.

Current state of research

The theoretical and conceptual preparation of the project-related dissertation was at the centre of the work of the first project year. In addition, first explorative field visits were carried out together with Master students in the context of a seminar and a field trip. The results of this student collaboration have been documented in a series of on-site discussions with experts and partners in the form of a digital storytelling at https://raumteilen.atavist.com/.

Further insights into specific places of sharing through current trends in the creative working world are provided by an article on the Graz Coworking Spaces (GeoGraz, issue 67).

The second year of the project focused on empirical field work. Practices and structures of sharing from a public space close to the city centre were contrasted with a residential quarter on the outskirts of the city. The empirical work was based on interviews and observations at the two locations. The focus of the local spatial reference in the city of Graz was on the one hand the Brauquartier Puntigam (old brewery district) as an interface between the two everyday areas of housing and public space. On the other hand, there was an examination in Graz's 'Annenviertel', in which temporary sporting activities and their integration into public parks were investigated. This exploration was carried out using a self-developed approach of a shared empirical research practice and a dialogue-based combination of methods under the keyword of ‘Empirical Encounters’. With the help of this method, previously little or no social interactions in the commonly used public space became visible. Using the example of the two spatially different locations, urban productions of spatial configurations through inclusion and exclusion as well as organised forms of sharing are currently being analysed.

The insights into these ‘microgeographies’ of working, living and public space promise new insights into our spatial configurations of urban societies. The research project aims to help identify different types of practices that contribute to the production of urban spaces. Capturing this polarizing spatial phenomena in order to better understand how society is less affected by the divisiveness, but more efficacious in the unity and bedrock of sharing space(s) commonly.


Publications & Collaboration

Together with the project partner Rainer Rosegger (SCAN), a close cooperation in the context of the European COST network of the Action Group Sharing & Caring has developed over the last year in the topics of Sharing Economy and Platform Economies at national level. This has resulted in a country report (2019) on the 'Collaborative Economy' in Austria (2020, in publication), as well as a book chapter on the Sharing Economy in the tourism industry in Austria (publication: 2021).


Requests for further project information should be addressed to raumteilen(at)uni-graz.at


Secretary of the Institute
Heinrichstraße 36 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5137


Office Hours:
Monday til Friday 10-12 am

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