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How do we live in the city? This seemingly mundane question is at the heart of urbanHEAP's complex activities. We deal with the everyday togetherness, coexistence and opposition of life in the city - a life characterized by the diversity of people, their desires, realities and relationalities. We work along the two guiding questions of social geography, namely 'how do societies organize themselves in urban space?' and 'what roles do spatial conditions play for the functioning of an urban society?’. And we work on perspectives of sustainable urban life beyond the affirmative on the basis of different thematic focuses.

Concrete research topics include micro-publics and movement initiatives as well as resource and transformation politics; green and open spaces as well as mobility politics; food, waste and art as well as so-called nature-based solutions. Our activities are strictly informed by social theory and address urban strategies between:

  • Social romanticism & radical democracy,
  • Green economy & environmental justice,
  • Digital gap & welfare gap,
  • Modernization-optimism & technology sovereignty,
  • Power & apathy,
  • Social-ecological society & biosocial embodiment

Our methodological expertise lies in the application of qualitative and mixed-methods research designs, including in particular urban ethnography and discourse analysis methods, visual and textual approaches, as well as the intersection of digital and analogue research materials.



Sabine Schwarzl

Institut für Geographie und Raumforschung

Heinrichstr. 18 / 3
A-8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5135

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