ISEK⁴ – A Regional Approach to Inner City Development

Hirschler, Petra and Aufhauser, Martin and Brandstetter, Tom and Buchenberger, Malene and Janesch, Theresa and Mauri, Annalisa and Pescatore, Elio and Pühringer, Florian and Tomaselli, Markus and Zech, Sibylla (2024) ISEK⁴ – A Regional Approach to Inner City Development. KEEP ON PLANNING FOR THE REAL WORLD. Climate Change calls for Nature-based Solutions and Smart Technologies. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2024, 29th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 389-398. ISSN 2521-3938

[img] Text (ISEK⁴ – A Regional Approach to Inner City Development)
CORP2024_30.pdf - Published Version

Download (2MB)
Official URL:


Integrated planning approaches provide the toolkit for delivering holistic and interdisciplinary solutions to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century. However, established instruments such as the integrated urban development concept (ISEK, common in Germany) lack the multilevel spatial integration required to tackle these issues effectively. Designed as a pilot project for the development of a new planning instrument, ISEK⁴ addressed two spatial spheres that – despite obvious necessity – are rarely considered together in the existing planning toolkit: the inner city and the functional region. Within eight months, integrated urban development concepts for the inner cities of Bruneck (South Tyrol), Hermagor-Pressegger See (Upper Carinthia), Lienz (East Tyrol), and Spittal an der Drau (Upper Carinthia) were developed along with a regional symbiosis of the SOUTH ALPINE SPACE, demonstrating and using synergies between the inner cities as anchor points of public life in the region. The ISEK⁴ project was based on a transdisciplinary planning approach and developed together with local steering groups from the cities. During the project, knowledge and needs were collected, recorded, and spatially contextualized in different workshop settings. In the work process, a mixed methods approach comprised of qualitative (GIS accessibility analyses, heat mapping) and qualitative (visioneering, storytelling, document analysis, design thinking lab, etc.) planning and research methods was employed. The central outcome of the ISEK⁴ project was a joint regional vision of the future, in both which local potentials and characteristics as well as regional strategies for action are represented. Alongside a geographically warped future image of the region, a vision story was used to outline the key areas of joint action. The ISEK⁴ concept also contains four city-specific sections (local ISEKs) drawing upon the so-called regional guiding principles, which are combined in one joint document. The key innovation of the project was the simultaneous consideration of four municipal city centres within a regional framework. It was shown that through the symbiosis of multiple concepts, activities in the field of inner-city development can be bundeled strategically and, in many cases, also implemented together. This paper focuses on the work process, the lessons learned and the transferability of the project approach, as well as selected results. A special focus will be on the methodological aspects of the storytelling method that was employed in the design of the regional and local future visions for ISEK⁴.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Regional Symbiosis, Inner Cities, Urban Development, Alpine Space, Integrated Planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2024 07:38
Last Modified: 10 May 2024 09:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item