Seven Theses on Urban Quality: Public Space as Living Space
Heidi Dumreicher and Bettina Kolb
By formulating the ,Seven Theses on Town and City Quality' Oikodrom claims to introduce new perspectives into scientific discourse on sustainability. The seven theses are the result of extensive empiric work at the interface of space and socio-economic research - a result achieved by the method of objective hermeneutics.
The way in which public and private space is used, organized and furnished expresses societal coherence as well as individual meaningfulness. The organization, reformulation and the shaping of public space is understood as an expression of the influence and interaction of individuals and societal groups. The physical organisation of public space is understood as the counter-form of the life that is lead in that space. Both factors reciprocally influence one another in an iterative process and in a mutual relationship.
Thesis 1: Future
Sustainability research deals with the perspective of future ways of life and considers "to protect and to maintain" as basic values.
Thesis 2: Causality
Sustainability research has a larger view than the cause-effect-theorem of natural sciences and sets the context of a more complex notion of reality based understanding.
Thesis 3: Idyllic Nature, Demiurgical Man
The concept of nature as whole is an underlying concept in sustainability research as well as the concept of "man as a creating individual".
Thesis 4: Spaces of Possibilities ("Möglichkeitsräume")
Sustainability research is based on the idea that man/woman disposes of spaces of possibilities for his or her actions; but it tends to overestimate and overrate the possibilities of decision making by the singular individual and underestimates the societal context and the constraints of value systems, of culture and politics.
Thesis 5: Localisation ("Verortung")
Sustainability is related to place and space and shows conflicts of usage by the example of common living places.
Thesis 6: Complexity
The integrative approach of sustainability research creates a compatible research methodology: interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and thereby team research.
Thesis 7: New Research Questions
Sustainability research takes up new research fields: this research reveals latent aspects that have not yet been fully explored and are therefore a challenge for science.
The study "From Information to Knowledge" was carried out by Oikodrom as part of the research programme "Sustainable development of Austrian landscapes and regions" which is a cooperative initiative of the Austrian federal government, the state governments and several municipalities, initiated and coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Science. ALR works out the scientific basis for a sustainable development of the Austrian landscape and regions and manages fields of research from biodiversity and quality of life, to genesis and transformation of (cultural) landscapes and rural development.
Bibliography: Dumreicher, Heidi (Hg.): Von der Information zum Wissen, Die Forschungslandschaft der Nachhaltigkeit aus bibliometrischer und hermeneutischer Sicht, Das Beispiel österreichischer Kulturlandschaftsforschung, Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur, Wien 2005, ISBN 3-85224-228,9