By Design or by Disaster

Wolfgang Andexlinger

Wolfgang Andexlinger is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Urban Design and Spatial Planning at the University Innsbruck, Austria. His work is focussed on the topic of spatial effects in the context of urbanisation processes in the urban fringe and rural areas. Especially he is interested in the question on the impacts of global urbanisation on the regional and the local level in alpine areas. He works at the Faculty of Architecture at the University Innsbruck. In the year 2010 he finished his doctoral thesis on the topic of spatial transformation processes in an alpine tourism destination in the region of North Tyrol, Austria.

11.3.2014 19:00 | Ser F0.01 | BY DESIGN OR BY DISASTER TALKS

Urban Landscape and Landscape Urbanism in the Region of Northtyrol
Alpine urbane Landschaften. Das Beispiel Nordtirol.

The Austrian region of North-Tyrol is famous for its unspoiled nature, magnificent Alpine landscapes and traditional farming. But in fact the agricultural sector today employs no more than 5% of the working population and more than 60% of the local population live below an altitude 800m in the densely populated ‘Inntal’ (Inn Valley). The amorphous structure of the settlement area spreading along the 150 kilometres-long ‘Inntal’ and its adjoining valleys is home to more then 650.000 people. Embedded in the impressive mountain scenery, a new urban landscape is emerging. As in other European regions, the built-up area has grown enormously in the last decades. Despite all political intentions and regional planning regulations, increasing wealth is still accompanied by consumption of land. Explosive growth of the outskirts cannot be avoided anymore. At the same time, a political system built on rather strong municipalities has meant that thinking in terms of spatial planning is confined to the local scale. The result is a chaotic consumption of land that is generating more and more infrastructural and environmental problems in the region. In fact, many decisions about the built environment are taken at municipal level and are quite often initiated by private interests. The province increasingly has to look on as other actors play a part in shaping land use.

The lecture is based on a research project on the meaning of urban landscape in the Innvalley. It describes the emerging forms of the new urban landscape and analyses the changing perception of natural areas in North-Tyrol. Furthermore, an innovative concept, TirolCITY, is presented. This concept describes the region as one continuous network city, in order to inspire for a stronger regional planning in the future.


WALDHEIM, Charles ed. (2006): The Landscape urbanism Reader. Princeton Architectural Press. New York


Interesting questions / statements

“The reading and interpretation of space depends on the particular point of view. Through an intentional shift of the point of view, an apparent distinctive space connotation can transform into a completely new impression. Therefore, the shift enables formerly unknown possibilities of action within space.”