The interdependencies and trade-offs between societal, economic and environmental development goals become increasingly visible, also differences and inequalities between regions catch the eye. Rural, industrial, tourist and urban areas face specific challenges that require appropriate, coordinated and integrative responses. This can include the provision of public infrastructure to enable sustainable mobility and energy provision and to provide access to markets and critical trade partners even for remote regions. It can also mean to speed up energy and climate technology diffusion and innovation policies in order to make regions cleaner and more competitive at the same time. A particularly important issue is to make regions more resilient to all kinds of events, including local climate and environmental impacts, such as droughts and floods, but also to economic challenges, such as deindustrialization or demographic change. Evidence-based and strategically sound policies become increasingly important to manage and facilitate sustainability transformations.
The group conducts interdisciplinary research on regional and environmental matters such as:
- disparities across regions, regional development and cohesion,
- regional convergence and divergence,
- identification and analysis of determinants of regional growth and resilience,
- economic competitiveness, structural change in regional economies,
- economic, environmental and social impacts resulting from policies or investment projects,
- climate mitigation and adaptation measures,
- energy policy and infrastructure questions,
- environmental impact assessments, including non-GHG emissions, land and resource use.
The tools we use are mainly methods of quantitative empirical social science, including applied econometrics, operations research methods, multiregional environmentally extended input-output analysis (see also https://www.ihs.ac.at/research/tools-models-data/models/) or dynamic eco-efficiency analysis.