The Department has been in existence since 01.10.2004 and is an organisational unit of the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Planning. It has a vertical structure consisting of independent Centres, horizontally interlinked by Interdisciplinary Centres. The cooperation and division of work between the Centres and the Interdisciplinary Centres in research, teaching and administration is the key characteristic of this organisational unit. A statute passed by the Departmental Assembly regulates the internal organisation. In external matters the Department is represented by the Head of Department.
The Department has set itself the goal of developing centres of competence in specific planning-related research issues in cooperation with other university institutions, public administrative bodies and private sector organisations. These centres of competence are to achieve visibility and importance both within Austria and beyond the national borders.
The following principles contribute to the achievement of this goal:
• Stronger public positioning and improvement of the visibility of spatial planning as a cross-cutting issue throughout the Department
• Enhancement of the recognised status of the Centres (formerly institutes) in teaching and research and as partners of public and private research commissioners
• Cooperation and division of work between the Centres and Interdisciplinary Centres in research, teaching and administration
• Innovation and enhancement of efficiency through close cooperation between the Centres and Interdisciplinary Centres within the Department
• Support of the Centres and Interdisciplinary Centres and facilitation of their workload through the establishment of common "Service Units“