Designing the future - a reflection of a transdisciplinary case study in Austria

Tanja Tötzer, Sabine Sedlacek, Markus Knoflacher

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


The paper presents a transdisciplinary case study which aimed to encourage a vital regional process for building more sustainable structures and regional networks in the future. The case study looks at the industrial city of Steyr which is located in a highly dynamic region in Upper Austria and has to compete with other regional industrial centres and on the global market with internationally acting companies in the automotive sector. For finding local strategies to cope with globally induced pressures and changes several foresight techniques and transdisciplinary approaches have been applied such as interviews, photo elicitation, workshops and scenario building. The transdisciplinary case study is reflected by exploring three major research questions: first, how does transdisciplinarity work in practice, second, what are the benefits and limitations of transdisciplinary research in regional foresight processes and third, how can transdisciplinary research contribute to initiating a long-term process for building sustainable networks and structures in the region. Some answers can be given from the empirical example of Steyr. The case study shows that particularly in regions with a long industrial history and tradition and where existing paradigms cannot easily be overcome, a transdisciplinary procedure provides clear advantages over sole expert solutions. Transdisciplinarity can be the key to get through to the local actors, to develop perfectly fitting strategies for the region and to initiate joint learning and in an ideal situation a long-term change process. New ideas, structures and networks are established which are essential for improving the long-term development of a region.
Seiten (von - bis)840-852
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2011

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Energy
  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


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