Project summary

People can be characterised from many aspects, but one can tell more than most of the other - where they live. This project focuses on the interplay between the two aspects of cities - for one, their population and for the other, their built-up form - to understand the housing patterns in the countries of Central Europe and the ability of different socio-economic groups of population to inhabit them. Both location and a type of urban development play a significant role in their lifestyle choices and accessibility to basic services and amenities or dependency on individual transportation when moving around. However, not everyone is equally able to choose where to settle. People always migrated either within cities, or regions and countries, and housing preference played a significant role. Yet, the housing affordability crisis intensifies the pressure and limits the set of choices for many. This project maps how this pressure affects the equality of access to the neighbourhood-level housing types within the regions of Central Europe (limited to Austria, Czechia, Germany, Poland, Slovakia).

Methodologically, the project will use a combination of a computational social science based on the recent national censuses combined with additional open data sources, and morphological analysis of the built environment using methods known as urban morphometrics. The former provides a quantitative insight into society's structure, while the latter quantifies the environment and describes neighbourhood-level housing types from a data-driven built-form typology. This combination allows for quantitative analysis of the relationship between people and places, leading to the assessment of (in)equality of access to the desired place to live and the capability of different groups to make such a choice.

This project will take the form of an open, data-driven research following the techniques of spatial data science with links to scientific software development (in Python).

Applicants should have a degree in geography, demography, social science, urban sciences (urban studies, planning, architecture) or other relevant fields. Inclination towards data science and geoinformatics is expected. Experience with programming languages for data science is a benefit but not a strict requirement.

The salary for the position starts at 1140 EUR per month.

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