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Project information

Project team

Karin Wiest, Giulia Montanari, Günter Herfert


Bonn University; ILS –Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development

Duration of project


Funded by

German Research Association

Further information

Karin Wiest

Giulia Montanari
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-136

Residential decision-making in polycentric city regions

Against the backdrop of raising mobility, new possibilities of communication and the blurring of spatiotemporal boundaries between different social spheres, the project aimed to examine current tendencies in the development of residential areas and the everyday life of residents.

By analysing spatial activity patterns and residential decision-making of households in German polycentric city regions it was to be shown, how societal change influences the spatial behavior in daily life. The following questions were investigated:

  • How do processes of globalization and the loss of spatiotemporal boundaries between different social spheres influence the spatial orientation of urban residents in daily life? Which new patterns of centrality emerge?
  • Does the housing market in polycentric city regions appear as a fragmented space composed of different segments with strongly specialised location profiles?
  • How do spatial patterns within polycentric city regions and daily activity patterns influence each other?

To answer those questions, a quantitative as well as qualitative survey was conducted in the regions of Cologne/Bonn, the Eastern Ruhr Area and Leipzig/Halle.


The empirical findings revealed a two-phase residential decision-making process. The residents confined themselves to look for housing only within narrow areas – mostly specific parts of the city or region. The polycentric structure of the three regions was hardly perceived as such. In the second phase „hard“ criteria such as cost, transport connections and supply facilities come to the fore. At the same time the findings show that against the backdrop of different societal trends mainly those parts of regions are evaluated as being attractive where daily needs can be covered in narrow areas and only short distances have to be covered.

Haunstein, S. / Montanari, G. / Wiest, K. (2012): Wohnstandortentscheidungen in der Region Halle/Leipzig: Charakteristische Standortprofile und Nachfragergruppen am Beispiel von fünf Quartieren. In: Statistischer Quartalsbericht, Jahrgang: 2012/ II, S. 17-23. Download

Montanari, G. / Wiest, K. / Wörmer, S. (2013): Die Entgrenzung von Arbeit und die Transformation raumbezogener Orientierungen – Eine Annäherung in der Region Halle/Leipzig. Geographica Helvetica, 68, S. 105–116. Abstract online