Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 237–260 | Cite as

Spatial Analysis of the Urban-to-Rural Migration Determinants in the Viennese Metropolitan Area. A Transition from Suburbia to Postsuburbia?

  • Marco Helbich
  • Michael Leitner


Currently urban spatial structures are affected by pervasive developments, which provoke a diversity and reorganization of population. This article examines the driving forces that cause urban-to-rural migration of population in the Austrian metropolitan area of Vienna using exploratory spatial analysis methods over the time period from 2001 to 2006. To model the qualitative changes between sub- and postsuburban processes, fuzzy sets are applied as variables. Because of significant concentration of high urban-to-rural migration along the main transportation corridors, a geographically weighted regression approach is used to determine whether suburban or postsuburban determinants are essential to predict urban-to-rural migration. The results show that the spatial variation of urban-to-rural migration can be statistically best modeled by using the two covariates “good accessibility to the core city by motorized individual transport” and a “high land price index”. The article argues that this represents the prominence of classical hard location factors, which are interpreted as typical suburban. Accordingly, the metropolitan area is—concerning urban-to-rural migration—still under the influence of suburban processes.


Suburbanization Postsuburbanization Urban-to-rural migration Driving forces Geographically weighted regression Vienna (Austria) 



This work was supported by an Austrian Academy of Sciences grant. We would like to thank Heinz Fassmann and Josef Strobl for their valuable comments. We would also like to acknowledge the constructive comments and feedback from the reviewers. This paper was written during an academic leave of the first author in the Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, USA during fall semester 2008.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Urban and Regional ResearchAustrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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