Products of interdisciplinary research and works which, on the basis of specific projects or in general, discuss the conditions for interdisciplinary collaboration, possibilities and problems of interdisciplinary work, in particular within Environmental History.

Vienna is an exceptional river city because it is situated at the upper section of the Danube. Upper river sections are characterized by steep slopes, swift currents and high sediment dynamics, creating a dangerous neighbourhood for humans and their infrastructure. Between 1715 and 1783 alone, newspapers in the United Kingdom reported 14 times on Viennese bridges over the Danube damaged by ice floes and the ensuing floods, the situation obviously being bad enough to be newsworthy.

The Danube region (DR) disposes of a rich natural and cultural heritage. Recent projects (e.g. Danube:Future) stress its potential for sustainable development. However, cooperation between local and regional knowledge centers to investigate the role of such heritage as an asset of identity and sustainable development as well as interaction with stakeholders remains weak. More focused commitment of knowledge centres incl. joint research and publication as strategic target of EUSDR is needed.  

Sustainable river basin management depends on knowledge, skills and education. The DANCERS project set out to identify feasible options for achieving education for sustainable water management across the Danube river basin, and its integration with broader education and economic development.

Based on detailed historical surveys from 1812, the natural riverine landscape of a 10.25 km-long Danube River reach in the Austrian Machland region prior to channelisation is analysed. Anthropogenically induced changes of fluvial dynamics, hydrological connectivity and aquatic habitat composition are discussed, comparing the situations following channelisation (1925) and flow regulation (1991).

Based on microhabitat-related macroinvertebrate samples at the Morava and Danube Rivers, this paper analyses the population densities of invasive neozoan species, mainly Amphipods from the Black Sea. The results at the Morava River show that areas covered with rip-rap serve as main habitats of these elements which significantly decrease the abundance of indigenous invertebrates.

Back in 1973, urban planners coined the term "wicked problems". The Danube River Basin abounds with such problems, in fact, sustainability issues tend to be wicked. Transdisciplinary research involving stakeholders has been one of the solutions identified to deal with such problems. The paper discusses merits and challenges of such research.



2014 DIAnet International School is a Project linked to the Danube:Future framework. Danube:Future, as a new concept of a long-term Flagship project, is a strategic way for building capacities in the Danube Region. This preface will allow a better understanding of the DIAnet International Schools, training schools for young researchers at the beginning of their careers.

Sustainable Development (SD) in the Danube River Basin needs an Interdisciplinary approach. Researchers must be able to identify, analyse and take into account the legacies of the past and the long history of human interactions with the environment in this densely inhabited region. This introductory contribution to DIANET 2013 maps the 7 pillars of the EU strategy for the Danube onto the ‘magic triangle’ of SD. Finding solutions requires understanding the present situation through the study of socio-natural sites.