In Vienna, globalisation has restructured urban society in terms of de-industrialisation, occupational change, migration and unemployment. This paper focuses on the restructuring of urban society and the related neighbourhood changes in Vienna from 1971 to 2001. The study applies social area analysis and factorial ecology to identify the underlying dimensions in the formation of socio-spatial patterns and neighbourhood change through a cross-sectional analysis. The analysis does not directly reveal a trend towards spatial polarisation but rather supports the concept of emerging structural differentiations in a ‘quartered city’. Social housing policies on entitlements and the city's withdrawal as a housing developer just as it was embarking on subsidised urban renewal have contributed to an accentuation of structural differences. Extending the analysis to the Vienna metropolitan region indicates that suburbanisation is reinforcing a socio-spatial polarisation within the city proper, exacerbated by the territorial fragmentation of social housing policies between the city and its suburban region.