This is the website of the Department of European Planning Cultures at the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany.

The site provides you with all the information around our research, teaching, team, as well as current news and other useful information.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


Current Information

Researching Urban Resilience & Planning II

Resonance of Urban Resilience in the Ruhr Region

Summary Post  by Robin Chang

Following up on an excursion and workshop in March 2017 with members from F01 Project Resilient Cities: Risks, repercussions and Realities for Resilience Planning in Metro Vancouver, a second workshop was hosted on campus from June 26th to 27th. In a format that mirrored the initial visit to Canada, this second workshop received visitors from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and served as the bookend to a cross-cultural exchange between German and Canadian partners.

While the Canadian guests designed their own two-week excursion to learn about urban climate resilience in the Rhein-Ruhr region, TU Dortmund students along with Nadine Maegdefrau from IRPUD and myself coordinated a concluding event to learn from local and regional experts about the relevance of resilience. A social barbecue concluded the event and also celebrated Canada Day which with a guest lecture from another Canuck – Dr. Bryon Miller from the University of Calgary. The Canadian finally was hosted in cooperation with Dr. Samuel Moessner (University of Münster), Dr. Ludger Basten (TU Dortmund) and sponsored by the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS).

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Neuerscheinung: International Society and Sustainable Development Goals

Neuerscheinung/ New Publication: International Society and Sustainable Development Goals

Edited by Carlos R. Fernández Liesa, Cástor Miguel Díaz Barrado, Paloma Durán y Lalaguna.

The Chair on Development and Poverty Eradication aims at promoting the engagement of universities around the world in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through training, advocacy and research. It was established by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
Fund (SDG-F) As part of the Chair’s work, this book introduces an overall view of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Authors have conducted specific studies on each of the SDGs, as well as introduction and conclusions, which could be extremely useful to readers. The international community needs to make an authentic effort to achieve the SDGs. To accomplish this task, academic studies should play a key role. By researching and studying the SDGs, in all their different dimensions, academia can contribute to inform policy making for eradicating poverty and ensuring the welfare of everyone, leaving no one behind.

These are the main finalities of this book. The analysis and recommendations of this report do not necessarily reflect the official views of the SDG Fund Secretariat, the United Nations or its Member States.

Neuerscheinung von Cities as Political Objects- New Publication

Neuerscheinung/ New Publication: Cities as Political Objects

Historical Evolution, Analytical Categorisations and Institutional Challenges of Metropolitanisation

Edited by Alistair Cole, Professor of Comparative Politics and Renaud Payre, Professor of Political Science, Sciences Po Lyon, France

Focusing on the city’s role as the nexus for new forms of relationships between politics, economics and society, this fascinating book views the city as a political phenomena. Its chapters unravel the city’s plural histories, contested political, legal and administrative boundaries, and its policy-making capacity in the context of multi-level and market pressures. (further information)

Smart cities MOOC

Smart cities MOOC

Smart Cities is a Massive Open Online Course that offers an introduction to the principles of management of smart urban infrastructure systems. It addresses the main challenges in management of Smart Cities during the transition and operation phases in the life-cycle of a Smart City. The course is structured into 5 blocks. In the first three blocks, general principles of management of Smart Urban infrastructures are covered. The last two blocks of the course focus on the management of Smart Urban Energy and Smart Urban Transportation systems as concrete cases. (further information)

Themen für Abschlussarbeiten (Master und Bachelor)

Themen für Abschlussarbeiten (Master und Bachelor)

Thema 1: Europäische Makroregionen als Testfall europäischer Raumplanung?

Seit 2004 gelten die europäischen Makroregionen als neue Ebene europäischer grenzüberschreitender Raumentwicklungspolitik. Makroregionen basieren hauptsächlich auf naturräumlichen Abgrenzungen, die allerdings ebenfalls politische Kalküle widerspiegeln. Begonnen wurde mit den Strategien für Makroregionen im Ostseeraum und entlang der Donau. Die Alpenregion und die EU Strategie für Adriatic and Ionian Region sind jüngeren Datums. Weitere werden folgen. Ziel der EU Strategien für Makroregionen ist es, räumliche Förderprogramme der EU und der Mitgliedstaaten über Grenzen und Ebenen besser zu verzahnen. Die Arbeit kann sich mit dem Ansatz insgesamt oder einer einzelnen Region beschäftigen.

Thema 2: Europäische Infrastrukturplanung / TEN-T

Seit Jahrzehnten unterstützt die EU die Planung und Umsetzung großer europäischer Infrastrukturvorhaben. Insbesondere im Bereich der Verkehrsinfrastrukturen (insbesondere Schienen- und Wasserwege) und der grenzüberschreitenden Energieinfrastrukturen haben sich die Voraussetzungen für die Umsetzung durch verschiedene Maßnahmen mutmaßlich verbessert (Benennung von Koordinatoren, Einrichtung der Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, Connecting Europe Facility). Zudem haben sich entlang der Korridore Netzwerke aus Planungsträgern und Wissenschaft gebildet, die die Umsetzung begleiten und befördern (siehe Beispiel Code 24 Rotterdam – Genua). Die Arbeit soll sich mit diesen Entwicklungen auseinandersetzen und die TEN im Bereich Verkehr und oder Energie als Labor transnationaler Planung betrachten.

Thema 3: Urbane Reallabore als Mittel der Stadtentwicklung

Die Europäische Kommission forciert seit einiger Zeit die Umsetzung Urbaner Reallabore als Mittel einer nachhaltigen und inklusiven Stadtentwicklung. Urbane Reallabore setzen auf nutzergetriebene Innovationen und können als Fortentwicklung der Bürgerbeteiligung gesehen werden. Grundsätzlich stammt das Modell aber aus der Produktentwicklung der IT- und Softwarebranche (Design-Thinking). In Deutschland hat sich das Land Baden-Württemberg um die verstärkte Anwendung des neuen Instruments im Kontext der kleinräumigen Stadterneuerung bemüht. (Weitere Informationen)

Die Arbeit soll sich mit den Prinzipien und Erfolgsaussichten des neuen Instruments beschäftigen.

Researching Urban Resilience & Planning

Researching Resilient Cities in Metro Vancouver

Summary Post  by Robin Chang

Deutsche Zusammenfassung ist hier verfügbar.

From March 6th to 20th, members from F01 Project Resilient Cities: Risks, repercussions and Realities for Resilience Planning in Metro Vancouver participated in a two-week excursion and two-day workshop involving both academic and cultural exchange with Canadian experts and also students. Through this experience, participants developed insights into Canadian approaches to resilience, understood the diverse range of perspectives, and also collected information relevant to their advanced bachelor research.

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Urban Resilience & Planning

Urban Resilience: A Trilateral Start

Summary Post  by Robin Chang

From February 16th to 18th, colleagues from the Department of Urban Design and Land Use Planning convened a network symposium on Water Resilient Urban and Regional Development in New York. This event provided opportunities to present applied research projects from around the world and build relations for curriculum, practice, and research. I had the generous opportunity to attend with Nadine Maegdefrau from the Institute of Spatial Planning as collaborators.

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Planning and Governing the Metropolis

International Working Group of ARL starts in December

Different processes of rescaling (up, down, trans-scaling) in the EU countries have multi-faceted impact to the metropolitan governance and planning institutions. There is a variety of institutional forms, planning practices and episodes manifested and experimented recently in the metropolitan regions of Europe, but there is a gap of knowledge about these structures and processes – both in academia and practice (policy makers, planers, politicians).

Despite a diversity of books produced in the last few years on metropolitan governance issues presenting collections of case studies, there is no systematic comparison of factors that influence the institutional form of metropolitan governance, the success factors and the performance of metropolitan governance and especially the role of metropolitan planning.

Nowadays, a distinct set of problems and challenges for the metropolitan planning emerge. Included in these emerging hurdles are: non-regulated competition among municipalities to attract new investments, new fragmentations and contradictions under fiscal and economic crisis, unprecedented external episodes, new environmental and demographic problems, uncontrolled migration and refugees flows, increased inequalities, social and territorial segregation, and new poverty in the cities. All these challenges reformulate new requirements for planners and their planning agendas at different scales.

In the past, academics and planning practitioners gave priorities to the issues of entrepreneurship, competition, performance of metropolitan institutions, “market”-led planning, while they undermined the issues of redistribution, local democracy, social justice, and environmental challenges (green infrastructure). Consequently, open questions as to how and whether these new challenges and problems should be addressed by metropolitan planning practices and institutions remain. A critical appraisal is required which will not only focus on criteria of performance, innovation and efficiency, but also on criteria of democracy, transparency, social justice and social cohesion.

Aims and research questions of the International Working Group

  1. Institutions

How can we explain the variety of forms of metropolitan institutions among the EU countries (or even in the same country) and how to interpret their transformations across time? What are the reasons for change, from consolidated forms to abolishment of metropolitan institutions and then again to resurgence of new forms, e.g. London, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Manchester etc.?

How do metropolitan planning institutions deal with the new challenges and problems?

  1. Actors

How important are actor constellations in the rescaling processes? Do they influence transformations and/or continuities of metropolitan governance and planning?

How are actor’s strategies at different scales reconstructing? How are horizontal and vertical power relations transforming? E. g. between national spatial strategies for metropolitan regions and local actor strategies in the metropolitan areas (juxtaposed or negotiated).

  1. Practices/Discourses/ Cultures

How important is the local context? How important are beliefs, concepts/ideas, frames, narratives and knowledge for the public discourse and the metropolitan governance and planning practices?

How is a prevailing/ hegemonic narrative constructed from different and juxtaposed planning practices in metropolitan areas?

Neuerscheinung zu europäischer Kohäsionspolitik – New book European Cohesion Policy 2

Neuerscheinung zu europäischer Kohäsionspolitik – New Publication: European Cohesion Policy


Editied by Simona Piattoni, Professor of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Italy and Laura Polverari, Senior Research Fellow, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, UK

This Handbook covers all major aspects of EU Cohesion policy, one of the most significant areas of intervention of the European Union. Over five parts, It discusses this policy’s history and governing principles; the theoretical approaches from which it can be assessed; the inter-institutional and multi-level dynamics that it tends to elicit; its practical implementation and impact on EU member states; its interactions with other EU policies and strategies; and the cognitive maps and narratives with which it can be associated. An absolute must for all students of the EU.