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

Featured post

Neuerscheinung/ New Publication: HANDBOOK OF European Policies

Neuerscheinung/ New Publication: HANDBOOK OF European Policies

Edited by Hubert Heinelt, Institute for Political Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt and Sybille Münch, Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University, Germany

This definitive Handbook addresses the current lack of research into European policymaking and development using an interpretive perspective. Questioning areas that mainstream approaches tend to neglect, contributors target the ways in which ideas, arguments and discourses shape policies in the institutional context of the EU. (further information)





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“Conversational Cuts“ on European planning systems

Conversational Cuts on European planning systems

Patricia Feiertag, 29 Feb, 2018

How are planning systems in different European countries evolving? Do they show convergent or divergent dynamics? And what do these differential dynamics mean for existing typologies or families of planning traditions?

During the 2018 Dortmund Conference (5th-6th February at TU Dortmund), a session on “European Perspectives” chaired by Prof. Karsten Zimmermann and Prof. Maros Finka took place, including contributions about:

  • the recent changes in Swiss Planning Legislation (Andreas Hengstermann, Universität Bern),
  • Macro-regions in the Baltic Sea, Danube and Alps (Jens Kurnol, BBSR),
  • new Planning approaches in the Netherlands (Dr Sebastian Dembski, University of Liverpool) and
  • Metropolitan cooperation in France (Patricia Feiertag, TU Dortmund).

The core aspect of the session’s debate was the current development of planning systems.

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Conversational Cuts featuring Bish Sanyal from MIT

Conversational Cuts featuring Bish Sanyal from MIT

Robin Chang, 22 Jan, 2018

What does planning culture (PC) mean? How does it influence our way of sense-making within our communities and also beyond our borders? With an interest to extend the discussion on comparative planning cultures, we reached out to our North American counterpart last year – Bish Sanyal – to connect, and together, consider the values and practicalities which scholars and professionals might encounter through planning culture. This discussion informed preparations of our chapter on Planning Culture: Research Heuristics and Explanatory Value in Planning Knowledge and Research edited by Thomas W. Sanchez.

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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 Infrastrukturplanung – TEN-T
Die im Rahmen der Transeuropäischen Verkehrsnetze geplanten und gebauten großen Infrastrukturvorhaben (Gotthard Basistunnel, Brenner Basistunnel, Ostsee-Tunnelverbindung im Baltikum/Finnland) deuten einen Zeitenwechsel im Bereich der TEN-T Planung an. Die Arbeit soll sich mit den veränderten Bedingungen und neuen Herangehensweisen im Bereich der europäischen Korridorplanungen befassen.


Witte, P.A. (2014) The Corridor Chronicles. Integrated perspectives on European transport corridor development, Utrecht University Repository


Thema 2:

Suburbanisierug der Armut
Insbesondere in den USA wird seit einiger Zeit über einen Trend hin zur Suburbanisierug der Armut diskutiert. Waren die suburbanen Gemeinden einst der bevorzugte Lebensraum der Mittelklasse, so hat die Immobilienkrise viele Hausbesitzer in finanzielle Schwierigkeiten gebracht. Zudem zeigen zahlreiche Suburbs Verfallserscheinungen und werden zum Ziel von Abwanderungen von Gruppen in prekäre Einkommenssituation, die sich steigende Lebenshaltungskosten in der Kernstadt nicht mehr leisten können oder wollen. Für Deutschland ist dieser Trend erkennbar, aber noch nicht detailliert untersucht.

Literatur zum Einstieg:

Hochstenbach, C., Musterd, S. 2017: Gentrification and the suburbanization of poverty: changing urban geographies through boom and bust periods, Urban Geography, DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1276718
Kneebone, E; Garr, E. 2010: The Suburbanization of Poverty: Trends in Metropolitan America, 2000 to 2008. Brookings Metropolitan Opportunity Series. Washington.


Thema 3:

Governance der Mobilität in Stadtregionen
Das vorgeschlagene Thema bietet Möglichkeiten für verschiedene Abschlussarbeiten:
Infrastrukturplanung, z.B. RRX im Ruhrgebiet im Vergleich mit dem Südflügel der Randstad (Randstad Railproject). Transit oriented development / TOD
Governance der Mobilität: der Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr im Vergleich mit der Region Stuttgart und der Region Frankfurt/Rhein-Main (RMV)


Giezen, M., Bertolini, L., & Salet, W. (2014). The RandstadRail project: a case study in decision-making strategies under uncertainty. Planning Theory & Practice, 15(3), 414-418. DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2014.935084
Switzer, A. W., Bertolini, L., & Grin, J. (2013). Transitions of mobility systems in urban regions: a heuristic framework. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 15(2), 141-160. DOI: 10.1080/1523908X.2012.746182
Gerrits, Lasse (2017): Understanding Collective Decision Making : A Fitness Landscape Model Approach. Edward Elgar.
Bertolini, L. (2017) Planning the Mobile Metropolis: Transport for People, Places and the Planet. Palgrave.
Beckmann, Fabian (2015): Der Öffentliche Personennahverkehr im Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr, in: Bogumil, J./ Heinze, Rolf G. 2015: Auf dem Weg zur Wissenschaftsregion Ruhr. Regionale Kooperationen als Strategie. Essen.


Thema 4:

Post-suburban politics and planning
Durch die Diskussion zu jüngeren Entwicklungen im post-suburbanen sind die Planungs- und Wachstumsstrategien kleinerer Städte und Gemeinden um Umland von Großstädten verstärkt in den Fokus geraten. Gleichwohl wissen wir wenig über diese Strategien und kommunalpolitischen Schwerpunktsetzungen. Die Diskussion zu Governance und Planung in Metropolregionen hat sich zumeist mit der Dominanz der Kernstädte befasst. Die Arbeit soll sich anhand spezifischer Fallbeispiele (z.B. Langen in der Region Frankfurt/Rhein-Main oder Sindelfingen in der Region Stuttgart) mit der Thematik auseinandersetzen und Grundzüge eines Typs post-suburbaner Wachstumsstrategien identifizieren.


Phelps, N.A., Parsons, N., Ballas, D. and Dowling, A. 2006: Post-suburban Europe: Planning and Politics at the Margins of Europe’s Capital Cities. Palgrave-MacMillan, Basingstoke.
Phelps, N. A. 2015: Sequel to Suburbia. Glimpses of America’s Post-Suburban Future. MIT Press.
Phelps, N. A.; Wood, A. M. 2011: The new post-suburban politics? Urban Studies, vol. 48, 12, 2591-2610
Polivka, J. 2016: Maturity, Resilience & Lifecycles in Suburban Residential Areas. City@Region, Dortmund.
Savini, F. 2014: What Happens to the Urban Periphery? The Political Tensions of Postindustrial Redevelopment in Milan, Urban Affairs Review, vol. 50, 2, 180-205.
Savini, F., Majoor, S. & Salet, W. 2015: Urban peripheries: reflecting on politics and projects in Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris. Environment and planning C: Government & policy, 33 (3), 457-474



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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