Topics for Theses

Topics for final theses (Master and Bachelor)

Topic 1:

European macro-regions as a test case for European spatial planning?

Since 2004, European macro-regions have been regarded as a new level of European cross-border spatial development policy. Macro-regions are mainly based on natural boundaries, but also reflect political calculi. The project started with strategies for macro-regions in the Baltic Sea region and along the Danube. The Alpine Region and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region are more recent. More will follow. The aim of the EU strategies for macro-regions is to improve the integration of EU and national spatial support programmes across borders and levels. The work can deal with the approach as a whole or with an individual region.

Theme 2: European infrastructure planning / TEN-T

The EU has been supporting the planning and implementation of major European infrastructure projects for decades. Particularly in the field of transport infrastructure (especially rail and waterways) and cross-border energy infrastructures, the conditions for implementation have presumably improved through various measures (nomination of coordinators, establishment of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, Connecting Europe Facility). In addition, networks of planning bodies and academia have formed along the corridors to support and promote implementation (see example of Code 24 Rotterdam – Genoa). The work should address these developments and consider the TENs in the field of transport and or energy as a laboratory for transnational planning.

Theme 3: Urban laboratories as a means of urban development

For some time now, the European Commission has been promoting the implementation of urban real-life laboratories as a means of sustainable and inclusive urban development. Urban real-life laboratories rely on user-driven innovations and can be seen as a further development of citizen participation. In principle, however, the model comes from product development in the IT and software industry (design thinking). In Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg has endeavoured to strengthen the use of the new instrument in the context of small-scale urban renewal. (Further information)

The work should deal with the principles and prospects for success of the new instrument.