Robin A. Chang

(+49)231 755-6057

(+49)231 755-4787

Office Hours
Wednesdays: 13:30-15:00


Research Gate


Campus Address
Campus Sued
Geschossbau I
Raum 421

Research Interests

  • Planning Cultures: comparative planning, organizational and knowledge management, innovation processes
  • Environmental Planning: resource management, climate change adaptation, adaptive/temporary land use and governance
  • Complexity Sciences: (Actor) Network Theory, Resilience Theory

Doctoral Research

Strategizing the Temporary: A Comparative Analysis of Temporary Use Stabilization in German and Dutch Planning Contexts

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann
External Supervisor: Dr. Dr. Lasse Gerrits (formerly at University of Bamberg)

Abstract available here.

Master Thesis

The Actor-Network Approach: Temporary Use in Planning Practice

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann
Secondary Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Baumgart

Abstract available here.
Thesis available here.

Academic and Professional Experience

Seit 07/2015

PhD Researcher & Lecturer at the Department of European Planning Cultures, Faculty of Spatial Planning of the Technical University of Dortmund

Since 01/2014

Administrative Support for the European Urban Research Association (EURA) Secretariat in Dortmund


Student Research Assistant with Professor Ulrike Weiland at the Institute for Geography at University Leipzig


Community and Land Use Planner at the District of Kitimat in British Columbia, Canada

04/2011 – 01/2012

Planning Assistant at the District of Kitimat in British Columbia, Canada


2013 – 2015

Technical University of Dortmund (GE), Masters in Science of Spatial Planning

2010 – 2011

Academic exchange with the Town & Regional Planning Program at the University of Dundee (UK)

2006 – 2011

University of Northern British Columbia (CA), Bachelor of Environmental Planning

Scholarly & Community Publications

Chang, Robin A. (in press): How Do Scholars Communicate the `Temporary Turn’ in Urban Studies? A Socio-Semiotic Framework. In Urban Planning, pp. 1-13.

Holden, Meg; Chang, Robin (2020): The Ups and Downs of a Sustainable and Climate Resilient Development Path in Canadian Cities. In T. Vinodrai, R. Walker, & M. Markus (Eds.), Canadian Cities in Transition: Understanding Contemporary Urbanism. Sixth Edition. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

Chang, Robin; Kessler, Silja; Lamker, Christian (2020): Resilience Trade-Offs: A Dortmund Tale of Tribulations with Informal Initiatives and Inclusionary Processes. In C. Reicher, F. Bayro-Kaiser, P. Kataikko-Grigoleit, S. Müller, & J. Polivka (Eds.), Urban Integration: From Walled City to Integrated City. Muenster: LIT Verlag.

Holden, Meg; Chang, Robin; and Gunderson, Rebecca (2019): Resilience and Pedagogy. Learning From International Field Studies in Urban Resilience in Canada and Germany. In Cities and the Environment (CATE) 12 (1). Available online at

Chang, Robin A. (2018): Temporary Use & Collective Action: How Urban Planning Practices Contribute to Adaptive Capacity Building for Economic Resilience. In plaNext 7, pp. 82–99. Available online at

Zimmermann, Karsten; Chang, Robin; Putlitz, Andreas (2018): Planning Culture. Research Heuristics and Explanatory Value.
In Thomas W. Sanchez (Ed.): Planning Knowledge and Research. New York, NY: Routledge.

Chang, Robin (2017): How ‘temporary urbanism’ can transform struggling industrial towns. Edited by Catesby Holmes. The Conversation. New York (Politics + Society). Available online at

Chang, R. (2016). CultNature. The Fate of Innovative Renewable Energy Concepts without Community Ownership in Central Germany. In M. Andouin, M. Razaghi, & R. Himsl (Eds.), Governance, Innovation and Performance in Cities Quarterly: Vol. 2. Multi-level Governance in the Urban Context (1st ed., Vol. 2, pp. 8–12). Lausanne, Switzerland: Chair MIR, École Polytechnic Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Chang, R. (2016). Renewably Energized ‘Urban’scapes:: What Now After the Innovations? Available online at

Zimmermann, K., Chang, R., & Putlitz, A. (2016). Gleanings from Governance and Green Infrastructures: A 2015 IGLUS Snapshot in Dortmund. Available online at

Chang, R. (2015). ZwischenInnovation: Actor-Network Theory through Temporary Use in Bremen. In M. Macoun & K. Maier (Eds.), Book of Proceedings. Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility (pp. 3095–3109). Fakulta architektury.

Chang, R. & Leyva, F. (2013). Knowledge Management and Transfer for Microenergy Systems: Crossing Borders Worldwide. Available online &nbsp

Chang, R. & Leyva, F. (2013). Users Perspectives. Available online at

Chang, R. (2011). A Dilemma to Contain: Shipping Containers in Kitimat. Kitimat, BC. Available online at

Chang, R., Negrin, C., & Connell, D. J. (2010). Profile of Economic Development Agencies in Prince George. Prepared for H.B. Lanark and the City of Prince George. Prince George, BC.

Picketts, I., & Chang, R. (2009). Adapting to Climate Change in Prince George (Foundation Research Bulletin No. 1). Victoria, BC.

Conferences & Presentations

Robin Chang, Meg Holden, Lena Aumueller, Florian Eckervogt, Rebecca Gunderson (2018, February ). Researching Urban Resilience. German and Canadian Experiential Insights. 2018 Dortmund Conference: The Great Transformation – Challenge and Opportunity for Spatial Planning. Dortmund, NRW.

Chang, Robin (2017, September). bestendiging van slow urbanism; enkele internationale voorbeelden. (Inter)National Insights. ZOHOCitizens. ZOHOCitizens. Rotterdam, NL.

Chang, Robin (2017, June). Temporary Use. Making sense of Dichotomies between ephemeral tactics and strategic institutions. 2017 EURA Conference: Cities Locked in Networks. European Urban Research Association (EURA). Warsaw, Poland.

Chang, Robin (2017, April). Investigating the Temporary. Means to Institutionalization & Acculturation. 11th AESOP Young Academ-ics Conference: Planning & Entrepreneurship. Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics (AESOP YA). Munich, Germany.

Chang, Robin; Maegdefrau, Nadine (2017, March). Resiliency and You. Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change. Can cities have the wisdom to adopt preventive measures before disaster. Resiliency and YOU 2017 Series. Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions; Pacific Water Research Centre; Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University. SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver, BC.

Babicki, Dominica; Carr, Constance; Chang, Robin; Holden, Meg (2016, July). Toward Better Case Studies. :Understanding what ecourbanism means for urban governance. Track 7a: Local and regional governance. 22nd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference (ISDRS 2016). International Sustainable Development Research Society. Lisbon, Portugal.

Chang, R. (2016, March). Tracing the Temporary: Actor-Network Theory (ANT) Case Studies in Vancouver (CA) & Seattle (US). 46th Annual Urban Affairs Association Conference, San Diego, California.

Chang, R. (2016, February). ’ANT’icipating Complexity in Temporary Use: Two Comparative Case Studies in Bremen & Seattle. 14th Meeting of the AESOP Thematic Group on Planning and Complexity, Bamberg, Bayern, Germany.

Chang, R. (2016, February). Narrating through Actor-Network Theory: Sharing Stories behind Temporary Use. Colloquium for Doctoral Students of the School of Spatial Planning: Winter Semester 2015/2016, Dortmund, NRW.

Chang, R. (2015, September). CultNature: Biomass Landscape Parks. Dortmund Module, Dortmund, NRW.

Chang, R. (2015, July): ZwischenInnovation: Illustrating Actor-Network Theory through Temporary Use. 29th Annual AESOP 2015 Congress. Prague, Czech Republic, July 13–16.

Chang, R. (2015, April). Urban: Interrupted. Temporary Use through Actor-Network Theory. Prof. Dr. Anne Taufen Wessells. 4th Year Urban Ecology, Sustainable Urban Development Program, Tacoma, Washington.

Chang, R. (2014). Community ownership potential for micro-energy networks through CultNature in the Ruhr region of Central Germany. Symposium “Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering untapped resources”, Berkeley, California.

Chang, R. (2010, March). Professional Development for Students. PlanTalk Series, Prince George, BC.

Chang, R. (2010, February). Sustainability through Agriculture in Southwest British Columbia: Perceptions from Diverse Practitioners. Annual Conference, Guelph, Ontario.

Chang, R., & Kosek, L.-A. (2008, October). Local Urban green space: Planned and Unplanned. PlanTalk Series, Prince George, BC.

Chang, R., Carmichael, E., & Dudzik, D. (2008, June). Urban Beautification: From Guerilla Gardening to sustainable Landscaping for Climate Change. Annual Conference, Prince George, BC.

Teaching Responsibilities


2019 Summer Semester:
Temporary Urbanism: Experimenting to plan? Or planning for experimentation?
Energizing Participation: What happens when social processes meet natural and complex adaptive systems?

2018-2019 Winter Semester:
Temporary Land Use: Evolving Practices & Processes

2018 Summer Semester:
Planning Alternatives: Complex Perspectives and Processes

2017-2018 Winter Semester:
Temporary Land Use: Evolving Practices & Processes
Urban Resilience: A Conceptual Breakdown

2016 Summer Semester:
Canuck Zone Seminar: More than forest, igloos, and hockey
2015-2016 Winter Semester:
Tempoary Land Use

Student Projects & Excursions

International Master Student Projects (Mastersprojekt or ‘M-Projekt’)
2020-2021: M 01 – Sustaining & Adapting (Urban) Industrial Lands: A Complex Systems Approach
Advanced Undergraduate Student Projects (Fortgeschrittenenprojekt or ‘F-Projekt’)
2019 – 2020: F 02 – Focus on the False Creek Flats: Transformative Processes for Industrial Innovation and Adaptivity in Vancouver, BC
2016 – 2017: F 01 – Resilient City: Risks, Repercussions and Realities for Resilience Planning in Vancouver



Master Theses

  • 2021: Bredella, Christina. Green Infrastructure as Nature-based Solutions for Climate Adaptation in Urban Planning
  • 2021: Giron, Alejandro C. Define ‘meanwhile’. Developing an understanding of success factors in meanwhile use implementation in the urban regeneration of European Cities

Bachelor Theses


Master Theses

  • 2019: Eyinck, Daniel. Potenziale von Zwischennutzungen bei der Quartiersentwicklung am Beispiel “Barker Barracks” in Paderborn
  • 2019: Pieper, Marvin. The Role of Metaphors and Analogies in Spatial Planning
  • 2018: Hellwig, Vanessa. Innovative Städte in Deutschland. Eine empirische Analyse der Innovationskraft und Erfolgsfaktoren
  • 2018: Mienhardt, Madeleine. Exploring the Contribution of Temporary Urbanism to ustice in Participatory Planning – A Discourse Analysis
  • 2016: Koelbel, Julia. Social Innovation in Urban Planning: Comparative Temporary Use Case Studies in the Netherlands and Germany.

Bachelor Theses

  • 2020: Kaufmann, Elisabeth. Duisburg und sein Hafen im Spannungsfeld zwischen chinesischer Außenpolitik und lokaler Wirtschaftspolitik – Eine Untersuchung des Einflusses der Belt-and-Road-Initiative auf Duisburger Stadtentwicklung
  • 2019: Bergmann, Marinus. Jugendkultur und Graffiti in Dortmund – eine ethnographische Untersuchung
  • 2019: Jorg, Lena Kristen. A Disaster Resilient City? Bristol’s Flood Risk Management Approaches and Adaptive Capacity
  • 2018: Schnittfinke, Tanja. Please mind the gap: Discrepancies in the preception of empowerment through Glasgow’s Resilience Strategy
  • 2017: Stell, Marvin. The Influence of Previous Shocks and Stresses on the Strategy of Urban Resilience
  • 2017: Tiessen, Jan-Simon. Potential of Industrial Brownfields for Urban Development and Environment in the Ruhr Region – Redevelopment of Zeche Waltrop


Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS)
Die Urbanisten e.V.
American Association of Geographers (AAG)