Foto und Logo: European Creative Hubs Network Association
12. February | 2021 | News

Coworking spaces, FabLabs and Maker Spaces have so far been predominantly found in large cities. But such "collaborative workspaces" are increasingly being established in rural areas, where they provide access to digital technologies and other work resources. A new EU-funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) is now studying the effects of such places. The IRS is involved with its research department "Dynamics of Economic Spaces". more info

10. February | 2021 | News

The IRS welcomes Expressions of Interest of excellent postdoctoral researchers for Horizon Europe MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships. The successful candidate will apply jointly with a supervisor from IRS to the European Commission Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. The candidate will receive dedicated support from a senior researcher, as well as IRS Research Management and Communication office to develop their proposal and application for submission to the European Commission by 15th of September 2021 more info

26. November | 2020

The Finnish city of Turku is considered a pioneer in urban climate policy. It wants to be climate-neutral by 2029. On behalf of the city and in cooperation with the Åbo Akademi University, the IRS is investigating in the project "Matching Forerunner Cities" (MaFoCi) what Turku can learn from similarly positioned cities in the North and Baltic Sea region in terms of climate protection, and what the cities can learn from each other. Now the final workshop of the project took place. The publication of results is expected in early 2021. more info

10. November | 2020

With the corona pandemic at the latest, the importance of digital tools, the corresponding technical equipment and the ability to handle them has increased, also in rural areas. However, new solution models for life in rural areas that smart applications could enable have been experiencing for some time. A new special issue in the journal "Spatial research and Planning" aims to discuss and systematise the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation in rural areas. more info

28. September | 2020

For a long time, rural areas were considered culturally detached and economically unattractive, but this bad image is losing its force. Research in the spatial and social sciences is now increasingly interested in the innovative power of rural areas and rural entrepreneurship. The EU project RurAction looked at social enterprises in rural areas and the social innovations they generate to address typical rural problems. An international web conference and a web policy roundtable held in September of 2020 discussed new scientific findings as well as recommendations for policy makers and practitioners on the ground. more info

Hauptgebäude der Dubai International Academic City. Foto: Tim Rottleb
01. September | 2020

Increasingly, universities are offering teaching not only on their home campus or online, but also in international branch locations. These "Offshore Campuses" are often designed as glamorous science cities that are marketed commercially. With the names of well-known universities as brands, they attract students. A scientifically sound overview of the number, location and origin of these institutions at city level has not been available until now. Now, the Junior Research Group "TRANSEDU" of the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) has presented an overall data collection. more info

25. August | 2020 | Publication

Leading the economy and society out of the carbon age into a climate-friendly future requires more than just a transformation of energy production towards renewable energy sources. As the current debate on a "Green New Deal", for instance, shows, there is a need for a fundamentally new way of productively using human labor, technology and investment capital. Geographical research can show how such transformations take place in space - how they are shaped by existing structures and how new things are created at different scales. Such a research perspective is developed in the new themed issue "New Energy Spaces" in the journal "Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space", which was developed with significant participation from the IRS. First research results, also in part from the IRS, are presented. more info

26. July | 2020 | Publication

The spread of Covid-19 is a spatial phenomenon. Maps and statistics record the degrees of impact of different countries and regions, hotspots are identified and the influences of mobility practices such as holiday travel are critically examined. Thus, geography can make a significant contribution to understanding and combating the coronavirus pandemic. In a new special issue of the Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, the guest editors Manuel B. Aalbers (KU Leuven), Niels Beerepoot and Martijn Gerritsen (both Universiteit van Amsterdam) have collected 26 contributions from different sub-areas of geography. The IRS is represented with two contributions. more info

23. July | 2020 | News

Directly next to the tower of the baroque Garrison Church in Potsdamer Dortustraße stands the building of the data processing center of the Volkseigener Betrieb "Machine Computing", completed in 1971. The Garrison Church, which was damaged in World War II and blown up in 1968, is currently being rebuilt with public and private funds. The "Rechenzentrum", on the other hand, currently still used for cultural purposes, is a candidate for demolition. Why? In June 2020, the international project network "UrbAuth", led by the Historical Research Centre of the IRS, began work. The project aims to clarify how cities today attempt to establish historical authenticity in their building policies, and why certain epochs are repeatedly used as points of identification, while the traces of other epochs disappear from the cityscape. more info

19. July | 2020 | Publication

Digital visualizations have become an integral part of urban planning. Building projects are sometimes announced years before the ground-breaking ceremony with 3D simulations that appear increasingly realistic. But what is really new about how today, with the help of digital technologies, future images of cities are created? Does planning therefore function fundamentally differently?  These are the questions addressed in the Special Issue "Visual Communication in Urban Design and Planning: The Impact of Mediatisation(s) on the Construction of Urban Futures", published in the journal "Urban Planning" (Open Access). Guest editors are Gabriela Christmann, Christoph Bernhardt and Jörg Stollmann. more info

Foto: Doug Saunders
19. July | 2020 | News

Since 2015, international migration to Germany has become a top topic of many political debates. In many East German cities, these debates are also taking place against the background of a growing concentration of refugees in certain residential areas. Especially peripheral prefabricated housing estates are currently developing into new "arrival neighbourhoods". This development raises many new questions in planning practice: Are the quarters in question developing into stepping stones that facilitate the integration of immigrants - or are new "ghettos" emerging here? What new tasks and needs arise at the neighbourhood level? How is this development processed politically? Two events were held at the IRS in July 2020, during which the challenges of arrivals' neighbourhoods were intensively discussed. more info

Grafik: jan_S/
24. June | 2020 | News

With its new, in-house online publication series "IRS Dialog", the IRS has created a framework for publishing research reports and working papers, as well as for stating its position in debates related to spatial-development policy. The first issue has now been released: a research report from the project “Stadtquartier 4.0” (“Urban Quarter 4.0”), showing how experts view the prospects of a reduction in urban delivery traffic. more info

18. June | 2020 | Publication

New wind-power projects have been a regular cause of local protest in recent times. But what determines whether resistance forms and how movements opposing wind power operate? Are only the local conditions and circumstances of particular projects decisive factors, or does the respective national context – such as political debate, or specific systems of regulation – also play a role? Andrea Bues has been examining this issue, comparing anti-wind movements in Brandenburg and in the Canadian province of Ontario. Her book “Social Movements against Wind Power in Canada and Germany: Energy Policy and Contention” has now been published by Routledge. more info

13. June | 2020 | News

On 15 June 2020, IRS begins to ease to ease the restrictions imposed due to the corona pandemic. Amid falling infection numbers and a gradual easing of legal and administrative contact restrictions, it implements a stage concept which allows it to respond flexibly to the further unfolding of the corona pandemic. Staff will be able to work in their offices to a limited degree. However, the Library as well as the Scientific Collections remain closed to external users in this stage. As yet, events with external participants are not possible either. more info

21. May | 2020 | Publication

A new special issue of the journal “Innovation” guest-edited by Timmo Krüger (IRS) and Victoria Pellicer-Sifres (Universitat Politècnica de València) addresses power and conflict in societal responses to ecologic crises, particularly in efforts to transform energy systems, as well as approaches to study said responses. Ironically, given the remit of their publication outlet, the editors make clear from the outset that they believe innovation, more precisely social innovation, is not a concept that helps in understanding or advancing the necessary social and ecological transformations. Instead they point at alternative economic logics, such as degrowth, which do not promise alternative paths towards modernization and development, but rather alternatives to modernisation. The collection of eight articles emerged from encounters fostered by the Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions, and reflects the growing interest of transformation research, carried out at the IRS and elsewhere, in the idea of degrowth or postgrowth economies. more info

04. May | 2020 | News

Who pursues social goals if the state withdraws and a purely profit-oriented model doesn’t take hold? A possible answer is: social enterprise. That is, businesses that pursue social goals by entrepreneurial means. Much hope is vested in these in both rural and urban areas. On behalf of the State of Brandenburg, the IRS is currently developing a structured overview of the status and potential for development of social businesses in Brandenburg, as well as of the assistance they require. more info

Prof. Ute Lehrer von der York University in Toronto bei der 14. IRS International Lecture on Society and Space
28. February | 2020 | News

In 2019, the IRS hosted 12 international guest researchers – more than ever before. This is the result of the institute's long-term strategy of increasing its international visibility and promoting international cooperation. Guest researchers participating in or contributing to unique IRS programmes such as the IRS Spring Academy, IRS Seminars and IRS International Lectures allows them to engage in dialogue with IRS scholars and other experts. more info

13. February | 2020 | News

The "Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods" research department examines fundamental socio-ecological transformation processes. It seeks to produce in-depth analyses to make sense of the complex societal challenges we face today. But that is easier said than done. Should we apply a bird's eye perspective to study broad causal relationships? Or instead zoom in and focus on individual cases and what makes them unique? On January 27, 2020, renowned scholars Gretchen Bakke, Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe attended a departmental workshop to discuss these and other questions. more info

Foto: Eric Isselée/
16. October | 2019 | News

Cities are routinely eulogized as harbingers of progress and emancipation, as the locus of innovation and creativity. And, in fact, the historical record of cities in engendering artistic, scientific or societal creativity from the ancient Greece polis over Renaissance Florence, Modern Art Paris to New York’s ‘Warhol Economy’ is impressive. More recently, though, discords began to mingle with the harmonious choir praising the allegedly greatest invention of humanity. The fixation with the unique affordances of urban places, as the critique maintains, has systematically impoverished our understanding of creativity in the periphery. To rectify this urban bias, a veritable stream of research initiatives has been launched more recently to push the focus of scholarly debate on creativity from center to periphery, from the urban to the rural. In addition to an international conference in Berlin on November 21 and 22, the issue is addressed in a special issue of "Industry and Innovation" guest edited by Gernot Graber (University of the Built Environment and Metropolitan Development, Hamburg) and Oliver Ibert (IRS and Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus). more info

30. September | 2019 | Publication

The nexus between migration and urban policy is a controversial topic. How can cities respond to immigration? Manfred Kühn (IRS) and Sybille Münch, Junior Professor of Theory of Public Policy at Leuphana University Lüneburg, together guest-edited a special issue of the journal disP- The Planning Review (disP 218 - 3/2019), focussing on migration and urban policy. more info

Foto: Anke Harwardt-Feye
06. August | 2019 | News

A special kind of business is meant when one speaks of startups – one that is internationally positioned and growth oriented, and which is situated in branches such as the digital, high-tech, or creative economies. Such enterprises require special conditions, summarised for some time now under the label of the “entrepreneurial ecosystem”. At the Herrenhausen Symposium “Temporal Dynamics in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems” on 1 and 2 July in Hannover, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, leading international entrepreneurship scholars discussed the current state of knowledge on entrepreneurial ecosystems. more info

18. July | 2019 | News

From 4 to 7 June 2019, together with the Design Research Lab at the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin, the IRS hosted its third Spring Academy, “Investigating Space(s): Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches”. The format transformed Erkner into a location for creative encounters between many international junior researchers. Here we offer an overview. more info

Foto: Taylor & Francis
16. July | 2019 | Publication

Recently, the federal commission on “Equal Living Conditions” reported considerable regional inequalities in Germany. Rural regions, in particular, suffer from poor education and employment opportunities, lower incomes and shortages in the provision of public and private services. These observations, however, are not specific for Germany. Many rural regions across Europe face challenges such as a lack of medical practices, village shops, schools and public service provision. In this situation, expectations rest on a relatively new type of organization: social enterprises. A new book explores the role of social enterprises in rural spaces. more info

Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert und Wissenschaftsministerin Dr. Martina Münch bei der Ernennung im Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur Brandenburg in Potsdam am 24. Juni 2019. Foto: MWFK
Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert und Wissenschaftsministerin Dr. Martina Münch bei der Ernennung im Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur Brandenburg in Potsdam am 24. Juni 2019. Foto: MWFK
01. July | 2019 | News

IRS has a new director. On June 24th, Brandenburg's minister of science, research and culture, Dr. Martina Münch, appointed the economic geographer Prof. Oliver Ibert to the professorship in Socio-Spatial Transformation at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg. This professorship and the position of IRS director are linked through a joint appointment by BTU and IRS. Ibert took office on July 1st. more info

Alice Bobee, Mark Schulze, Kris Olds, Tim Rottleb, Bas van Heur, Neil Coe, Sarah Hall, Francis Collins und Jana Kleibert
08. May | 2019 | News

Now, you can learn about research on society and space by listening online. On May 8th 2019, the new IRS podcast "Society@Space“ was launched with its first episode "Welcome to Nottingham, Malaysia“. In it, three internationally renowned guests of IRS, who did research on the globalisation of higher education, talk about their work: Sarah Hall (Nottingham, UK), Francis Collings (Waikato, New Zealand) amd Kris Olds (Madison, USA) were in Erkner in early January of 2019 following an invitation by Jana Kleibert (IRS) to coach three PhD students working in the Leibniz Junior Research Group TRANSEDU. more info

Prof. Dr. Ignasi Capdevila, PSB Paris School of Business. Foto: IRS
29. March | 2019 | Event

Coworking spaces, maker spaces and other kinds of ‘labs’ are typically seen as an urban phenomenon. Indeed, most of them are located in larger cities. However, they also exist in the countryside, and as an element in a comprehensive strategy, they could potentially help stabilizing rural areas suffering from demographic and economic decline. During an IRS seminar on March 19th 2019, Ignasi Capdevila from PSB Paris School of Business presented the case of a rural coworking initiative from the Spanish region of Catalonia. more info

Foto: RSA
19. November | 2018

On November 15th 2018, Dr. Jana Kleibert received the Regional Studies Association’s RSA Routledge Early Career Award in London. She received the award for her paper ‘Global Production Networks, Offshore Services and the Branch-Plant Syndrome’, published in 2016 in Regional Studies. more info

23. April | 2018
Social Entrepreneurship in Rural Regions

In a seminar held at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) Dr. Richard Lang, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Innovation Management (IFI) at Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), introduced a multi-level model for social entrepreneurship in rural regions and their institutional environment. Lang developed the model together with Prof. Matthias Fink (IFI) referring to concepts rooted in regional and rural development, social entrepreneurship, innovation, social capital and network research. Empirical evidence comes from research in four marginalized rural regions in Europe in the context of the EU-funded project “RurInno”, in which the IRS and IFI are leading research partners. The seminar was part of the visiting fellowship Richard Lang has spent at the IRS between 16th and 20th of April, 2018. more info

12. April | 2018
Call for Papers for International Conference in September

Understanding the challenges associated with new energy landscapes and exploring potential solutions is the focus of the Energy Days 2018. The conference will foster the exchange between land-use-oriented energy research at the UFZ and the national and international scientific community. call for Papers for oral presentations with or without a conference paper is open until May 14, 2018. more info

Abbildung: Journal of Rural Studies
22. March | 2018
Paper on Social Entrepreneurs in the "Journal of Rural Studies"

Despite the fact that social enterprises are commonly associated with the ability to identify and establish innovative solutions in rural regions, there are significant research gaps concerning what exactly is innovative about their practice and which special characteristic of their entrepreneurial activities enables them to find these innovative solutions. Based on research conducted in the EU-funded project "RurInno", Dr. Ralph Richter addressed these gabs in a paper recently published in the "Journal of Rural Studies" more info

01. March | 2018
Call for Sessions for International Conference in June, 2018

The transformation of energy systems has profound implications for the ways in which our societies are organized, and must therefore be understood as process of social change and social innovation. In many ways, energy systems structure our economies and mirror our attitudes and values regarding the definition of public goods, of justice, and of equity. The conference invites international scholars to discuss social innovations in the context of energy transitions, to reflect their meaning for educational and participatory practices, and to spark a debate about the societal values inherent in these innovations. A Call for Abstracts is open until March 15, 2018. more info

14. December | 2017 | Event

The European Union has launched numerous funding programmes to support small and medium-sized businesses including social enterprises. There are, however, big challenges for the entrepreneurs to benefit from these funding opportunities due to obligations to pre-finance parts of the expenses, due to a lack of compatibility of funding structures and entrepreneurial goals and procedures and due to knowledge deficits on funding opportunities. On November 30, 2017, a workshop jointly organized by the IRS-led EU project „RurInno“, „Brandenburg Invest“ (the business development agency of the Federal State of Brandenburg) and Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Brandenburg addressed these challenges. more info

24. November | 2017 | News

After WW II, architecture was used and misused as an ideological signifier for competing systems and for new national identities. Diverse actors and networks took part in architectural exchange within the blocks and beyond the Iron Curtain. Different aid projects posed an attempt to overcome political and economic divides, but at the same time they were often considered as foreign imposition or neo-colonial practice. Tensions between commercial interests and solidarity arose. The conference investigates the multi-layered and multi-centred exchanges between the Global South and socialist as well as capitalist countries relation to architecture and constructing industry from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Call for Papers is open until December 20, 2017. more info

23. November | 2017 | News
Call for Sessions for International Conference in June, 2018

The transformation of energy systems has profound implications for the ways in which our societies are organized, and must therefore be understood as process of social change and social innovation. In many ways, energy systems structure our economies and mirror our attitudes and values regarding the definition of public goods, of justice, and of equity. The conference invites international scholars to discuss social innovations in the context of energy transitions, to reflect their meaning for educational and participatory practices, and to spark a debate about the societal values inherent in these innovations. A Call for Sessions is open until December 7, 2017. more info

13. November | 2017 | Feature
Acclaimed scholars and junior researchers at the IRS Spring Academy 2017

Between May 2nd and 5th 2017, the IRS and Technische Universität Berlin jointly hosted the first “IRS Spring Academy: Investigating Space(s): Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches”. Over the course of four days, 26 German and international junior researchers with backgrounds in geography, political science, history and sociology came together to explore novel theoretical concepts and methods in spatial research. In particular, this year's Spring Academy focused on the interrelation between time and space. The junior researchers were joined by leading scholars to discuss theories and methods of spatial research that reflect on variegated aspects of temporality – whether conceptualised as models of spatial processes, or as social constructs of standardised time. The event also provided a platform for IRS scholars to present, modify and further advance their ongoing research on spatio-temporal dynamics. more info

25. October | 2017 | News
Call for Paper for a Special Issue of "Spatial Research and Planning"

The meaning of ‘planning’ or ‘to plan’ has undergone a continuous and contradictory process of transition and adjustment to changing context conditions. Complex changes such as migration, climate change, political crises and economic recessions now coincide in our cities in an unprecedented manner. At the same time, cities should be seen not only as spaces of transition, but – from a procedural planning perspective – as places for converting these challenges into good living conditions for all their citizens. Current demands on the design and conduct of planning processes and their goals for spatial developments exceed established planning conceptions. The aim of this special issue is to collect and open the discussion about recent approaches, positions and reflections on planning as a space- and action-oriented discipline. more info

11. October | 2017 | News

On December 4 and December 5, 2017, the IRS-coordinated European Training Network "RurAction" helds the International Conference "Challenges and Opportunities of Structurally Weak Rural Regions in Europe. Social Innovations and Social Enterprises Acting Under Adverse Circumstances". The Conference marks the start of the project research and takes place at Adam Mickiewicz Universität Poznan (Poland). Abstracts of possible contributions can be submitted until October 30, 2017. more info

08. September | 2017

On September 30, 2017, the Editors of the Journal "Raumforschung und Raumordnung/Spatial Research and Planning" invite colleages and guest to a Journal Lecture that takes place as a part of the this year’s German Congress of Geography in Tübingen. more info

13. July | 2017 | News

Prof. Dr. Suntje Schmidt is a member of the newly formed DFG network “Temporary Organizing under Tension: Between Stability and Change”. The scientific network was initiated by Prof. Dr. Timo Braun, Junior Professor for Project Management at Freie Universität Berlin. It is formed by twelve German early career researchers and is also supported by internationally renowned senior researchers. The network was inaugurated with the first of a series of four intensive workshops from July 10 to 12 in Berlin. Upcoming workshops will be held in Cologne, Tilburg and Berlin. The aim of these meetings is to initiate joint interdisciplinary projects on the topic (e.g. publishing of an anthology, preparation for collective sessions). more info

Foto: Ludger Gailing
29. June | 2017 | Event
Round Table Discussion with Ludger Gailing at Durham Energy Institute

On May 26th 2017 Dr. Ludger Gailing presented and discussed his paper on “old” and “new” energy spaces at Durham Energy Institute (DEI). Lead by Prof. Gavin Bridge (Department of Geography at Durham University) the round table discussion attracted renowned scholars such as Prof. Harriet Bulkeley and Prof. Simone Abram who contributed to the event as discussants. more info

© arturator/
15. June | 2017 | Feature

The IRS' internationalisation strategy exhibits a distinct geographical focus. This is driven by the conviction that such a focus allows scholars to pursue in-depth research on matters pertaining to these regions, and to establish productive and lasting relationships with other scholars and academic institutions. The IRS has concentrated its internationalisation efforts on North America, Scandinavia and Poland. Variegated ties to the latter country were established twenty years ago and have been intensified in the context of the IRS' internationalisation strategy and through on-going collaborative research projects. more info

26. May | 2017 | Event

There is a need on various governance levels to meet the challenges that structurally weak rural regions face. In addition to local and regional actors representatives of the national and European level have to address specific problems like the lack of specialized workers, social exclusion, poverty, financial limitations and crumbling infrastructure. The RurInno researchers and practitioners discussed the possible impact of social entrepreneurs in this matter with representatives of regional and rural policy on the European level on the occasion of the Policy Round Table “Social Entrepreneurship as Driver of Change in Marginalised Rural Europe” on May 23, 2017, in Brussels. more info

11. May | 2017 | Publication

Innovation is considered an important asset for economic growth. This is why the stimulation of innovation processes has been a core strategy for regional development policies for a long time. These policies have been relying on cluster-based approaches and by that on the spatial proximity of actors involved in innovation processes. As a result of year-long research on spatial and temporal aspects of innovation processes researchers of the IRS Research Department “Dynamics of Economic Spaces” developed a new approach called “Open Region” which accounts for – among other aspects – the high mobility of ideas and innovations. In a recently published article in “European Urban and Regional Studies” the concept is explained in detail. more info

09. March | 2017 | News

From April 14 to June 30, 2017, Dr. Ludger Gailing (prov. head of the IRS Research Department "Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods") will conduct research at the Durham Energy Institute and the Department of Geography at Durham University. This stay abroad is made possible by a "senior research fellowship" of the University, which is supported within the COFUND-scheme of the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions). The stay in Durham is part of Gailing's habilitation project "Reconfiguring Energy Spaces: The Role of Spatial Governmentalities and Competing Socio-Materialities" at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. more info

01. March | 2017 | News

In December 2016, the IRS started the European Training Network “Social Entrepreneurship in Structurally Weak Rural Regions: Analysing Innovative Troubleshooters in Action” (RurAction). With the recruitment process for the Early Stage Researchers on the way, the project launched its website in late February. For the coming three-and-a-half years, it will serve as the main hub for information on the project, its researchers, topics and outcomes. more info

01. February | 2017 | News

The European Training Network RurAction (“Social Entrepreneurship in Structurally Weak Rural Regions: Analysing Innovative Troubleshooters in Action”) announces 10 positions for Early-Stage Researchers with the option of awarding the doctoral degree. The positions last 36 months and are expected to begin between September and November 2017. more info

23. January | 2017 | News

Changes in the production of goods, in consumption patterns and transportation are forcing urban quarters to adapt. In recent times, there has been a significant rise in the quantity of goods ordered and delivered. Increasingly, groceries for immediate consumption are also being ordered and delivered, alongside other more common products. The resultant rise in the quantity of transported goods, and the emergence of an intricate delivery network, poses a major challenge for cities: as ever more delivery vehicles navigate city streets, pollution and traffic congestion increase, while traffic accidents become more likely. Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research has launched the 'Urban quarter 4.0' (Stadtquartier 4.0) research project to identify and experiment with solutions to the above mentioned challenges. more info

27. November | 2016 | Publication

Ways of handling climate change vary worldwide. Differences can be observed in the perception of potential threats and opportunities as well as in the appraisal of adequate coping strategies. Collective efforts often fail not because of technical restrictions, but owing to social and cultural differences between agents involved. Consequently, there is a need to explore in greater depth those "zones of cultural friction” which emerge when agents deal with climate change. This book exermines, what kinds of “climate cultures” can be observed within European Coastal Areas and what the discriminants of different “climate cultures” are and/or how different climate cultures be can explained? more info

02. November | 2016 | Publication

During the past decade we could observe the vast creation of open spaces dedicated to tinkering, experimentation, creative and freelance work as well as entrepreneurship primarily in Western, industrialized economies but also beyond. The scene of operators and users of such places typically refer affirmatively to a community culture in which manufacturing tools and digital technologies are flexibly accessible and knowledge and expertise are shared collaboratively among peers. This broschure, originating from a third-party funded research project by the same name, provides a detailed view of Germany's lab scene, a typology of the labs and insights into the conditions of their formation, development and allocation. more info

14. October | 2016 | Feature

Crises rarely occur in isolation from one another. Only by using this dictum one can grasp what can be witnessed today: a growing number of increasingly interconnected crises. Recurring financial and economic crises, municipalities and counties burdened by austerity measures, the effects of demographic and climate change, global migration flows, and increasingly polarised societies mean that cities and regions in particular face great challenges. more info

13. October | 2016 | Feature

In August 1876, Richard Wagner's opera cycle “The Ring of the Nibelung” premiered at the Bayreuth Festival Theatre. The epochal music drama draws on a number of myths and legends. Apart from Siegfried, Brunhilde, Hagen, and Etzel, a river plays a pivotal role: the Rhine, where the legendary Rhine gold starts off the narrative. Coincidentally, the year 1876 is an important year for river Rhine in an entirely different context, too. The year in which the “Ring Cycle” premiered also marks the conclusion of one of the largest landscape construction projects in recent European history. From 1817 and 1876, the Upper Rhine was shortened by 80 kilometres (!) between Basel and Mannheim. more info

15. September | 2016 | News

The Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) in Erkner near Berlin has successfully applied for a research and training network in the highly competetive „Marie-Skłodowska-Curie“ programme of the European Union. Twelve research institutes and social enterprises from seven European countries, coordinated by the IRS, will offer a structured doctoral training on social entrepreneurship in structurally weak rural regions. The doctoral candidates will conduct research guided by the question of which innovative solutions the social entrepreneurs can offer to tackle the economic and social downward spirals in these regions. The project will run for four years and has a budget of 2.5 million Euros. more info

16. March | 2015 | Feature

Anyone who experiments is suspending the conventional conditions for a certain period and looking for explanations outside the patterns that are already known to us. Across all sciences and contexts, it would appear that the defining characteristics of an experiment are the fact that it is new, and that it is temporary. Based on a current IRS research project on temporary use, Thomas Honeck and Jan Zwilling discuss what an experiment in the urban context can look like, and what significance the desire to innovate and time limits have. more info