Qualification project

Possibilities of Local Governance for Reurbanisation in Medium-Sized Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Planning Policies and Forms of Governance (working title)

Research Department: Regeneration of Cities and Towns

Funding Organization: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Duration: 01/2018 - 03/2021

Based on the recent increase in migration balances in medium-sized cities, the dissertation examines the question of the extent to which reurbanisation is a relevant development trend for medium-sized cities and which control options arise for public actors in the process of reurbanisation. In order to answer the research question, two case studies of medium-sized cities are dealt with, in which the process of reurbanisation is examined, planning policies for steering reurbanisation are analysed and the influence of local actor constellations and relationships on the steering options of public actors is shown. By combining analytical steps that build on each other, which first examine the process and then the control approaches as well as the actions of local actors in two case studies, it is possible - against the background of the special features of control and planning practice in medium-sized cities - to assess both the possibilities for control and the significance of local reurbanisation drivers in medium-sized cities. The dissertation sets a focus here that contributes to the differentiated examination of research gaps in reurbanisation research.

Methodologically and conceptually, the work combines approaches of planning theory with governance, so that planning is not only seen as a technical and linear process, but the focus is on the underlying negotiation processes and the action logics of the actors involved. Since a possible contribution of public actors to the governance of spatial development includes both political and planning action, the actors of urban policy as well as the municipal planning administration become the focus of the study. Extensive document analyses, migration statistics and a total of 26 expert interviews conducted in the case studies serve as the basis for the empirical survey.

The dissertation is being conducted at the Institute of Geography at the Humboldt University of Berlin in the Department of Applied Geography and Spatial Planning. It is supervised by Prof. Dr. Henning Nuissl.