Lead project

UrbanReg - Urban Regeneration Practices, Migration and the Production of Socio-Spatial Disparities in European Cities (UrbanReg)

Sahnghaiistnah (2)
psotmodernespinne (2)
Sahnghaiistnah (2)
psotmodernespinne (2)

Since the 1990s, European cities have found themselves confronted with structural changes in the economy and increasing socio-spatial disparities, forcing them to reinvent themselves. While some cities overcame the crisis and were able to reinvigorate their economic and demographic growth, other cities were able to maintain their respective population despite the stagnant economic situation or kept stuck in crisis. Many made use of particular regeneration strategies.

An overarching theme common to many cities is a shared interest of city governments in encouraging in-migration. However, in many cases, these efforts are accompanied by a discrepancy between the desired immigration of highly-skilled, socially better-off and creative classes, and the partially unplanned influx of migrant workers, temporary residents and refugees. This project examines whether and to what extent this discrepancy feeds back into urban development processes. It analyses how regeneration strategies are used to regulate the attractiveness and accessibility of urban spaces for different population groups, the effect of these interventions on the revaluation of these spaces and the ways in which these developments shape old and new inequalities. Particular emphasis is placed on housing segregation associated with the migration patterns.

Empirically, these questions are analysed in cities that have pursued particularly prominent regeneration policies over the past two decades: Manchester, Genoa, Leipzig and Bremen. These cities, which represent three different migration regimes, are examined from a comparative perspective and by analysing emblematic places in each.


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


Kühn, M. (2018). Immigration Strategies of Cities: Local Growth Policies and Urban Planning in Germany. European Planning Studies, 26(9), 1747-1762. DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2018.1484428
Hillmann, F. (2018). Migration als Essenz urbaner Transformation. 30-34. International Conference on Working Class Districts. Urbane Transformationen und Lebensqualitäten in der wachsenden Stadt, Wien, Germany.
Hillmann, F. (2017). Martin van der Velde and Ton van Naerssen (eds.) 2015: Mobility and Migration Choices: Thresholds to Crossing Borders. Aldershot: Ashgate. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 41(4), 704–706. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12541
Kühn, M. (2017). Planung, Politik und Macht in Städten. disP: The Planning Review, 53(2), 109-119. DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2017.1341218
Hillmann, F. (2016). Londons Regenerierungspraxis - Queen of Botox? In V. Selbach, & K. Zehner (Eds.), London - Geographien einer Global City (pp. 41-60). (Sozial- und Kulturgeographie; Vol. 4). Bielefeld: Transcript.
Hillmann, F. (2015). Vom Rand in die Mitte: Migration und Stadtentwicklung. In Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Ed.), Inklusion: Wege in die Teilhabegesellschaft (pp. 192-200). Frankfurt a.M.: Campus.
Kühn, M. (2017). Zuwanderung - eine Perspektive für schrumpfende Städte und Regionen? In Geteilte Räume. Strategien für mehr sozialen und räumlichen Zusammenhalt: Bericht der Fachkommission "Räumliche Ungleichheit" der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (pp. 58-78). (Schriftenreihe Wirtschaft und Soziales; Vol. 21). Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stifung.
Hein, C., & Hillmann, F. (2016). The Missing Link: Redevelopment of the Urban Waterfront as a Function of Cruise Ship Tourism. In H. Porfyriou, & M. Sepe (Eds.), Waterfronts Revisited: European Ports in a Historic and Global Perspective (pp. 222-238). (Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design). New York ; London: Routledge.
Kühn, M. (2018). Abgehängt? Peripherisierung und Chancen der Entperipherisierung von Klein- und Mittelstädten. In B. Emunds, C. Czingon, & M. Wolff (Eds.), Stadtluft macht reich/arm: Stadtentwicklung, soziale Ungleichheit und Raumgerechtigkeit (pp. 155-178). (Die Wirtschaft der Gesellschaft; Vol. 4). Marburg: Metropolis.
Hillmann, F. (2018). Économies Migrantes et Urbanité Marginale Comme Promesses de Consommation. In V. Silhouette-Dercourt, M. Möhring, & M. Poinsot (Eds.), La Figure du Consommateur Immigré en Europe: Regards Franco-Allemands (pp. 80-106). Paris: Presses de l'Inalco. DOI: 10.4000/books.pressesinalco.3486
Kühn, M. (2017). Planungspolitiken: Zum Verhältnis von Planung und Politik. RaumPlanung, (189), 8-13.
Hillmann, F. (2016). Migration: Eine Einführung aus sozialgeographischer Perspektive. (Sozialgeographie kompakt; Vol. 4). Stuttgart: Steiner.
Hillmann, F. (2016). Städte im Wandel. Inklusives Wachstum für Deutschland, (6), 52-53.
Hillmann, F. (2018). Migrantische Unternehmen als Teil städtischer Regenerierung. In B. Emunds, C. Czingon, & M. Wolff (Eds.), Stadtluft macht reich/arm: Stadtentwicklung, soziale Ungleichheit und Raumgerechtigkeit (pp. 297-326). (Jahrbuch Die Wirtschaft der Gesellschaft ; Vol. 4). Marburg: Metropolis.
Hillmann, F. (2016). Migrant Entrepreneurship as a Central Form of Urban Transformation through Migration and Mobility. In L. Faldini (Ed.), Dal Mediterraneo al Baltico: Dinamiche sociali in area urbana (pp. 37-54). (Scienze politiche e sociali). Novi Ligure: Edizioni Epoké.
Swiaczny, F., & Hillmann, F. (2017). Migration und Flucht im Globalen Süden. Geographische Rundschau, (3), 46-50.
Kühn, M. (2016). Peripherisierung und Stadt: Städtische Planungspolitiken gegen den Abstieg. (Urban Studies). Bielefeld: Transcript.
Kühn, M., & Bernt, M. (2019). Wachsen durch wen? Stadtentwicklungsstrategien in Bremen und Leipzig im Umgang mit Migration. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 77(5), 403-509. DOI: 10.2478/rara-2019-0014
Hillmann, F., & Calbet Elias, L. (2019). Zwischen Realitätsverweigerung und Pragmatismus: Migration-Led Regeneration in Genua und Manchester. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 77(6), 549-565. DOI: 10.2478/rara-2019-0038
Hillmann, F. (2019). Die behauptete und die gelebte Migrationskrise: der widersprüchliche Fall Italien. Geographica Helvetica, 74(4), 303-314. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-74-303-2019