The department studies processes of urban regeneration and considers these as crucial for the nuanced understanding of urban transformations. The research centers on planning practices that address socio-spatial inequalities and fragmentations within and between cities. We focus on local governance strategies applied by actors from politics, public administration and civil society dealing with increasingly global challenges. These include, for example, migration and the redistribution of resources among different population groups. The department predominately focuses on medium-sized European cities that underwent major structural changes, and responded with policies tailored to these specific challenges.

Particular emphasis is placed on urban development policies in the context of the urban redevelopment programme “Stadtumbau”. This is reflected in  the Federal Transfer Office on “Urban Redevelopment in the New Federal States” which was set up by the Federal government from 2004 to 2016 with the task to support the dissemination of expertise on urban redevelopment and is hosted at the IRS. 

Ongoing lead project

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. 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 more