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

IRS Seminar
16. November | 2018
IRS Seminar with Mike Raco | Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

There is a growing sense of urgency to public policy discussions over diversity and migration in western countries. Commentators have been queueing-up to provide broad-brush explanations for the rise of Brexit Britain, the dangers posed by Europe’s ‘migration crisis’, and Trump’s election victory. more infos

19. November | 2018

While there is already an established and growing body of research on the nexus of sexualities/gender-identies and the urban, this relationship and particularly its current manifestations remain understudied in many cities around the world. In particular, a bias towards Anglo-American geographies of (homo-)sexualities and gender-identities tends to dominate the field. Similarly, most research only depicts the experiences and dynamics of cis-gender and predominantly male homosexual movements and does not pay attention to trans lives or intersectionality. Finally, generalizations often assume false or incomplete similarities between different cities and sites on a global, regional or even local scale without sufficient empirical evidence or scrutiny for difference. Paying closer attention to the facets of inclusion and spatial appropriation in different sites, i.e. modes of urban regeneration and governance, thus allows us to enhance our knowledge about the actual contingencies, negotiations and spatial dynamics of inclusion. more infos