Director's Unit

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain. In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space. more

Dynamics of Economic Spaces

The research project “Coping With Crises in a Resilient Manner” (RESKIU) deals with the potential for crises to provide solutions, and seeks to explore what can be done by the involved actors not only to mitigate the symptoms of crises, but also to create and use “opportunities” for structural change. The project has a duration of three years and will bring together basic and applied research on crises. more

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain. In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space. more

Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods

Cities create approximately 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time being substantially impacted by climate change. Especially extreme weather occurrences like torrential rain fall, flooding, and heat waves often result in costly property damage, which in result – caused by inept behaviour in dangerous situations and insufficient preparation – often have an adverse effect on citizens’ health. The BMBF research project “Urban Resilience Towards Extreme Weather Incidents – Typology and Transfer of Adaptation Strategies in Small Metropolises and Medium Sized Cities” aims to measurably strengthen the resilience of cities and towns by working closely with administrations, branches of civil protection, and residents. more

The German energy transition has brought about changes as regards spatial structures and the ways they are utilised and at the same time it poses a challenge for spatial policy. The lead project investigates new energy spaces as expressions and vehicles of the energy transition, using empirical analyses from Germany, Canada and Scandinavia. Some examples are the creation of new action areas around renewable energies, tensions between old and new energy regions, and experimentation spaces for energy policy in cities. more

The IRS participated in the EU research consortium “Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow – foresight for sustainable pathways towards liveable, affordable and prospering cities in a world context (POCACITO)”. This project developed a roadmap for the transition to a sustainable, post-fossil fuel economic model for cities. This concept includes changes to energy systems, water supply, traffic, waste management, regional economic cycles, housing, environmental protection, political governance and education. more

The energy transition to post-fossil and post-nuclear regional development places tremendous demands on existing institutional arrangements and forms of governance related to energy, cultural landscapes and regional policy-making. Focusing on energy supply as a field of action, the main objective of the Lead Project of Research Department 2 was to identify the importance of materiality and power for theoretical research on regional public goods. more

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain. In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space. more

Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development

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. In his dissertation project Thorsten Heimann exermined, what kinds of “climate cultures” can be observed within European Coastal Areas, what the discriminants of different “climate cultures” are and/or how different climate cultures be can explained. more

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain. In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space. more

The project “How societies deal with Climate Change” - a part of the “Potsdam Research Cluster for Georisk Analysis, Environmental Change and Sustainability” (PROGRESS) - funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) used social-scientific methods to examine how changes in climate are anticipated, perceived, and transformed into action in the North Sea and Baltic Sea regions. more

Regeneration of Cities and Towns

The number of refugees and asylum-seekers increased considerably over the last years in Germany with a peak in 2015. Cities and communities are faced with various challenges and integration-requirements. The research project focusses on adequate housing provision as an important component of integration. It analyses to what extent refugees find housing on the regular housing market. Additionally the study looks at the regional distribution and forms of accommodation during and after the process of seeking asylum. more

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

This departmental lead project concluded a six year research period on the peripheralisation of cities. Thereby, peripheralisation was understood as a multidimensional concept that encompasses a number of distinct socio-spatial processes. These include a decoupling from innovation dynamics linked to the knowledge economy and/or infrastructural networks, strcutures of dependency from centralised political and political decision-making, and/or negative effects resulting from brain drain. In many cities, peripheralisation results in demographic shrinkage, vacant buildings, and a concentration of social problems (poverty, unemployment, exclusion). more

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain. In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space. more

The joint Federal and State governmental programme “Urban Restructuring in the New Federal States” was launched by the German Federal State in the field of urban development funding (Städtebauförderung) in 2002 (initially until 2009). The programme aims to support upgrading interventions in city centres and urban neighbourhoods worthy of long-term preservation. The Federal Transfer Office Urban Restructuring in the New Federal States sees itself as a centre of expertise providing academic support to the wider programme. It serves as an intermediating authority and as such contributes to further refining processes of urban restructuring. more

Department for Historical Research

Das Projekt untersuchte die Funktion der DDR-Bezirksverwaltungen für das politische System der DDR und ihr Handeln im Spannungsfeld zentralstaatlicher Vorgaben, regionaler Eigeninteressen und der Machtausübung gegenüber Städten und Gemeinden. Es leistete damit einen Beitrag zur geschichtswissenschaftlichen Forschungsdebatte über das Verhältnis von diktatorisch-zentralistischen Strukturen und eigendynamischen Entwicklungen in staatlichen und gesellschaftlichen Subsystemen der DDR. more