Research focus

(A) Urban development, site use and assessment in a global-local context

A traditionally important research focus is the analysis of local utilisation structures as well as urban development and transformation processes against the background of changed territorial conditions due to new urban regulatory regimes. The focus is on research questions on the following topics: suburbanisation - polycentric development; mobility conditions - accessibility - mobility behaviour; segregation, relocation and displacement processes; building related energy demand - use of renewable energy potentials; housing industry - real estate prices.

(B) Urban systems and positioning of cities under globalised conditions

In a second research perspective, cities and urban regions are examined with regard to their position and positioning efforts in European and global urban systems. The focus is on research questions on the following topics: Identification and assessment of competitiveness factors; characteristics of sustainable and resilient urban development; specific strengths and weaknesses of cities against the background of competitive demands and climate change; technology - evidence-based smart city strategies; strategy requirements - Urban Living Labs - urban innovation; strategic projects to specialise and strengthen territorial capital.

(C) Driving forces and concepts for regional development in multi-level perspective

The third research focus deals with the driving forces behind the development of regions. Against the background of important global trends (tertiarisation and knowledge economy, technological progress, etc.) as well as the respective embedding of regions in territorial conditions (political-administrative system), research questions focus on the following topics: paths and trends of regional development; regional disparities - territorial cohesion; economic structural change - shrinkage; influencing factors - changed regimes - development conditions; transport infrastructure - accessibility - regional economic development; regional policy measures, strategies and concepts; conception and significance of regional innovation systems.


In these research areas, different theories of regional science and different methodologies are applied to answer relevant research questions on the basis of a complex spatial understanding. The research activities are often carried out in close cooperation with planning authorities at municipal, state, federal and EU level as well as other planning relevant actors.