Urban Systems

Aims and Structure

The main research area sees itself as a research platform encompassing all disciplines and research cultures. The study of urban systems thus not only includes the built environment and its technical infrastructure, it also analyses and models political, social, cultural, economic, and ecological conditions, circumstances, problems, and consequences of urban life. This is the only way to develop valid indicators of the quality of life of the inhabitants of urban environments on a variety of levels. This, in turn, is the basis for developing sustainable urban development strategies. Consisting of a multitude of necessary disciplines for this endeavour, the main research area is one of the world’s most broadly-based research institutions of this kind.

“Urban Systems” does not only serve as a forum for work and discussion for researchers at the UDE; in a unique fashion it also integrates academic, economic, societal, and political stakeholders. All those thus involved together aim for an integrative mode of research that gradually arrives at new insights and allows itself to selectively choose disciplinary contributions. This is bolstered by an awareness that new insights often are the result of multidisciplinary collaborations, especially in otherwise less established constellations. The main research area thus offers a visible and significant contribution to the inter- and transdisciplinary study of urban systems.

Two of the research institutions that are central to the work in the main research area are the Centre for Logistics and Traffic (ZLV) and the Centre for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU). In August 2012, the University further established a chair and a Centre for Urban Epidemiology (CUE).