Urban Systems


The concept of the “Resilience of Urban-Industrial Systems” is playing an increasingly important role in the work within the main research area and collaboration between the two centres, and it has been key to successful summer schools and colloquia (funded by the DAAD). The concept is currently also being incorporated in several Erasmus-plus projects. The main cooperation partners are countries in the Arab World. A further focal area has emerged from the recent grant application for a BMBF Junior Research Group on “Urban Supply Systems under Climate Change”, where international cooperation with the target regions in the Southern Caucasus, East Africa, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South America and their urban centres plays a prominent role. 

For several years now, there have been numerous collaborations with teams at the UA Ruhr partner universities TU Dortmund University and Ruhr University Bochum on projects in urban and metropolitan research. The ongoing activities are aimed at establishing metropolitan research as an area of expertise at the UA Ruhr that pools the largely complementary competencies at the three universities across different disciplinary cultures. Central societal questions are to provide the impetus to explore the innovative potential of socially relevant research precisely at the intersections between different disciplines. Research topics which make use of the partners’ existing disciplinary strengths while also creating synergy effects from interdisciplinary cooperation include “Migration, Demographic Change, and Urban Development”, “Fragmentation of Social Space”, “Pluralism and Integration in Urban Society”, “Urban Infrastructures”, “Climate Change and the Energy Transition”, “Environment, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity”, “City and Health”, “Knowledge-based Metropolitan Development”, “Security and Resilience”, or “Perception and Identity”.

Cross-sectional topics that are relevant to all the fields are “Governance, Management, and Participation” and “Theories and Methods of Inter- and Transdisciplinary Metropolitan Research”. The Ruhr region is not only the location of these efforts; in its capacity as a globally unique polycentric metropolitan region, it also features alongside other urban regions around the world as the object of study in numerous projects and as such is an ideal laboratory, right on the universities’ doorstep, for many areas of research.