Future Prospects

Urban Systems is the hub for all urban and metropolitan research activities at the UDE and incorporates them in the UA Ruhr Competence Field Metropolitan Research (KoMet), which was officially launched on 1 June 2017 after just under two years of preliminary work. KoMet aims to establish an internationally visible centre for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary metropolitan research that combines the complementary areas of expertise of the three partner universities beyond different disciplinary cultures and draws on the region’s strengths through connections with non-university research institutions and practitioners. The Competence Field will be the central platform across the UA Ruhr for integrating research, teaching and transfer on all aspects of metropolitan research. It will be structured according to central societal challenges, which can only be researched effectively in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary cooperation. A special feature is the strong position of inquiry in the humanities and social sciences in several central research fields. For example (see the description of the “Scripts” research in this report), the role and limitations of narratives in urban development (especially postindustrial) will be central to several projects in the future. For both the Competence Field and Urban Systems, the Ruhr region is a living laboratory that is ideally suited to metropolitan research, but it is always also considered in an international context.

More than 100 professorships at the three UA Ruhr universities are working on relevant issues across the many disciplines of the metropolitan research field. There are already many examples of close cooperation. The UA Ruhr has attracted over 50 million euros of external funding for metropolitan research projects since 2010. Compared with other centres for urban and metropolitan research worldwide, the greater disciplinary breadth on offer here is a competitive advantage. With this unusual (inter)disciplinary breadth and the network of connections across disciplinary cultures that has been built over a number of years, the main research area of Urban Systems is breaking new ground in its field and will both advance and intensify its work within the organisational frame of the UA Ruhr Competence Field.