The following selection of projects reflects the breadth of the subject matter as well as the lived combination of basic and applied research with a strong awareness of the social responsibility of science. The website contains further projects and information.


The research group “Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions” (City Scripts), which is funded for four years by the Volkswagen Foundation, examines and compares the strategies of self-representation and narrative scenarios that centres of old industries (steel, coal and cars) in the USA and Germany use to describe paths into the future. City Scripts is an American joint project of the Ruhr University Alliance (Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, Dortmund) under the direction of Barbara Buchenau (spokesperson) and Jens Martin Gurr (co-spokesperson). Here, seven doctoral candidates and one post-doc work together with the seven PIs, in particular on scripts for creative, sustainable and socially inclusive urban development, and complete practical phases that last up to one year.


The objective of the “Integrated Regional Climate Lab North Jakarta and Port” (JaC-Lab) (project management: Klaus Krumme and Prof. Bernd Noche) over the 2019–2027 funding period is to combine short- and medium-term measures for climate protection and adaptation with long-term strategies for sustainable urban development. The consortium funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) programme “Sustainable Urban Regions” includes UDE, the University of Bremen, the Wuppertal Institute, the German Institute of Urban Affairs (difu), and Ruhr University Bochum, and on the Indonesian side Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) and Universitas Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa. In the definition phase (2019–2021), JaC-Lab will apply the Urban Transition Management (UTM) method to initiate sustainable urban development strat­egies and to prepare implementation in concrete Living Labs during the planned research and implementation phase (2021–2027).

DFG Doctoral Research Training Group 2484: Regional Disparities and Economic Policy

Since 2019, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding the doctoral research training group 2484 under the auspices of UDE (Tobias Seidel) and in cooperation with the universities of Dortmund and Bochum and the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research. The programme is closely linked to UA Ruhr’s competence field of metropolitan research, and combines cutting-edge research with doctoral funding on regional disparities in complex emergences and interactions between factors such as income, household costs, work, health and education, which are fundamental, especially in urbanised contexts.

SALVE project

SALVE stands for acoustic quality and health in urban areas. Together with spatial planners from TU Dortmund (Dietwald Gruehn), the Centre for Urban Epidemiology (CUE) is investigating the associations between urban noise and health. To this end, extensive audio measurements are carried out four times a year at more than 700 locations in Bochum, resulting in the creation of one of the largest urban soundscapes data sets worldwide, made possible by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR) (director: Susanne Moebus).


The EU project CLEVER Cities – “Co-designing Locally tailored Ecological solutions for Value added, socially inclusive Regeneration in Cities” – brings together 33 cities and organisations from Europe, South America and China, including UDE (Susanne Moebus, Julita Skodra). The aim is to develop nature-based solutions within the framework of sustainable urban renewal projects. In the participating cities, a participatory process involves residents and businesses in urban areas affected by crime, social inequality, unemployment and child poverty.

NRW-Fortschrittkolleg “Energy Efficiency in the Neighbourhood”

Following initial-phase funding of the Fortschrittkolleg by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2015, in 2019 the cooperation between RWTH Aachen University (coordin­ation), UDE, TU Dortmund University, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum University of Applied Sciences, ebz Business School and the Wuppertal Institute was extended. UDE has three participating working groups, all working on different issues (Angelika Heinzel, Christoph Weber, J. Alexander Schmidt/Dirk Wittowsky).

Participation in the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies BMBF

Urban Systems researchers were also involved in the second phase (2017–2019) of the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies, which has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2013 (see also the more detailed presentation under IN-EAST) and deals with innovations in the urban centres of East Asia. Of interest here were not least the mech­anisms by which concepts and models of urban development are disseminated globally.

Participation in CONUS

Launched in 2019, the “Competence Net Urban-Industrial Supply” combines the competencies of JUS and ZLV with a regional innovation network of cities and districts, chambers of commerce, universities and companies in the Lower Rhine region for urbanised supply processes for sustainable management (directors: Ani Melkonyan Gottschalk, Klaus Krumme; further information in the ZLV report).