© inonemedia

Working Group „Urban Environmental Research“

We investigate environmental aspects of the development of urban spaces. Urban environments are characterised by natural, built and social components and their interrelations. The guiding principle of our research is sustainability, which is operationalised through the interaction of quality of life, resilience and resource efficiency. We focus on the analysis of the interrelations between urbanisation and global change, understanding cities as places where the negative consequences of global change are particularly noticeable (e.g., resource scarcity, environmental risks), but where new sustainable development pathways may be developed and shaped (density of innovation and knowledge). Thus, synergies and trade-offs between social and economic developments and environmental changes in urban areas as well as urban change are of particular interest.

Key questions

  • How can we reduce the ressource consumption of cities and enhance their efficiency?
  • How can the quality of life and health in cities be maintained and improved?
  • How can we keep the cities' resilience in the face of crises and risks and increase it?
  • Which synergies and conflicts exist between the different approaches to sustainable development?


Main research interests

  • Urbanisation processes with a focus on interactions of urban dynamics with ecosystem services, land use transformations, vulnerabilities and resilience, urban climate and air quality, biodiversity, water infrastructures and energy systems, and demographic and social change
  • Sustainable neighborhood development and dynamics of socio-spatial differentiation
  • Development of appropriate planning and governance approaches and generation of decision-making and action knowledge
  • Analyses of human exposure and environmental justice in the urban context

Main methods

  • Quantitative sociological methods (statistical analyses, questionnaire surveys, etc.)
  • Qualitative sociological methods (interviews, content and document analyses, focus groups, scenarios, etc.)
  • Assessment approaches and methods (e.g., sustainability, vulnerability, quality of life, equity, etc.)
  • Indicator-based approaches and scenarios
  • Modeling and visualization (e.g. GIS, cartography, statistical modeling, agent-based modeling).
  • Recording and assessment of human exposures (mobile measurements)
  • Transdisciplinary approaches (group discussions, workshops, learning networks, round tables, interdisciplinary projects, etc.)

Our work is characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity and aims at developing research questions and approaches in close cooperation with practice, i.e. in a transdisciplinary manner.


April, 25, 2023 / 1:30 pm: Daniel Hertel and Janine Pößneck (UFZ, Leipzig)

Title: Planetary Health Modell zur Reduktion von Hitzestress auf Quartiersebene