News & Highlights

Cities and Climate Change

The Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) recently published its Second Assessment Report (ARC3.2). This is the result of an approx. five year process, gathering together more than 350 authors from over 100 cities worldwide to inform mayors, city officials and policymakers, urban planners, and a broad spectrum of researchers and advanced students in the environmental sciences on the development and implementation of effective urban climate change policies, leveraging ongoing and planned investments for populations in cities of developing, emerging, and developed countries. The ARC3.2 Summary for City Leaders was already presented in December 2015 at a UCCRN side session at the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris.

UFZ actively contributed to this Report as Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and with specific Case Studies on Santiago de Chile, Dar es Salaam and Jena. The experience to be part of this huge initiative and long-lasting process was tremendous. The network that has been built provides an excellent basis for future collaboration.

On September 18, 2018, Dr. Kerstin Krellenberg and Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste, both currently guest scientists at the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology at UFZ, presented the main findings of the Report and talked about their personal experiences as Coordinating Lead Author and Lead Author of this Report:

Climate Change and Cities - Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network

Kerstin Krellenberg
Nathalie Jean-Baptiste

K. Krellenberg and N. Jean-Baptiste
Nathalie Jean-Baptiste and Kerstin Krellenberg. Photo: S. Kabisch, UFZ

Symposia, talks and posters – contributing the IAPS in Rome

In July 2018, we engaged in an inspiring, international and highly interdisciplinary IAPS conference in Rome for one week. The acronym IAPS stands for International Association of People-Environment Studies: it’s all about environmental research from global to local aspects. This association especially relates to the needs and challenges of humans in their respective environments. The UFZ was well-represented with convening two symposia, giving several talks, and exhibiting a poster, all related to our key issue urban transformations. The symposia on Green Infrastructure (GI) dealt with the respective foci GI to human well-being, and GI for a diversifying urban society. Having been well-attended, we could experience exciting scientific discussions and foster our networking. Other formats, such as the Young Researchers Workshop and Poster Session gave splendid opportunities for our young researchers to exchange with experienced international senior scientists and shed light to their research questions from different research angles.

Sigrun Kabisch
Ellen Banzhaf

Matthias Groß receives the Frederick Buttel Prize 2018

Logo ISA Matthias Gross received the 2018 Frederick Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology from the International Sociological Association ( ISA ). The Buttel Award, the highest award presented in the field, is given out once every four years. The award is presented by a branch of the International Sociological Association and intended for “outstanding contributions of scholars to the study of environment-society relations”, according to the ISA website. The awardee Matthias Gross was announced during the World Congress of Sociology in Toronto on July 18, 2018 in a speech by Professor Stewart Lockie, former president of ISA’s Research Committee on Environment & Society.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Groß

Research findings on large housing estates presented

On July 18th, 2018 scientists presented their newest research findings in a public event within the scope of Grünauer Kultursommer (cultural summer program in Leipzig-Grünau) in Stadtteilladen Grünau. First the editors introduced the recently published book “Großwohnsiedlungen im Haltbarkeitscheck” containing differentiated perspectives and challenges of large housing estates in Eastern Germany by means of examples. A central contribution focuses on development chances of Leipzig-Grünau based on the longitudinal study “Wohnen und Leben in Grünau” (Housing and Living in Grünau), executed by Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Event with guests. Event with guests. © Raffaela Betz, UFZ
At the event, we welcomed the Czech and Polish partners Eva Szafranska (Lodz), Michal Kohout and Filip Tittl (Prague), who also contributed to the book. With this multinational view we especially discussed the different owner structures which were also examined and presented for Leipzig-Grünau by UFZ-researchers. A guided walk through Grünau. Before the event interested guests could get an impression of living in Leipzig-Grünau by a guided walk through the large housing estate.

Afterwards scientists of the UFZ presented recent research findings about 13, so-called smaller large housing estates in Leipzig. Development chances of these areas of industrial housing construction were examined and recently published in a brochure. Each area is analysed by multiple maps and graphics resulting in a derivation of specifics and potentials. In a comparison of all findings, the importance of the smaller large housing estates in growing Leipzig is highlighted. The results were discussed with and appreciated by representatives of urban planning and municipal policy as well as actors of local institutions. In the end of the event, brochures were available for all guests.

After the event we received several inquiries for sending the brochure which we’ll gladly do for interested persons or parties: Hannah Kirschner

Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch

Cover: Kleinere Großwohnsiedlungen im Blick
Cover "Leipzigs kleinere Großwohnsiedlungen im Blick"
Cover: Großwohnsiedlungen im Haltbarkeitscheck
Cover „Großwohnsiedlungen im Haltbarkeitscheck“

Collaborative workshop on children´s health

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Scientists of the Thematic Areas Chemicals in the Environment and Environment and Society are going to hold a workshop on children´s health:

„Understanding the impact of social factors on children´s health in urban areas“

In order to comprehensively determine the influence of the environmental burden on children´s health, social factors of the living environment become important. The interdisciplinary approach needs shared concepts and a precise language for mutual understanding.
As a basis for the workshop, a literature review was conducted, which systematizes the understanding of a wide range of social factors.

29.1.2018, 13.00 - 16.30 p.m.
Kubus, Lecture hall 2A/B, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch
Juliane Schicketanz

New Publication on the challenges of climate change

Santiago de Chile The Helmholtz International Research Group CLAVE, a cooperation between the UFZ and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has published a book on "Climate change, urban vulnerability and adaptation at the municipal level. Santiago de Chile and other cities in Latin America". It emphasizes the challenges of climate change and related impacts in different municipalities of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile. It reveals the interlinkages of socio-environmental fragmentation and urban vulnerability and points out the institutional adaptive capacity at the municipal level. It highlights adaptation needs according to the assessed vulnerability, which were developed in strong colaboration with the municipalities. Perspectives of other Latin American Metropolitan Regions complement with an international dimension.

Read more..

PhD Kerstin Krellenberg

New Competence Center: Children-Environment-Health

Prof. Dr. Kiess und Prof. Dr. Teutsch signing the MoU On November the 2nd, 2017, a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the Competence Center Children-Environment-Health was signed by the University of Leipzig and the UFZ in presence of the State Minister for Science and Art of Saxony Eva-Maria Stange. The State Minister, the Rector of the University of Leipzig Beate Schücking and the Scientific Director of the UFZ Georg Teutsch underlined the outstanding possibilities of interdisciplinary cooperation for the promotion of child health and the resulting unique position of Leipzig's research site. It was emphasized that in addition to medical and epidemiological factors, the environmental impact and the social environmental conditions in the neighbourhood, in which children grow up, must be included in the investigation. With its expertise the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology will contribute.

Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch

Chinese delegation visiting UFZ

group photo From October 24-25, 2017, a delegation of 7 people from Zhejiang University, Department of Land Management, Hangzhou, visited the UFZ to present own findings, to inform about current urban research in the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology and explore cooperations. During a workshop the different interdisciplinary urban research approaches at the UFZ were presented. Dr. Florian Koch gave an introduction to the IP Urban Transformations . Prof. Dr. Uwe Schlink presented a micrometeorological modeling approach and its 3D visualization using the example of a revitalized brownfield in the area of the “Bayerischer Bahnhof”. In addition to findings on air quality in Medellin, Colombia, from Dr. Andrea Müller , the three PhD students Jingxia Wang , Maximilian Ueberham and Daniel Hertel also presented their respective urban-related research approaches. This covered a broad spectrum ranging from land use and urban climate to city-wide and personal health effects. 3D visualization
From the Chinese delegation, the head of the Department of Land Management, Prof. Dr. Wu Yuzhe gave a brief overview about the university structure and its Department. Subsequently, four students presented the results of their bachelor theses in the field of urban land management. The focus was on influences that affect the home and apartment situation in Hangzhou. In particular, possible linkages between urban research in Hangzhou and Leipzig were discussed. After visiting the UFZ, the delegation used the opportunity to discover the entire science park and to visit Leipzig with representatives of urban planning.

Daniel Hertel

Guest scientist from Chennai, India

Gangadhar Undi Swami (MS) Gangadhar Undi Swami (MS) from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) in Chennai, India, is our guest during September 2017. In the frame of his PhD project he investigates the “Urban vulnerability due to air quality, climatic conditions and health risk assessment”. Integrating measurements made at fixed locations and gathered by mobile individuals with urban micro-meteorological simulations, Mr. Undi studies the association between urban heat island (UHI) and the formation of secondary air pollutants, such as ozone.

Gangadhar Undi Swami
Prof. Uwe Schlink

Afrikanische Stipendiaten zu Gast am UFZ

African students holding scholarships of the German VW Stiftung came to visit UFZ and our department on July 19, 2017. They were participants of the „Africa Initiative“-Project: Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa“. The delegation of 12 people was headed by Prof. Stützel of the Leibnitz Universität Hannover and had a major interest in UFZ's cooperations with African partners.

In her welcoming speech Prof. Kabisch presented the main research foci of the UFZ. She then presented the results and experiences of the CLUVA research project that addressed the results of climate change in urban Africa. The next talk was given by Dr. Annemarie Müller, who gave an overview about methods in disaster risk research. Additional ongoing projects with African partners were introduced by Dr. Kathleen Hermans (CLE), who looks at land-use changes and migration and by Dr. Gunnar Dreßler (ÖSA) who investigates pasture use in dryland grazing systems under change. The connection between social and natural scientific research questions in all of the presentations was particularly interesting. A central question was about the role of migration: one the one hand as a solution, on the other hand as a challenge. The transferability of scientific results into practice was also discussed.

Prof. Sigrun Kabisch

DAAD-Guest scientist from Mazandaran, Iran

Prof. Dr. Sadegh Salehi From June to Mid-September Prof. Dr. Sadegh Salehi of the University of Mazandaran (Iran) is DAAD-guest scientist at UFZ's Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology. During his stay he plans to finalize research on renewable energy consumption and waste management. He also plans to prepare a project proposal for mutual scientific collaboration between UFZ and some Iranian universities. Water management and climate change issues are included in this project.

Prof. Sadegh Salehi
Prof. Matthias Groß

Guest scientist from Santiago de Chile

Francisco de la Barrera Our department had a warm welcome for Francisco de la Barrera from Santiago de Chile, Pontifícia Universidad Católica, Institute for Geography. He stayed with us from June 18 to 21, 2017, for scientific exchange. His field of interest is at the cutting edge between urban growth patterns and their pressure on the natural ecosystems, especially along the Andean foothills. During his stay we discussed new fields of research in the frame of international calls focusing on sustainable innovations for urban development.

Dr. Ellen Banzhaf

Guest scientist from Ecuador

Gruppenfoto mit P. Cabrera-Barona, E. Banzhaf, S. Kabisch, F.Koch Our department had a warm welcome for Pablo Cabrera-Barona from Ecuador who presently works at University of Salzburg, Austria. Based on his background on ecology and planning, he stayed with us on June 14 and 15 for scientific exchange. In the working group Geomatics he presented his research methodology and respective results on „Health Inequalities with Emphasis on Deprivation and Healthcare Accessibility”. In the Integrated Project Urban Transformations he discussed the topic „From the ‘Good Living‘ to the ‘Common Good’ – an economic-spatial perspective” with us.

Dr. Ellen Banzhaf

Positioning paper published: Urban greening and social justice

Together with an interdisciplinary team of international social and environmental scientists, colleagues from the department of urban and environmental sociology as well as the IP Urban Transformations published a positioning paper on the topic of urban greening and social justice (Source: Haase, D., Kabisch, S., Haase, A. et al. 2017. Greening cities – To be socially inclusive? About the alleged paradox of society and ecology in cities. Habitat International Volume 64, June 2017, Pages 41–48 DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2017.04.005).
Picture of the workshop. Source: A. Haase The paper discusses current challenges of a sustainable and green urban development set against the background of growing socio-spatial inequalities in cities and unsolved justice issues. The authors suggest six concrete prerequisites for a green and socially inclusive development, e.g. the acknowledgement of existing trade-offs between social and ecological processes, the inclusion of different opinions, wants and needs into planning, a focus on multi-actor governance as well as a political contextualization of the debate. The publication draws on results of an international workshop at UFZ on 1 June 2015 with 25 participants.

Haase et al 2017 - Abstract

Dr. Annegret Haase