News & Highlights

New video online: Christian Kuhlicke in Portrait

Online Forum MigraChance

Online forum „Migration und Konflikt vor Ort – an Konflikten wachsen oder scheitern?“
(Local Migration and conflict – growing or failing by conflicts?)

From April to the mid-May, the BMBF project MIGRACHANCE held its expert forum on the local significance of migration-related conflicts. The event, originally planned as a conference meeting at the UFZ, was converted due to Covid-19 into a series of eight digital workshops to which we invited contributions from science and practice ( details in German).

For the SUSoz Department Alexander Krahmer, Dominik Intelmann and Annegret Haase took part and carried out the moderation as well as preparation and follow-up of some of the workshops. With our guests we discussed the importance of conflicts as drivers of social and institutional change, dealt with the conditions of local conflicts and critically examined ideas about the role migration plays in urban conflicts. In addition, we reflected (from a practical as well as scientific perspective) on the influence of the political, legal and institutional framework, as well as the various actors involved. Another central topic was the adequate handling of local conflicts and what innovations have so far been made in their treatment. Per workshop the number of participants was between 25 to 50. A documentation is in preparation.

New Team Member in the REGREEN Project

Julius Knopp

Julius Knopp joined our department at the beginning of April. After he graduated as M.Sc. in Geoinformatics in 2019 at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, he is now working as a researcher in the REGREEN project, funded by the European Commission, together with Ellen Banzhaf. The main focus of his research so far has been remote sensing of urban areas using high-resolution satellite data with a focus on green spaces and urban heat islands. With enthusiasm he studied the distribution and accessibility of urban green spaces. During his studies at university, he also conducted several qualitative research on student housing markets and citizens' initiatives by means of guided interviews. In the REGREEN project, he will continue to work on combining qualitative and quantitative investigations to foster resilience in cities.

We welcome our Indian PhD student Anees

Anees Mangalasseril Mohammad

Anees Mangalasseril Mohammad has joined our department in October. As a guest researcher he is funded by the DAAD sandwich program and carries out research under the supervision of Ellen Banzhaf. His research work concentrates on analysing urban growth dynamics using remote sensing and delineating its impact on the urban ecosystem. At UFZ, he will develop a methodology to evaluate ecosystem quality under pressure of urban growth with a special focus on multifunctional green infrastructure. His outcome is expected to contribute to the resilience of urban ecosystems by implementing his results into local urban planning. As a DAAD scholar, Anees can use the know-how at UFZ to complete part of his doctoral work entitled Characterizing urban ecosystems in the capital cities of the Western Himalaya.

Through the DAAD sandwich programme, foreign doctoral students start their doctoral degree in their home country, and subsequently elaborate their skills in a fully funded research period of 12 months in Germany. After their research stay here, they complete their bi-nationally supervised doctoral programme at their home university. Anees is currently registered as a PhD student at the School of Environmental Sciences (SES), in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India.

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