WP 4: Environmental Risks & Vulnerability

WP 4

Cities are exposed to various environmental risks causing not only loss and damages but also possibly questioning their very existence in the long run, at least if one takes into account the likely consequences of climate change.

We analyze and evaluate urban vulnerabilities in an interdisciplinary context. We focus on temporal and spatial dynamics as well as on the capacities of cities and their inhabitants to cope with environmental risks. For this purpose we develop, design and evaluate governance strategies and methods in close interaction with stakeholder groups. These can support the sustainable development of cities.

In this WP we pursue the following questions:

  • Which processes and structures influence and shape urban vulnerabilities to environmental risks?
  • How to transform urban areas to make them more resilient and livable against the background of increasing environmental risks?

Summer in the city Air temperature 1.5m above ground in the Waldstraßenviertel (Leipzig) on a summer day (07-21-2010). Animation: U. Schlink Our research focuses on flooding, cyclones, droughts, heat waves and air pollutants (urban exposomes), each of them being characterized by different dynamics (e.g. slow vs. rapid onset events, temporarily vs. constant exposure). Geographically, we do research in Central Europe (“The Tereno area Mitteldeutschland”), in South America with a focus on the region of Santiago de Chile, in Istanbul as well as in West and East African cities (e.g. Ouagadougou, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam).

Associated projects:


Dr. Christian Kuhlicke
Dept. of Urban and Environmental Sociology
UFZ Leipzig
Prof. Dr. Uwe Schlink
Dept. of Urban and Environmental Sociology
UFZ Leipzig