Field of Research: Urban Ecology

A sustainable approach to natural resources is a particularly necessary prerequisite where many people are living together in a tight space. On one hand, cities are thus ecologically dense and climatically polluted ecosystems, but at the same time they also bring forward new niches and opportunities to protect scarce resources (flora, fauna, the social world).

In this field of study, city-rural dynamics and strategies of overcoming the urban-rural opposition are discussed, sharpening a view of ‘other’ urban dwellers (plants, animals, viruses, nanoparticles, etc.). Aspects of land reclamation, conversion, interim uses, and the re-use of urban brownfields, open spaces, and ground floors play a key role here, as do innovative new ideas about urban energy and resource production (such as fish farming on urban buildings).

On another scale of spatial planning decisions, aspects of climate change, urban climate policy, and climate protection, as well as changes in (national, regional, and local) energy policy and its impact on urban ecology and urban environmental policy need to discussed as regards their impacts for urban design and urban planning.

Ecological perspectives are indispensable to the fraught practice of city planning, which is why this field of research is aimed at imparting and deepening the students’ spatial knowledge about urgent environmental policy issues such as climate protection, resource conservation, and energy use, in relation to lived space analysis. In addition, connections to landscape ecology, open-space planning, and the design of open spaces are being made.