Focus Area Sustainable Living Spaces

Sustainable improvement of the quality of life in urban and rural areas
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. The United Nations predicts that this will increase to two-thirds by the year 2050. The prospects for a brighter future is what primarily brings many people to cities. In order to serve as viable places to live, however, cities have to offer more than work, living space, and infrastructure. People from different social strata, cultures, and religions live side by side and have to learn to get along with each other.

At the same time, due to the migration of people into urban areas and a therefore increasingly older population, rural areas are faced with a difficult task: The variety of offerings and quality of life are decreasing, and educational and health care institutions are often difficult to reach. The future prospects of entire regions remain uncertain.

With our projects, we contribute to the sustainable improvement of the quality of life both in urban and rural areas. Along the way, we put humans – regardless of age and background – in focus and enrich the often technology-laden discourse with new perspectives. We concentrate on two aspects:

  • Research in the natural and social sciences as a basis for recommended actions
  • Citizens who actively help shape their environments

Research in Natural and Social Sciences

The results of research conducted in the natural and social sciences provide valuable impetus and information that form the basis for new recommendations for action. However, the implementation often breaks down due to the different interests of the players involved and the concrete behavior of the people. That is why we foster both the top level of research on sustainable use of renewable natural resources as well as the exchange among scientists, teachers, and students on questions of ecological sustainability.

Active Civil Society

Civic behavior is one possible response to the social challenges. We encourage and enable decision-makers in cities and communities as well as their citizens to themselves develop sustainable solutions for their environments. Additionally, we support the initiatives of active citizens that help to directly shape the ability of people to live together in their local communities.

Photo: Theodor Barth
Featured Activities
Projects of the Focus Area
Robert Bosch Junior Professorship

Robert Bosch Junior Professorship

Each year we invite applications for the Robert Bosch Junior Professorship "Research into the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources", granting up to one million euros for independent research over a period of five years.

SPIELRAUM – Shaping Urban Transformation

SPIELRAUM – Shaping Urban Transformation

With this interdisciplinary program, we are supporting researchers who want to take our cities to the next level with their clever ideas.

Baladiya - New Paths in Urban Development

Baladiya - New Paths in Urban Development

We support Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian managers active in the field of urban development to enhance their management skills and find solutions to the current challenges facing their home cities.