Find out about ongoing research projects

The following research projects convinced our independent expert jury and won in the two previous rounds. In autumn 2017, the research of the first projects started.

Land*Stadt Transformation gestalten (Shaping Rural*Urban Transformation)

We usually distinguish between “the city” and “the countryside” when we discuss living environments. This distinction, however, often falls short, as different living spaces and their inhabitants influence one another. Consequently, these local and social correlations must be considered to ensure successful urban transformations.

The “Land*Stadt Transformation gestalten” (Shaping Rural*Urban Transformation) project applies the “transformative cell” concept to develop and test an approach aimed at systematically recording links between urban and rural areas. This process is based on an analysis of flows of, for example, people, goods, raw materials, information, etc. that can help identify actors relevant to transformation and their potential for action and change.

The concept of the transformative cell is reflected and tested in four “living labs.” Furthermore, the project team conducts a research camp. Ultimately, selected transformation projects should be enabled to overcome the strict urban/rural dichotomy in various spheres of activity. The project activities are continuously supported by and reflected in scientific-artistic research and intervention formats.


Project group discussing their plan
Tobias Bohm

Offene Stadt (Open City)

Openness is a key issue in current social debates on inclusivity, safety, and resource allocation. These debates are especially apparent in cities. Therefore, openness plays an important role in urban research. In this context, openness refers to three interrelated aspects:

  • Openness of physical spaces;
  • Openness of social, economic, and environmental systems;
  • Future-oriented openness in terms of a temporal dimension.

The “Offene Stadt” (Open City) project focuses on these three aspects. Using Berlin as an example, it researches which new interfaces, strategies, and tools of urban development are created when different approaches of openness in cities and society are merged.

The main question is: What answers can openness provide when integrated systematically into urban development processes? The research team is investigating concepts and approaches of openness in cities and society to respond to current challenges in urban development while remaining open to future developments.


Tobias Bohm

StadtTeilen (Sharing in the Neighborhood)

In recent years, the debate about the future of cities has increasingly been dominated by issues such as lack of space, gentrification, and the pushing aside of certain groups. At the same time, sharing is becoming an increasingly important practice in urban environments. The StadtTeilen (Sharing in the Neighborhood) project explores the significance and potential of sharing in socially-mixed big-city neighborhoods. In doing so, the project builds on previous scientific and practical approaches, looking into different variations of sharing, from commoning to the sharing economy. The goal is to develop approaches and visions for sharing practices to create public and living spaces as common properties. The project comprises case studies of downtown neighborhoods in Berlin, Kassel and Stuttgart. Besides empirical studies, the transdisciplinary research approach also includes conversations and a practice laboratory with residents and other urban actors to investigate formats and possibilities of hyper-local sharing. The results of the study will both be summarized in scientific publications and practice-oriented handouts and also be made available together with sample architectural designs. The project team is also planning to share all findings with the participating neighborhoods.


Exchange of ideas at a workshop
Tobias Bohm

Critical Mapping in Municipalist Movements

Can critical mapping support civil society initiatives in their commitment to profound transformation? Using three case studies in European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Belgrade) as examples, the potential of critical mapping will be examined and its possibilities for application by the new municipalist movements tested. The team will investigate the following questions: How can critical mapping contribute specifically to the concerns of municipalist movements? Where, why, and how is critical mapping applied in new municpalist movements and by whom exactly? How can the role of critical mapping in municipalist movements be strengthened?


Team Critical Mapping
Tobias Bohm