Urban sustainability transformations

Urban sustainability transformations – integrated urban research

AG Urbane Nachhaltigkeitstransformation komprimiert


Cities are at the same time contributing to and affected by global environmental change. Therefore cities play a crucial role to achieve the globally adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover it is stated that the majority of the SDGs can only be reached if transformative action is taken at the local level. The complexity associated with urban sustainability transformations requires a systemic, holistic and integrated research approach

The working group aims to support implementation of the SDGs by a new coalition of urban research expertise of different institutions in the context of integrated urban research. At this, the working group will bring together the German research community and existing research approaches as well as discuss possible connections to accompanying communities.

The working group will focus on the following questions, structured by the three transformation fields of reconstruction of infrastructure, climate adaptation and CO2 compensation:

  • How can the SDGs be implemented in German and European cities and thus contribute to successful transformations of greater sustainability? What obstacles have to overcome on that way?
  • What is so far the role of science in this process, and what are possible constraints, but also the potential of transformative urban research?
  • What is so far the role of science in this process, and what are possible constraints, but also the potential of transformative urban research?


Working group members

Prof. Dr. Claudia Binder, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Kristine Kern, Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung (IRS) und Åbo Akademi University Dr.

Florian Koch, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin

Dr. Kerstin Krellenberg, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung – UFZ Leipzig

Klaus Krumme, Universität Duisburg-Essen

Dr. Jens Libbe, Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik

Dr. Klaus Reuter, Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Agenda 21 NRW e.V.

Katharina Schleicher, Zentrum für Transformationsforschung

Dr. Susanne Schubert, Umweltbundesamt



Time period: 

2017 - 2019 (24 Months)


Working group co-spokesperson:

Dr. Kerstin Krellenberg
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ
E-Mail: kerstin.krellenberg@ufz.de

Prof. Dr. Florian Koch
Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin
E-Mail: Florian.Koch@HTW-Berlin.de


Expected output:

Perspective for research proposal


Meetings (by invitation):



Round-table discussion: 17./18.1.2019 (schedule)

Download Call for Abstracts

Download Round-table Discussion Results

  • 2015-2017

    Positive impacts through land use change

  • 2015-2017

    Co-design, co-production and co-dissemination

  • 2015-2017

    The social aspects in socio-ecological models and simulations of sustainability research

  • 2015-2017

    Sustainable intensification in agriculture

  • 2016-2018

    Social innovations in energy policy making

  • 2017-2019

    Urban sustainability transformations

  • 2017-2019

    Sustainable work