on the homepage of the working group for "Urban and Metropolitan Studies" at the Institute of Geography of the RUB!

The chair's research group has been led by Prof. Dr. Uta Hohn since 2003. From the perspective of geographical urban research, it deals with the comparative study of processes of urban and regional development in metropolitan areas. The spectrum of topics in research and teaching mainly includes:

  • Planing and governance in urban and regional development
  • Analysis and comparison of planning cultures
  • Metropolitan transformation processes and their ability to be planned/managed (e.g. Waterfront Redevelopment, Urban Renaissance-Policy)
  • Social-ecological sustainability transformation in metropolises
  • Formats of innovation-oriented urban and regional development
  • Transdisciplinary research and teaching with transformative aspirations in urban neighbourhoods
  • Urban and regional development in the Metropole Ruhr
  • Urban and regional development in Japan, especially in the metropolitan regions of Tokyo and Kansai

Since 2005, the annual summer schools on comparative metropolitan research have offered students the opportunity to get to know current projects of metropolitan urban development in the Ruhr region or in Tokyo or Shanghai in exchange with planning practice and in academic dialogue with students and lectureres from Japan and China. Cooperation partners are the Division of Policy and Planning Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems at the University of Tsukuba and the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University Shanghai. Further courses can be found in the overview.

Contributions of the working group to the Institute's focus "Transformation of Metropolitan Region"

In the working group "Urban and Metropolitan Studies", transformation processes of metropolitan regions are analysed primarily from the perspective of governance and planning culture research. The focus is on analysing the actors, their power resources and networks, strategies, concepts and projects, as well as on examining the complex interactions between the institutional world of the formal planning system and the institutional world of informal contexts of discourse and action. Central to this is also the consideration of development paths and multi-level references. The focus is on transformation spaces in the existing stock and in urban redevelopment at different scales, from the brownfield site to the neighbourhood to the region. This also involves the question of the extent to which the planning and management of these transformation processes, using the potential of digitalisation, are aligned with the guiding principle of sustainability and contribute to the creation of resilient urban structures. "Smart City" concepts are critically analysed for their contribution to sustainability within the framework of a "Just Transition".

The working group is intensively networked in the Ruhr region and is involved in transdisciplinary and transformative research and teaching as well as knowledge transfer for sustainability transformation in the Metropole Ruhr.


Working Group "Urban and Metropolitan Studies"

Leitung: Prof. Dr. Uta Hohn

Geographical Institute

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Universitätsstraße 150

D-44801 Bochum


Secretarial office:

The secretariats of the Department of Geography, organized according to the division of labor, can be reached