Urban Ecology and Urban Development

The working group Urban and Landscape Ecology works on urban Stadtökologie und Stadtentwicklungecology in cities and on landscape management in cultural landscapes.

Essential research fields are sustainable urban development (local Agenda 21), the analysis and evaluation of urban structures, the management of urban ecosystems and urban green spaces, suburbanization, environmental quality targets and strategies for nature conservation, especially in urban areas. To reach these targets, practice-oriented research projects regarding urban environmental development and cooperations with universities, reserach institutions and decision makers of local and regional level are established.

It is more and more obvious that sustainable urban development can only be achieved in the urban-regional and multi-disciplinary context. The historical definition of ‘city’ as a limited, punctual, and structural concentration in the cultural landscape, which differs clearly from the open countryside and the agrarian cultural landscape, has no more validity as a gerenal principle.

Urban landscapes do not simply consist of core spatial structural agglomerations any more, but also of expanded hinterland zones that often reach a radius of 50km around the agglomeration cores and that show the highest dynamic of development of the entire urban region. Therefore, scientifically sound prognoses and integrated concepts for a management geared to a long-term environmental quality both in urban-regional dimensions and in sub-spaces or parts of landscapes are necessary for such urban landscapes.