Urban areas in advanced economies face major spatial challenges with a long lasting impact on cities. The drivers for urban transformation are manifold and include technological change and digitalization, migration and demographic shifts, climate change, increasing relevance of agglomeration economies as well as post- and re-industrialization.
Spatial implications of structural change and the organization of such transformation demand for deliberate strategies to revitalize the traditional manufacturing cores. These include a wide range of new forms of interventions such as social innovation, governance, resilience, urban laboratories and urban strategy.
Given the geographical location in Ruhr, the master program ‘Urban Transformation’ benefits from the extensive experience in the region. The Ruhr became a touted model for transition regions and serves as a laboratory with excellent opportunities to learn about the challenges as well as strategies of transforming and revitalizing post-industrial locations. The IBA Emscher Park strategy (1989-1999) is known worldwide as a particular innovative planning practice. The unique strategy of re-imaging and revitalizing the industrial landscape has raised considerable interest among planners and policy makers.
The spatial implications of structural change and the transformation of the Ruhr have always influenced academic debates as well as research at our School. Complementing the local experience, international examples are also integrated into the program. These enable our students to identify similarities as well as differences on a local, national and global scale.