OFFENE STADT | open city
open city, offene stadt, berlin, isu
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Research Project

“OFFENE STADT: Theorien, Perspektiven, Instrumente” is a  joint inter- and transdisciplinary research project by TU Braunschweig, TU Dortmund and the German Institute of Urban Affairs, in cooperation with the Senate of the City of Berlin and supported by a renowned advisory board, and funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Openness is at the center of current societal debates when issues of belonging, security and resource distribution are being negotiated. In the light of insecurity and uncertainty regarding future developments, current societal debates point towards new lines of conflict regarding „openness“ and „closure“ within urban areas. Openness has interlinked dimensions: the physical openness of space, institutional openness, the openness of social, economic and ecological systems, and responsiveness to future change.
The open city is a challenging concept and an opportunity. The exploration of such new perspectives and approaches considering openness in urban development is crucial as the speed of societal changes, urban growth and deteriorating environmental conditions increases. Can the concept of openness provide designers, planners, decision makers and citizens new strategies to counter multiple uncertainties in the process of urban development, without irrevocably obstructing future possibilities?

Research Team

Institute for Sustainable Urbanism

TU Braunschweig

ISU is a think tank, design and research laboratory committed to promoting science and scholarship in an international, inter- and transdisciplinary Setting – towards new tools and strategies for more sustainable cities and communities. Extending the limits of ist own discipline, ISU engages in interdisciplinary joint projects, gaining scientific and data-based knowledge of the complexity of the urban world and redefines the understanding how the structure, design and shape of the built environment is key towards sustainable urbanism.


Prof.Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow

Ines Dobosic

Olaf Mumm

Majd Murad

Dr.Dagmar Schulze Heuling 


Institute for Geoecology

TU Braunschweig

The Landscape Ecology and Environmental Systems Analysis Group at the Institute of Geoecology, Technische Universität Braunschweig is dedicated to quantitative and interdisciplinary research. We use modelling as a central tool. Our research focuses on understanding the reactions of organisms to environmental and anthropogenic change and the development of models for the con¬servation and sustainable manage¬ment of species, landscapes, and related ecosystem functions and Services.


Prof.Dr. Boris Schröder-Esselbach

Dr.Michael Strohbach 

German Institute of Urban Affairs

The German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) is the largest urban research institute in the German-speaking area. Founded 1973 it is the research, further training and information institution for cities, municipalities, administrative districts, municipal associations and planning departments. Difu adresses all the topics municipalities have to deal with: whether in urban and regional development, municipal commerce, urban construction, social issues, environment, transport, culture, law, administrative subjects or municipal finances.


Jan Hendrik Trapp

Department of Urban and Regional Sociology

TU Dortmund

Urban and Regional Sociology studies questions of living in regard to space. In research and teaching the department focuses on social, political and cultural questions, tendencies and problems of modern and recent urban and regional development.

Our aim is, to analyse and interpret these developments from a historical perspective and in their meaning for urban planning decisions. This requires engaging with methods of analysis of urban and regional development processes and the feedback of insights into social science theories.


Dr.-Ing. Nadine Appelhans 

Advisory Board

Hardy Bouillon_bw

Hardy Bouillon

Prof. Dr.

Associate Professor of Philosophy


Jochen Rabe


Professor for Urban Resilience and Digitalization


Johanna Rolshoven 

Prof. Dr.

Professor for Cultural Anthropology


Harald Welzer 

Prof. Dr.

Professor of Transformation design


Erol Yildiz

Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Professor of Education Science


OFFENE STADT is a joint inter- and trans-disciplinary project by:

In collaboration with:

Funded by: