Chair of Urban Development

Beeline distances between workplace and residence of a group of 7,000 respondents

Spatial Development is the product of the interplay between territorial and functional logic. On the one hand there are targets, objectives, and actions of government institutions. On the other hand there are functional drivers of (economic) development and the resulting location requirements. The convergence and overlapping of these two types of logic spawn both stimulating incentives and conflicts. From a socio-scientific and topographical perspective we regard these phenomena as being constitutive for research, tuition and the provision of services at the school of architecture. Public and private approaches need to be analysed from the point of view of their mutually dependent, functional framework, which leads to different spatial analysis levels. The aim is here to better understand conditions and consequences of urban interventions on different scales as well as resources and potentials of these interventions for spatial development.

The Department focuses its attention on metropolitan regions of European dimensions, "Mega-City Regions", which emerge due to increasing functional cross-linkage. They form the interface between global networks and local, innovative milieus in the expanding knowledge economy. In Mega-City Regions it is the management and control function, the gateway function – Munich Airport, for example – and the innovative function that play a crucial role.

Analysis on its own is not enough to design sustainable residential and business areas in metropolitan environments. What is needed is process-based interaction between awareness, products and processes. The creation of a problem and protagonist awareness is the prerequisite for developing suitable measures and solutions (or products) in individual, sectorial / thematic fields – to be followed up by the selection and development of appropriate regulation processes for their implementation. Analysis, visualisation and communication should be understood as methodical modules in this chain.

Our mission statement documents the need and the desire to transdisciplinary work between architecture and landscape architecture, urban planning, regional planning and economic geography. A coherent and effective spatial strategy for a place brings these disciplines together, creating added value and deriving results for the design, implementation and communication from the spatial analysis. The Chair of Urban Development explores these complementary methodological approaches of the disciplines involved and brings them into discussion.