Johannes Göderitz Prize "The new city"

Open pit landscape - bucket wheel excavator Copyright: Anne Söfker-Rieniets

In the Rhenish coalfield, the reclassification of the Garzweiler open pit mine offers the opportunity to answer important questions for the future, such as the development of new mobility concepts, dealing with climate change, new possibilities due to advancing digitalization and the testing of innovative structural and spatial concepts, by planning an exemplary city in a special location. For this reason, a new city for approximately 50,000 inhabitants is to be gradually built on the site of the Garzweiler open pit mine starting in 2025. Within the framework of the Johannes-Göderitz competition, spatial and functional structures for this new city are to be developed and transferred into an urban design. The impulse for the new city foundation is the Olympic Village for the 2032 Summer Olympics, which is to form the main or a secondary center of the new city after the conclusion of the Olympic and Paraolympic Games. Decisive for the quality of this new city is a high degree of independence and autonomy. In addition to a unique urban idea with a high identification potential, the new city should, as far as possible, fulfill all the functions of a fully-fledged city. Since polycentric urban regions are considered the most sustainable model of spatial development in scientific discourse, this city is to prove that the idea of a polycentric urban landscape can be implemented in the Rhineland. The plan area is located on the eastern shore of the future residual lake of the Garzweiler open pit mine, approximately where the open pit mine is located today. The area of about 21 square kilometers is bordered by the A46 motorway in the north and by the new A44 motorway in the south and east. The design offers the opportunity to negotiate future-oriented topics here and to show new perspectives.


*** Verbundvorhaben „DAZWISCHEN“ ***

Copyright: Stadt Düren

Initiating structural change in the Rhenish mining area with federal funding.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the joint project "DAZWISCHEN - Zukunftsorientierte Strukturwandel im Rheinischen Revier" with 1.4 million euros, which according to Mr. Thomas Rachel (Member of the Bundestag, CDU) aims to "develop a model and municipal perspectives for the region between the metropolises of Cologne and Aachen in times of structural change”.

The Institute of Urban Planning and Design at the RWTH, together with its partners from the TU Dortmund University, the Institute for Applied Social Science (infas), the district of Euskirchen and the city of Duren, will examine the challenges of the post-mining landscape as a result of structural change, as well as the pressure for growth from the Rhine and the Aachen region, and develop spatial strategies for action. The process is enriched by real-life laboratories as well as public participation and is accompanied by the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier as an associated partner.


IBA 27 StadtRegion Stuttgart - Student Exhibition in Sindelfingen

Exhibition Poster Sindelfingen Copyright: City of Sindelfingen

In the course of the IBA 27 in the StadtRegion Stuttgart, our students, in cooperation with the city of Sindelfingen, have developed urban development and design concepts for the Sindelfingen IBA location "Auf der Steige". The eight M1 projects will now be presented in an exhibition in Sindelfingen's city hall from September 28 to October 30, 2020.

to the exhibition



Event Logo Copyright: CORP

The conference REAL CORP2020 aims to discuss strategies and concepts of how change can be shaped in a qualitative manner in neighbourhoods, cities, urban regions and, accordingly, in metropolitan areas. In this context, the question also arises as to who are the actual actors in current urban, regional and metropolitan regional development and what role planners can play in the corresponding scenarios.

To the event


Jan Gehl at the städtebau + NEQ talk

Zoom Meeting Jan Gehl Copyright: städtebau

What if architecture could change the world?

Facing special times, excursions, conversations and discussions are no longer possible through usual channels. As the graduate school "Sustainable Energy Systems in Neighbourhoods (NEQ)" unfortunately experienced as a scheduled excursion to Copenhagen could not be carried out and it was, therefore, postponed. The excursion aimed at shedding light on what innovative and sustainable neighbourhoods of tomorrow could look like and one of the highlights would have been meeting Jan Gehl. Nevertheless, to the delight of the NEQ PhD students as well as the staff of the Chair and Institute of Urban Design, the meeting with Jan Gehl was made possible through digital platforms.

Jan Gehl started an intriguing conversation by raising the question "What if architecture could change the world?" and answered it by reflecting on his work as an architect over the past 60 years. During these years, he could observe transitions from functional architecture and urban planning to more human-centred approaches in architecture and planning that focus more on the interaction between people and spaces. A change on which he looks back on positively.

Important issues were addressed that concern our young academics and have a direct impact on the development of our society and our living spaces. Different scales of the challenges must be taken into account here. Climate change is one of the biggest influencing factors in the near and long-term future, which brings resilience more and more into the focus of discussions. The requirements for quality in transformation processes are also increasing. These start at the neighbourhood level with participation tools and methods. Jan Gehl pleads not to forget that the task of a planner is to show citizen’s development scenarios and their consequences and not to transfer the entire planning task to him. This last point also makes it clear how important language and communication tools are. Many trends, such as the Smart Cities as an example, will be taken up and used for marketing purposes. It should be noted that smart is not a synonym for digitalization, but rather for "smart cities", which use existing opportunities and instruments in a wise and targeted manner.

The fruitful conversation makes it clear that the challenges that architects and planners face are becoming more complex and that the initial question of the conversation is once again in the foreground: "What if architects change the world?

„They can change the world. But we have to want it and we have to have values. Then we can change the world with changing the mindset.”


Urban Integration

front page, publication Copyright: städtebau

From Walled City to Integrated City

Christa Reicher, Fabio Bayro-Kaiser, Päivi Kataikko-Grigoleit, Sarah Müller, Jan Polívka (Eds.)

In the context of Transforming City Regions, phenomena such as globalization and digitalization accelerate change and bring several aspects of life into motion. If used in a smart way, such developments might trigger a promising dynamic for local people, their living environment, and regional economy. “Urban Integration: From Walled City to Integrated City” reflects on the challenges such dynamics encompass and also on the significance of social integration in urban contexts. The book compiles contributions from researchers, practitioners, and students to an international symposium held at Essen Zollverein in May 2018.


Reclaiming Public Space through Intercultural Dialogue

front page, publication Copyright: städtebau

Christa Reicher, Fabio Bayro-Kaiser, Maram Tawil, Janset Shawash, Katrin Bäumer, Jan Polívka (Eds.)

The challenges rapid urbanization encompasses are manifold, so are the efforts addressing sustainable and inclusive development frameworks. “Reclaiming Public Space through Intercultural Dialogue” is an intercultural and interdisciplinary initiative, which focuses on how social and spatial segregation can be overcome in metropolitan areas. Through joint research and teaching activities in the cities of Dortmund and Amman, three comprehensive topics emerged: urban transformation and the role of public space; social and cultural dimensions of cities; and nature-based planning approaches. The book compiles contributions to these topics from researchers, practitioners, and students, which were presented in an international conference held at the German Jordanian University in Madaba, Jordan, in November 2017.


Polycentric City Regions in Transformation

front page, publication Copyright: städtebau

The Ruhr Agglomeration in International Perspective

Christa Reicher, Fabio Bayro-Kaiser, Hendrik Jansen, Jan Polívka (Eds.)

Worldwide, cities and regions are affected by structural change and face comprehensive transformation processes, many of which are yet to reveal themselves. In this context, polycentric models for development have been internationally voiced. “Polycentric City Regions in Transformation: The Ruhr Agglomeration in International Perspective” discusses such models in a comparative manner and, in particular, focuses on the dynamics that shape and challenge cities and regions nowadays. The book compiles contributions from Germany, China, Canada, Portugal, Colombia, USA, Scotland, among others, which were presented in an international conference held at Essen Zollverein in June 2015.


REAL CORP 2020: On the way to sustainable energy systems in the neighbourhood

digital drawing, collage Copyright: städtebau

The NRW Research College "Sustainable Energy Systems in the Neighbourhood" (NEQ) aims to develop technical, economic and social control models for increasing energy efficiency in the neighbourhood. With its broad interdisciplinary composition and embedding in practice (transdisciplinary), the Research College thus makes an important contribution to developing integrated concepts and promoting the necessary understanding between the disciplines and between future scientists and practitioners from different disciplines. Concrete possibilities for action and options should support the parties involved, above all municipal utilities, local authorities, politicians and citizens, in driving forward the energy turnaround in the neighbourhood. With a view to the people and their motivations, actor-related and technical models as well as business and management models will be developed to implement the energy system transformation in the neighbourhood.

To the partial event


Call for abstracts | Special issue | Spatial Justice in Urban Studies and Planning Education | Planning Practice and Research (Routledge)

Routledge Logo Copyright: routledge

Deadline: May 4, 2020 | Editors: Deniz Ay (VUB) and Ceren Sezer (RWTH Aachen University)

This special issue aims to bring together an interdisciplinary and international group of contributors to discuss and explore the state-of-the-art approaches and strategies to advance the comprehension of spatial justice in academic, policy, and practical realms. Some of the questions the contributions may address include, but are not limited to:

1. What is the place of spatial justice in education for urban studies? Do we need ‘spatial justice pedagogy’?
2. How, or to what extent, are urban designers and planners prepared through their formal education to stand on the side of spatial justice in their practice?
3. What are the opportunities beyond the conventional forms of teaching (i.e., digital humanities, digital ethnographies, multimedia) to promote spatial justice-oriented education in the context of the complex roles and futures of cities and regions?
4. What are the pedagogical pitfalls in planning curriculums, teaching methods, and materials used for advancing students’ understanding of spatial justice?
5. What are the alternative educational platforms beyond the academia for advancing the collective knowledge on spatial justice to connect directly with communities and grassroots?



Poster Award SSPCR - Special Blog Article NEQ

Poster Award SSPCR - Special Blog Article NEQ Copyright: städtebau

On 10.12.2020 Antonia Stratmann, PhD student at the Institute of Urban Planning and colleague of the Research College "Sustainable Energy Systems in Neighbourhoods (NEQ)", presented her poster at the international conference in Bolzano "Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions" (SSPCR). Under the title "How can Flexible Public Spaces Contribute to the Creation of Resource-Friendly Cities", it was awarded one of the two best posters of the conference.


*** Kooperationsvertrag mit dem Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR) in Bonn unterzeichnet. ***

Participants (from left)  Dr. Elke Müller, Prof. Sabine Brück, Dr. Markus Eltges, Prof. Christa Reicher, Dr. Marion Klemme, Stefan Krapp Copyright: Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung Participants (from left): Dr. Elke Müller, Prof. Sabine Brück, Dr. Markus Eltges, Prof. Christa Reicher, Dr. Marion Klemme, Stefan Krapp

The cooperation agreement with the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) in Bonn was signed on 29.11.2019. With the signed contract between the Institute for Urban Development and European Urban Studies and the BBSR, the long-standing cooperation is transformed into a formal agreement with the aim of expanding cooperation in the fields of urban development, current and future issues of urban and regional development, architecture and cultural heritage.

In addition to participating in the European Master's programme "Transforming City Region" (TCR), the cooperation between the Institute, the Faculty and the BBSR in teaching and research will be intensified and further developed over the next few years. Both institutions see this as a great added value. Christa Reicher was Chairwoman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the BBSR from 2010 to 2016 and has already advocated a more intensive exchange between the BBSR and the universities and other scientific institutions during this phase.


Prospective Urban Developers think City with NRW Construction Minister Ina Scharrenbach

Impression städtebau unterwegs Copyright: städtebau

On December 9, 2019 Master's students from the Departments of Architecture and Urban Planning at RWTH Aachen University, together with Prof. Christa Reicher and NRW Minister of Construction, Ina Scharrenbach, will think and develop new urban concepts, visions and ideas for our cities of tomorrow.


"Aktionstag: Bushof"

Impression of "Aktionstag: Bushof" Copyright: städtebau

Often used but also despised, the Aachen bus station "Bushof" - how do you deal with this problematic place in the city centre of Aachen? Together with Prof. Christa Reicher, Master Students from the Faculties of Architecture and Urban Planning will develop concepts and visions for the future and present them at the "Aktionstag: Bushof" on November 23, 2019.

Aachen "Aktionstag: Bushof"
Traumhafte Ideen für eine Oase in der Innenstadt


Teaching Award Summer Term 2019

Teaching Award Summer Term 2019 Copyright: städtebau

Award "Wissen schafft Stadt - IBA Heidelberg": on November 5, 2019, the Chair of Urban Planning was awarded 3rd place for its "Wissen schafft Stadt - IBA Heidelberg" module under the direction of Dr.-Ing. Claudia Kruschwitz as part of the "Teaching Award for Excellent Teaching" of the Architecture Student Council of RWTH Aachen.


"Innovation Award Heads of the Real Estate Industry Ruhr"

Award Christa Reicher Copyright: städtebau

Award Prof. Christa Reicher: on 12.09.2019 Prof. Christa Reicher was awarded the Innovation Prize of the Real Estate Industry Ruhr 2019 at the Real Estate Conference Ruhr in Herne.


50 ProfessorInnen widersprechen der Düsseldorfer Erklärung

Text: "Aganst the Düsseldorf Deregulation" Copyright: städtebau

50 Professorinnen und Professoren der Architektur, der Stadt- und Regionalplanung, der Stadt- und Architekturtheorie, der Freiraumplanung, der Architektursoziologie, des Planungsrechts und des Städtebaus widersprechen und appellieren an die Entscheidungsträger von Bund, Ländern und Kommunen, die Düsseldorfer Erklärung kritisch zu hinterfragen.



"Städtebau muss räumliche und strategische Konzepte und Bausteine anbieten"

Prof. Reicher in front of an urban model Copyright: springer professional

*** Diskussion über Stadtquartiere der Zukunft im Rahmen des Evangelischen Kirchentages in Dortmund ***

Discussion Copyright: städtebau

Fachmagazin Transforming Cities „Städte im Krisenmodus?“

Tranforming Citites Copyright: Transforming Cities

In der Ausgabe 2|2019 des Fachmagazins Transforming Cities „Städte im Krisenmodus?“ stellt Frau Prof. Christa Reicher vom Lehrstuhl für Städtebau und Entwerfen der RWTH Aachen den zum Wintersemester 2019/20 startenden, englischsprachigen Masterstudiengang „Transforming City Regions“ vor. Dieses viersemestrige Masterprogramm mit dem Fokus auf internationale Transformationsprozesse richtet sich an Studierende aller Welt aus den Disziplinen Architektur, Stadtplanung, Landschaftsplanung, Bauingenieurwesen, Geografie, u.a., die sich mit weiterführenden Konzepten und Strategien im Städtebau und in der Quartiers-, Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung befassen wollen.

Hier geht es zum Artikel.


Teaching the City – ist die Lehre der Stadt an den Hochschulen noch zeitgemäß?

Photography with german text: "Teaching the City – ist die Lehre der Stadt an den Hochschulen noch zeitgemäß?" Copyright: StadtBauwelt

*** Forschungsprojekt „RessourcenPlan im Quartier“ ***

Copyright: Thomas Schmidt, Stadt Herne