Research Projects


Overview of Specialist Groups

Urban Design, Building Culture and Urban Monument Preservation

In the specialist group "Urban Design, Building Culture, and Urban Historic Preservation", the focus is on questions of suitable mixes of uses and appropriate public spaces for our society, as well as on the influences of certain functions on inner- and suburban neighborhoods and villages. Another focus lies in the development of a sustainable approach to the urban heritage – especially of the 20th century.

Urban Design, Building Culture and Urban Monument Preservation

Campus Development

Research cluster on Sustainable Campus Development brings together research projects and network activities on the environmentally conscious and socially inclusive transformation of campus areas in Europe. There is an increasing number of attempts to develop strategic plans and actions to transform university campuses through interventions in design and planning, energy, mobility, and circularity, among others. These developments are in the line of research, policy and public debates on climate change as an urgent issue to tackle through a systematic action plan. University campuses may potentially have a high impact on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as they accommodate a various number of highly educated and skilled communities. 
RWTH Aachen University, Chair and Institute of Urban Design and European Urbanism is actively involved in sustainable transformation processes at the RWTH campus and closely collaborates with the IDEA League partners to organise joint events, research and teaching initiatives on this topic. 

Campus Development

Technical Innovations and Mobility

The specialist group "Technical Innovations and Mobility" focuses on innovations with spatial relevance that will change our cities in the coming years. This includes examining the influence of new technologies and new forms of mobility or the transformation of current mobility on urban space and urban development.

Technical Innovations and Mobility

Ressources and Energy

The specialist group "Resources and Energy" is dedicated to the challenges of climate change and the energy transition for a climate-neutral society. Energy and resource efficiency from the neighborhood to the city as a whole are taken into consideration in order to develop new spatial models, adequate planning and control models. Questions of land and space use for land-saving urban development are also addressed.

Resources and Energy

Shaping Regional Development

The specialist group "Shaping Regional Development" focuses on accompanying spatial structural change, especially in the Rhenish mining area and the tri-national Rhine-Ruhr-Meuse agglomeration. The focus lies in the elaboration of local opportunities in various spatially relevant fields of action, the development of spatial guiding ideas based on these, and the involvement of municipalities and citizens in the context of real-life laboratories.

Designing Regional Development


Urban Design, Building Culture and Urban Monument Preservation

  workshop with international experts sitting on tables Copyright: © städtebau

Resilience and built heritage

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  logo Copyright: © städtebau

Future of large housing estates

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  Facade Copyright: © städtebau

Network: Specialist Group Urban Conservation

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  StadtWERKSTADT Copyright: © städtebau


The STADTWERKSTATT sees itself as a meeting space between the actors of the universities, the city and civil society. Here we discuss ideas, projects and concepts for shaping the future of the city and region.


  facade of a residential building Copyright: © cities building culture

Cities Building Culture

The collaborative research project between the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), RWTH Aachen University, GWZO Leipzig and their Russian partners aims at developing new approaches to the sustainable management of cultural heritage in the post-Soviet space.

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  World map with cooperation network of the SAH Erasmus Plus Project Copyright: © städtebau

"Sustainability for Architectural Heritage" (SAH)


  figure ground plan with logo Copyright: © städtebau

UNESCO Chair Projects

The activities of the UNESCO Chair include research and teaching as well as advisory services for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO Chair collaborates with several RWTH Aachen institutes in order to optimally fulfill its responsibilities.



Campus Development

  Urban Campus Central analysis Copyright: © städtebau

Initiative: Urban Central Campus

The Initiative Urban Central Campus pursues the goal of qualifying the Aachen inner-city campus in terms of urban development and creating a lively center of RWTH Aachen University at the interface to the old town.

To the initiative

  Super C in Aachen Copyright: © RWTH Aachen

Network: IDEA League Summer School

University campuses potentially may have a high impact on climate change mitigation, as they accommodate various high educated and skilled communities, who are well organised through students’ organisations, research and administrative bodies, and workers unions, among others.

To the network

  Logo of the Network Copyright: © IDEA League

Network: IDEA League Expert Working Group

Founding a new network for design exchange with all the five IDEA League Universities for the challenge of campus development. To find innovative architectural and urban design solutions for improving growing university campuses as urban learning and living areas.

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Technical Innovations and Mobility

  5G real-world laboratory in the Dortmund port area Copyright: © City of Dortmund


5G Infrastructures for cellular energy systems enhanced through artificial intelligence.

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  FEN grafic Copyright: © städtebau

Flexible electrical grids II: DC Socio-Economics

Direct current (DC) technologies have a high potential for energy system transformation. There are historical and technological reasons why it has not been used sufficiently so far. The Institute of Urban Design investigates the spatial planning aspects of the use of DC technologies.

To the research project Logo Copyright: ©

Network: Mobility Experience Aachen

Since June 2020 the chair and the Institute of Urban Design are associated partners in the network Erlebniswelt Mobilität Aachen (EMA). The network exists since 2018 and develops with partners from economy, research and municipalities ideas and funding applications in the field of mobility of the future.

Further information can be found here.

  Metropolitan Cities Logo Copyright: © RWTH Aachen

Network: Center for Metropolitan Cities

The sustainability goals of the United Nations, the German federal government and the government of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are at the center of the activities of the Metropolitan Cities Center: The Center is helping the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region to move significantly closer to carbon neutrality and resource conservation.

Further information can be found here.


Ressources and Energy

  Black plan of the Kall case study Copyright: © städtebau


Potentials of water cycles for collaborative and efficient energy and resource use in high-density mixed-use building blocks

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  Row building with surrounded green structure in the Herne-Baukau quarter Copyright: © städtebau

R2Q - Resource plan in the neightborhood

The R2Q research project aims to develop a methodology for assessing and improving resource efficiency in urban districts. The output of the project will be a new planning instrument, the ResourcePlan, which will enable a systematic, efficient and method-oriented management of resources in the neighbourhood.

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  Illustation von Lilian Do Khac Copyright: © Lilian Do Khac

Network: Profil area ECPE

Profile Area - Energy, Chemical & Process Engineering. More information soon...

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Shaping Regional Development

  airial view Copyright: © Dominik Ketz / Bezirksregierung Köln

Spatial strategy for the Rhenish mining area

Elaboration of an integrative spatial development strategy for the Rhenish mining area until 2038 and beyond.

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  Various maps of the Rhine basin, borders, traffic, forests, settlement areas, waters Copyright: © städtebau

DAZWISCHEN: Future-oriented structural change in the ‘Rhineland District‘

The project sees itself as a laboratory for adapting to the structural changes that will come to the mining area when the open-cast mines reach the end of their decarburization.

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  Stratification of spatial themes Copyright: © L'EAU 2019

Network: L'EAU

L'EAU is a platform for innovative and international spatial cooperation, in one of the most important cross-border regions in Europe.

About the network

  Location of the area under consideration in a regional context Copyright: © ZL'EU 2020

Research Project ZL'EU: Spatial Strategy Zuid-Limburg in Euregional Context

With the integrated view, spatial visions and strategies for a spatial development program are created.

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