Summer Semester 2023

  teaser illustration in blue and white colours Copyright: © städtebau  

Patient City Center

Diagnoses and therapies for the city of the day after tomorrow

For decades, we have mono-functionally over-formed our city centers and given retail the right of way. The problem of the uniform orientation of many city centers has been a constant topic of discussion for years. The "retail" sector of the economy, which has been a defining feature of downtowns in the past, is undergoing dramatic upheavals and transformations, and not only as a result of the rapid increase in online retailing. The Corona pandemic has acted as an accelerator and led to veritable chain reactions of vacant retail properties. The department stores as "giants" in prominent inner city locations, once popular in their heyday, are becoming problem cases, especially in the current crisis situation of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. That the inner city has become a problem case and requires therapy as a patient seems undisputed.
A multitude of institutions, research projects and support programs are dealing with the future of the city center. The diagnoses predominantly come to the conclusion that a downright "reinvention" of the inner city is long overdue.
The "Urban Planning Colloquium" series of events at the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University aims to stimulate discourse on the reinvention of the city center in the summer of 2023. The colloquium will discuss the following questions: What role can new uses play in terms of mixed-use concepts? Do downtowns need more density and/or more open spaces? How do we achieve a new "heart of the city" that invites people to meet in physical space?


  • RWTH Aachen, Faculty of Architecture, Chair and Institute of Urban Planning
  • ILS Institute for Regional and Urban Development Research gGmbH, Dortmund
  • Network Inner City NRW
  • Building culture NRW Gelsenkirchen
  • BBSR Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development BBSR Bonn

with the support of

  • Association for Urban, Regional and State Planning e.V.
  • Information circle for spatial planning, IfR e.V.


Foyer of the Reiff Museum I Faculty of Architecture

Each event is recognized by the Chamber of Architects of North Rhine-Westphalia with 2 teaching hours as continuing education in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning for chamber members. Subject to change without notice.