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Contemporary curatorial practice no longer takes place only in classical art spaces such as galleries, museums or theatres, but instead intervenes into public urban spaces. What becomes particularly evident in the light of these expansions of the curatorial is a shift in the conditions and mechanisms that determine how contemporary public art is produced and how it impacts society today. Accordingly, the research project will analyse the fundamental transformations that lead to an expansion of the curatorial with regard to the production of contemporary public art. On the basis of three international case studies, the research project investigates the specific actors‘ constellations and modes of organization that lead to specific (institutional) forms of cooperation and organization (1). Secondly, it examines the working methods of contemporary curators. It is to be examined to what extent the requirements and working activities of the curators converge with the changes in the field of art (2). Thirdly, the relation between curatorial practices and attempts to establish new public spheres are critically analysed.

The aim is to deliver a detailed analysis on the one hand of the observable intersections of art production and urban culture, on the other hand of the shift from education to the assembly of new publics. The new challenges of urban art production lead to a practice of ‘curating (in) the city’, which has to be analysed in its function for the production of art specifically in the city as well as for the creation of urban culture.


funded by the German Research Association DFG – ZI 1627/3-1

Project Duration

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2022


Vanessa Weber, Gesa Ziemer

PaCOMM: Partizcipation collaborative and multimedia

Digital public participation has become a fixed format in democratic societies. Although early, comprehensive, and transparent involvement is key for successful planning processes, there are only a few encouraging experiments of multimedia participation approaches. Existing ones are often not tailored to the needs of the citizens. The application of different forms of representations, such as thematic maps, diagrams, aerial photographs, videos, and animations so far is only used isolated.

This project addresses this issue by developing application-specific integrative solutions. Besides CityScopes, we primarily rely on mixed reality approaches via smartphone, tablet and Head-Mounted-Displays, as they can improve spatial imagination and create experiences that are sharable in real-time. Following the goal to create an intuitive and accessible application that appeals equally to young technophile users as well as older generations, gamification elements will be introduced into the process, too.

Since increasing citizen contributions exceed the evaluation capacity of planning offices, procedures of Machine Learning or Natural Language Processing assist in extracting relevant core statements quickly. In the long term, PaKOMM contributes to more transparent, effective and efficient decision-making in collaborative participation processes.


Förderer / Sponsor Hamburg Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (BWFG)

Partner g2lab (Lab for Geoinformatics and Geovisualization, HCU Hamburg) und FTZ Digital Reality, HAW Hamburg

Laufzeit / Project Duration 2020 - 2023

Kontakt / Contact Hilke Berger

In 2019, a competition will take place for the design of a new district: Grasbrook. Located to the south of Hamburg's HafenCity in the northeast part of Kleiner Grasbrook, an area currently dominated by a large warehouse and light harbor industry, the new district should be a home for innovation – a model for a lively mix of offices and housing. To achieve this, competing design firms will need to able to test, iterate, and adapt their designs over the course of the competition. The main aim of the Gracio project is to support this process. Using methods and tools for digital urban research, the HCU CityScienceLab will create an interactive city model for Grasbrook. The model, called a CityScope, will be used to support planning and decision-making in panel discussions, to visualize complex spatial and social contexts of the project, and to model development scenarios based on important urban planning qualities (e.g. mobility and accessibility, energy consumption, and air pollution).

Förderer / Sponsor
Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung (BWFG)

Laufzeit / Project Duration
November 2018 - 15. November 2020 (24 Monate)

Kontakt / Contact
Julia Sievert
Andre Landwehr

Today, migration is part of the urban reality and confronts cities and municipalities with the challenge of organising the arrival process in a way that highlights and supports the positive effects of migration. By using new technologies of data analysis and data integration on the one hand and easily accessible audiovisual interfaces on the other, MICADO will provide a technical solution to make arrival and participation processes more efficient. These systems should facilitate communication with and between local authorities and facilitate access to relevant information.

The user-oriented data services, which integrate both local and regional as well as national migration-related information, focus on the four areas of work, education, housing and health and the three target groups of migrants, local authorities and initiatives in the field of migration. The services will be developed and tested in co-creative processes in cooperation with the target groups.

MICADO is part of the EU research programme Horizon 2020 and is coordinated by the CityScienceLab of the HCU Hamburg. The consortium consists of 15 partners from five EU countries, including research institutes, public institutions and companies.

Project duration
01.01.2019 – 30.06.2022

European Commission Horizon 2020

Partner (Hamburg)
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (FHH), Landesbetrieb Geoinformation (LGV), Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Partner (Antwerp)
University of Antwerp (CeMIS), City of Antwerp (OCMW), Atlas Integratie & Inburgering Antwerp (ATL), Digipolis (DIG)

Partner (Bologna/Italy)
University of Bologna (UNIBO), Citta di Bologna (ASP), CSI Piemonte

Partner (Madrid/Spain)
Illustre Colegio Nacional de Doctores y Licensiados en Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia (CPS), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (URJC), Direccion General de Servicios Sociales e Integracion Social-Consejeria de Politica Social y Familia de la Communidad de Madrid (DGSSIS)

Partner (Vienna/Austria)
Technical University of Vienna/ SimLab (TUW), SYNYO GmbH Vienna (SYN)

Contact us
Dr. Jan Barski

(since 2017)

Currently, city administration uses different systems, which work independently of each other to fulfil specialized tasks. Therefore, the full and overall evaluation of complex issues as well as the fast implementation of measures are naturally tortuous, redundant and personnel-intensive processes of coordination and data collection. The extensive interlinking of systems requires an appropriate data infrastructure to effectively introduce digital technology in a modern city. In a smart city, without the linking of data through an urban platform the services and applications cannot be implemented effectively.

The Urban Data Hub is an ongoing co-operation project between the CityScienceLab and the LGV which, as a competence centre, focusses on the development of an Urban Platform as a central data hub for Hamburg. Through the integration and interlinking of standardized data and web services it provides gathered urban data, thereby ensuring that diverse user groups benefit from it. 

Within the framework of this project the task of the CityScience Lab concentrates on the scientific monitoring, including the investigation of development needs and the prototypical realization of City-Cockpits.

Project duration

01.08.2017 – 01.08.2020 

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 

Project partner

Till Degkwitz

Goal of the Baltic City Science Network Projekts is the initiation of participatory workshops in the field of digital city analysis by way of participatory workshops and interactive tools.

The long-term aim is to raise awareness of the activity, innovation and practices in applying digital tools to participatory and collaborative urban development challenges. Cooperation, knowledge exchange and joint projects in the Baltic region will also be promoted.

The Baltic City Science Network comprises research trips to six universities in the Baltic region to conduct workshops with invited experts from the fields of cultural studies, urban development, ICT and architecture.

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Aalto University, Tallinn University of Technology

1. December 2017 - 30. November 2019

Holger Prang

Baltic City Science Network (since 2017)

Goal of the Baltic City Science Network is the initiation of research cooperations in the field of digital city analysis and design. By means of participatory workshops and interactive tools it aims to build awareness of the activity, innovation and practices around the use of digital tools in order to collaboratively meet challenges in urban development. Moreover, the network intends to promote cooperation, knowledge exchange as well as joint projects in the Baltic Region.

The Baltic City Science Network comprises research travels of CSL representatives to six universities in the Baltic Sea Region to carry out focus group workshops with invited experts in the field of Cultural Studies, Urban Development, ICT and Architecture. 

Project duration
01.12.2017 - 30.11.2019

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 

Project partnerAalto University, Tallinn University of Technology

Holger Prang


Cities4People (since 2017)

Cities4People covers five European cities and municipalities: Budapest in Hungary and Trikala in Greece, the district of Oxfordshire in Great Britain and the Istanbul district of Üsküdar in Turkey. In Hamburg’s district Altona (Neue Mitte Altona and neighboring areas) the project aims to set up mobility communities, which will not only include citizens but also public authorities, transport and mobility providers and innovation experts. The participation focuses on a people-oriented approach to traffic and mobility (People-Oriented Transport and Mobility = POTM) and therefore relies on the development and supply of appropriate structures and instruments that allow the communities to actively design local mobility systems. In Hamburg, Cities4People is jointly managed by the CityScienceLab and the Department of Urban Planning and Regional Development at HafenCity University.  

Project duration
01.06.2017 bis 30.05.2020

European Commission – Horizon 2020

Project partners

- Copenhagen Business School
- Oxfordshire County Council
- University College London Institute of Health Equity
- Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Altona District Authority, office of the senate Hamburg)
- HafenCity University
- Stichting Waag Society
- White Research
- KTI Institute for Transport Sciences
- City of Budapest
- municipality Üsküdar
- University of Istanbul
- E-Trikala
- Q-Plan International 

André Landwehr

DIPAS: Digital Participation System (since 2017)

The CityScope tool is to be developed into a digital participation system for urban development projects. For this purpose, the Hamburg Authority for Urban Development and Housing (BSW), the office for geoinformation and land surveying (LGV) and the HafenCity University joined forces in the realm of a joint research and development project. The core objective of the project is to merge the online participation tool of the city of Hamburg with the city model CityScope, developed by the CitySciene Lab, and to expand it to an integrated, digital participation system (DIPAS) that can be used online and on-site. With DIPAS, for the first time, an application for informal citizen participation in planning is developed without discontinuity of media.  

In the co-operation project, the CSL is undertaking the scientific accompaniment, knowledge processing and development of analysis scenarios.


Project partners

Digital Platform ahoi.digital (since 2017)


Within the overall strategy of the digital citythe senate of Hamburg and the Universities (UHH, TUHH, HAW) in cooperation with the CSL plan to realize the IT platform „ahoi.digital“. To strengthen IT excellence, it creates a computer science hub which has the potential to systematically increase the capacity of information technology. In this sense, the thematic focus of the newly developed structures and projects lies on: Cognitive Learning Systems, Smart Systems/ Cyberphysical Systems, Information Governance and Data Science.

Digital Platform Hamburg ahoi.digital: Hamburg's universities want to strategically expand their digitalization and information technology capacities. Structures and projects under the following themes are to be developed:
     - Cognitive Learning Systems
     - Smart Systems / Cyberphysical Systems
     - Information Governance
     - Data Science
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Federal Government
Project partners
TUHH, HAW, University of Hamburg 

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig

Jens Bley

The data-oriented inventorying, analysis and exemplary modeling of Hamburg's cathedral square is intended to provide an integrated, smart service-model for the revitalization of the currently unused location. A methodology is developed to "survey" squares, which leads to the implementation of smart services into small-scale structures.

Project duration
01.03.2017 bis 29.02.2020


Project partners
Stiftung Helms-Museum / Archaeological Museum Hamburg, Hamburg@work, eCulture.info


Smart Square Homepage
Nicola Stradtmann

Smart Square (since 2016)

The guest research program "City of the Future" for city research by the ZEIT Foundation at the HCU provides a one-week stay for scholars and experts as well as fellowships over a period of three months for international researchers and postdocs working at the CityScienceLab.
The guest researchers who have worked at the CSL are listed on our team page.

Eligibility period
Three years 

ZEIT Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius

Marie Malchow

FindingPlaces (completed)

Finding Places was a cooperation project of the HafenCity University and the City of Hamburg. In the period from May 26thto July 15th2016 the people of Hamburg were – in numerous participatory workshops at CityScopes – searching for public areas suitable for the construction of accommodation for refugees. The task: to find areas which allow the accommodation of 20,000 refugees in total. 

The workshops were moderated by steg Hamburg (Stadterneuerungs- und Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft Hamburg) and scientifically monitored by the CityScienceLab. Furthermore, representatives of the district authorities as well as of the Central Coordination Committee Refugees Hamburg (ZKF) supported the discussions with their expertise.

During the workshops, almost 400 participants proposed specific areas and extensively discussed advantages and disadvantages. 161 commented proposals were sent to the city and checked within 14 days. The results were then published on the FindingPlaces-website as well as in a leaflet.

The project aimed to encourage a city-wide dialogue on how and where to find accommodation for a large group of refugees arriving in Hamburg. At the same time, it showcased the complexity of planning processes and thus helped develop an increased acceptance within the civil society. This led to a rewarding combination of the participants’ local knowledge and the expertise of the authorities and science. The participatory workshops not only led to the discussion of specific locations, but rather encouraged a discourse in the context of different interests (living / industry / maintenance) and legal planning requirements. 

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Project partner
Office of the senate, ZKF, STEG Hamburg 

The Port City Model (PCM) is a project that investigates multimodal land transportation related to cruise tourism, focusing on comfort and efficiency from the user perspective. To do so, it combines data analysis and visualization with simulation of future scenarios. The outcome of the project is a software tool running on an interactive hardware platform that simplifies decision-making and facilitates dialogue among the stakeholders involved in the optimization of cruise passenger routes planning as well as affecting other port and port-related processes. This paper offers a description of the project with special focus on Agent-Based simulations. More specifically, the project studies the most frequent flows and routes in the city of Hamburg, where cruise tourism is strongly related to its Central Train Station, since a great amount of passengers arrive to the city by train. Due to its size and the vast affluence of people, Hamburg Central Station is a major challenge spot in multimodal land transportation related to cruise tourism, especially regarding orientation and perception of spatial quality of incoming cruise passengers on their way to their respective cruise terminals. Aiming to enhance comfort and efficiency through testing alternative mobility scenarios, this work acknowledges that the potential optimization of any port and port-related mobility process constitutes a major priority, and improvement to itself and to the entire harbor system.

Förderer / Partner

Hamburg Port Authority (HPA)


October 2018 - July 2019 (10 Monate)


Thomas Mensing

Jörg Noennig