• Research
  • Organisation
  • Coordinated Projects
  • Doctoral Stud. / Postdoc Info.
  • Arbeitsgebiete
  • CityScienceLab
  • Digital City Science
    • ----------
    • Team
    • [Translate to Englisch:] Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig
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  • BIMLab
  • Energieforschungsverbund Hamburg
  • Architecture Research Initiative
  • Gastforschende
  • Research Funding
  • Hamburg Open Science

Digital City Science

Digital City Science - Exploring Urban Systems

Digital City Science at HCU explores urban complexity with digital technologies. Our team develops scientific new approaches for the analysis and integrative planning of urban systems. For this purpose, the team comprises expertise in architectural design, urban and spatial planning, media technology, IT and software development, among others. In cooperation with partners from academia, business, administration and civil society, we develop data-based tools and methodologies that are applied in the national and international context. Our scientific activities span from fundamental research across applied projects to knowledge transfer in scientific teaching and training.

Research Focus

Convergence of sustainable and digital city research: In projects like „Sustainable Development of Urban Regions“ or the Grasbrook City Scope we explore how two megatrends of current urban research – the digital transformation of cities and the demand for sustainable urban development – can be converged within a unified scientific framework.


Multi-layer Analysis of Urban Systems: In projects like Grasbrook City Scope (a cooperation with the MIT Media Lab) we investigate how multiple functional and physical layers of urban systems can be analysed and cross-connected, e.g. social activities, transportation and accessibility, noise emission, or stormwater runoff, or. A key instrument here are Agent-Based-Models.


Smart Quarter and Smart Building Data: In investigations on smart buildings and neighbourhoods in the context of the HafenCity and Kleiner Grasbrook urban development, as well as in teaching courses like „Data Café“, we explore how data from the „internet of buildings“ can used for the purpose of intelligent urban development.


Integrated Urban Development worldwide: In international cooperations with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), among others, we search for new approaches how the rapid evolution of urban agglomerations and informal settlements especially in the Global South can be supported by open source tools like the „Open City Toolkit“.


Current Projects


OCTOPI: Open City Toolkit for Interactive Planning in Integrated Urban Development

The Open City Tookit for interactive planning in integrated urban development is a cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in India and Ecuador. Further partners are the municipal administrations in Ecuador and India, local tech companies and universities.

Sponsor: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH / Partners: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, municipal administrations in Ecuador and India, local tech companies and universities

Project Duration: October 2019 – March 2021

The Open City Toolkit – Video Tutorial on Vimeo

github - The Open City Toolkit



Cooperation with the mit dem LIG Landesbetrieb Immobilienmanagement und Grundvermögen

Establishing experimental-explorative research and development projects, and creating new tools and methods for the visualization and analysis of urban data in the context of strategic land use and urban development.

Partner: Landesbetrieb Immobilienmanagement und Grundvermögen (LIG) / Property and Real Estate Department of City of Hamburg

Project Duration: October 2019 – April 2021



Gracio: Grasbrook CityScope

Using methods and tools for digital urban research, the DCS develops an interactive city model for the district of Grasbrook in Hamburg. The model will be used to support planning and decision-making via the visualization of complex spatial and social contexts . It will simulate development scenarios based on important urban planning qualities such as mobility and accessibility, energy consumption, and air pollution.

Sponsor: Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung, Gleichstellung und Bezirke (BWFGB), Hamburg

Project Duration: November 2018 - November 2020


PhD Candidates

Neele Eicker: Participative Community Networks – Applications in the Indian Context

Taha Hatcha: Mobility as a Service system optimization and its data exploitation for city planning

Holger Prang: Generating Urban Soundscapes From Single Images





Digital City Science

Exploring Urban Systems

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig

HafenCity Universität Hamburg
Henning-Voscherau-Platz 1
20457 Hamburg



IMISCOE Conference Panel Accepted

A conference panel suggested by the HCU´s coordinator team of the H2020 project „Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards“ (MICADO) for the IMISCOE conference in July 2021 was accepted. IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) is Europe's largest interdisciplinary research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity studies. The panel will comprise 5 paper presentations from the MICADO partners and will be lead chaired by Prof. Ingred Breckner and Prof. Jörg Rainer Noennig, both HCU. https://www.imiscoe.org

BMBF Funding for New Research on AI

A joint proposal between Digital City Science group at HCU, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), the Center for Scalable Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (SCADS-AI) and the company Stroer was accepted for funding from the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The consortium led by HAW Professor Ulrike Steffens will investigate new approaches of synthesizing data for training AI for urban management and development tasks. Call: https://www.bmbf.de/foerderungen/bekanntmachung-3068.html


Digital City Science Summer Term Courses

In the summer term 2021, the Digital City Science group will teach two courses at HCU in the Bachelor Programme „Culture of Metropolis“. The course „Digital City Science – Tools for Exploring Urban Systems“ will introduce students to new data driven instruments for urban research and development. The course „Working and Organisational Cultures – Knowledge Architecture“ will present research findings about the relationship between the built and virtual environments and knowledge work processes. https://www.hcu-hamburg.de/bachelor/fachuebergreifende-studienangebote/studium-lehre/