• Research
  • Organisation
  • Coordinated Projects
  • Doctoral Stud. / Postdoc Info.
  • Arbeitsgebiete
  • CityScienceLab
  • Digital City Science
    • ----------
    • Team
    • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig
    • ----------
  • 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. The key instrument here is 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 be 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


MICADO: Migrant Integration Cockpits & Dashboards

MICADO is part of the EU research programme Horizon 2020, the consortium consisting of 15 partners is coordinated by the Digital City Science at the HCU Hamburg. By using new technologies of data analysis and data integration on the one hand and easily accessible audio-visual interfaces on the other, MICADO will provide a technical solution to facilitate the arrival and participation processes. These solutions will be developed and tested in co-creative processes in cooperation with the target groups of migrants and new citizens, public administrations, CSOs, and civil society. They aim at supporting communication with and between local authorities and facilitate access to relevant information.

Sponsor: Europäische Kommission Horizon 2020 

Partnesr: MICADO Consortium

Project Duration: 01.01.2019 – 30.06.2022

MICADO Website



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

The Open City Toolkit for interactive planning in integrated urban development is 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



SURE - Sustainable Development of Urban Regions

This is a BMBF-funded programme facilitation and synthesis research project within the "Sustainable Development of Urban Regions" funding program. It supports the overall programme and the individual research projects through consolidation and diffusion of scientific findings, cross-sectional research, and finding cross-project synergies and transfer potentials. The focus is on strengthening transdisciplinary work, networking and activities within the funding programme at national and international levels. Therefore, support is provided on three levels: Level 1 "Support" strengthens individual projects through knowledge and project management. Level 2 "Synthesis" facilitates networking among individual projects and develops thematic as well as structural synergies. Level 3 "Impact" aims at maximising project impact primarily through targeted networking with external stakeholders and users.

Project Duration: 01.09.2020 – 30.08.2025

Sponsor: BMBF

Partners: Technische Hochschule Lübeck, TÜV Rheinland Consulting 

Project Description



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: HafenCity Hamburg GmbH 

Project Duration: November 2018 - November 2020

Grasbrook Website



Cooperation with the 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) / State Agency for Real Estate Development Hamburg

Project Duration: October 2019 – April 2021



MEDIFLY Medizinischer Luftfrachtdienst mit unbemannten Luftfahrzeugen

Participatory Approaches for medical air transportation with drones

Lead: Hamburg Authority of Economy and Innovation

Project Duration: 2021-2022



ROMI Reallabor Offenes Modell für Interdisziplinäre Planung

Incentive Research at HCU

Lead: HCU Digital City Science

In cooperation with HCU Profs. Ballestrem, Bögle, Breckner, Mondino, Schiewe, Wildner

Project Duration: 2021-2023



ILUM Innovative Luftmobilität in Hamburg

Research Consortium of Hamburg Universities for Innovative Air Mobility in Hamburg

Coordinator: TU Hamburg, Prof. Gollnick

Project Duration: 2021-2023

Project Description




Multimodal hubs for zero-emission transport

EU Horizon 2020 project

Lead: City of Oslo

Project Duration: 2021-2024



Sharing City College

Joint PhD research into topics of participatory urban development

Coordinator: ahoi digital, Hamburg Universities´ department of Computer Science

Project Duration: 2021-2023

Project Description



ICities4People Urban Living Labs for Mobility

Towards people-oriented transport and mobility

EU Horizon 2020 project

Coordinator: Copenhagen Business School

Project Duration: 2019-2021

cities4people Website


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


Social Media

Visit the Digital City Science Social Media accounts

LinkedIn, Xing und twitter


MICADO Project in Spanish Newspaper EL PAÍS

While entering its final phase our Horizon 2020 Project MICADO: Migrant Integration Cockpits & Dashboards got extensive coverage in the Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS. Congratulations to our partners in Madid Madrid - 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).

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/