• Research
  • Organisation
  • CityScienceLab
    • ----------
    • CityScope
    • Team
    • Projects
    • Student Projects
    • ----------
  • Energieforschungsverbund Hamburg
  • Forschungsprojekte
  • Arbeitsgebiete / Professuren
  • Promotion/ Postdoc
  • Gastforschende
  • Forschungsförderung


Prof. Dr. Gesa Ziemer

Director of CityScienceLab

Gesa Ziemer (Prof. Dr. Phil.) is Director of the City Science Lab at the HafenCity University, a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge. She is professor of cultural theory and cultural practice (in the field of metropolitan culture) and Vice-President of Research at the HafenCity University Hamburg. Currently she acts as spokesperson for the Research Training Group "Performing Citizenship". She keeps regular guest teaching at the College of Art and Design Lucerne. She is a member of the advisory boards Böll Foundation “umdenken”, University of Art and Design Lucerne, Urban Arts Ruhr and the curatorship choreographic center PACT Zollverein Essen.

Contact: gesa.ziemer(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Kent Larson

Director of Media Lab's Changing Places Group

Kent Larson directs the Media Lab's Changing Places group. Since 1998, he has also directed the MIT House_n research consortium in the School of Architecture and Planning. His current research is focused on four related areas: responsive urban housing, new urban vehicles, ubiquitous technologies, and living lab experiments. Larson practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City, with work published in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Global Architecture, The New York Times, A+U, and Architectural Digest. His book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks was selected as one of the Ten Best Books in Architecture, 2000 by The New York Times Review of Books. Related work was selected by Time magazine as a "Best Design of the Year" project.

Contact: kll(at)media


Nina Hälker

Research Assistant

Nina Hälker studied "Next Media" at the Faculty of Computer Science at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, and Social and Educational Science at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. Before she came to HCU, she worked as editorial assistant at "Mittelweg 36", the journal of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. Since September 2015 she is research assistant at the City Science Lab@HCU. Her work focuses on urban research at the intersection of social and computational science.

Contact: nina.haelker(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Katrin Hovy

Research Assistant

Katrin Hovy studied architecture in Konstanz and Urban Design in Hamburg. During her studies, she worked in urban planning and architecture offices, at the international building exhibition (IBA) Hamburg and as a student assistant at the HCU.  In 2014 she was a scholar at the ‘Brennerei next generation lab’ in Bremen. Since October 2015 she is research assistant at the City Science Lab@HCU.


Contact: katrin.hovy(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Thomas Mensing

Research Assistant

Thomas Mensing studied Geomatics at HafenCity University Hamburg. His area of consolidation is Geoinformation Technology. Mensing's master's thesis was about designing and implementing web-based "Story Maps" (WebGIS) for the purpose of education. Since May 2016 he is research assistant at the City Science Lab@HCU.

Contact: thomas.mensing(at)hcu-hamburg.de 

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig

Professor for Digital City Science

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Rainer Noennig is Professor for Digital City Science at the CityScienceLab at Hafencity University Hamburg and director of the WISSENSARCHITEKTUR Laboratory of Knowledge Architecture at TU Dresden.  Between 1998 and 2001 he practiced as freelance and employed architect in Tokyo, among others at Ishiyama Experimental Underground Architecture Factory and Arata Isozaki & Associates.

From 2001 he was Research Associate at TU Dresden, where he was appointed Junior Professor for Knowledge Architecture (2009-2015). He taught at different universities in Japan, USA, China, Italy, Switzerland and Angola. He was Visiting Professor at Universit degli Studi dell l´Aquila and at ISEN Toulon. He has published several books and more than 100 scientific papers and essays. He has won several prizes, scholarships and awards, incl. the Grand Prize of the European Association for Architecture Education (EAAE). 

Contact: joerg.noennig(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Ariel Noyman

Research Assistant

Ariel Noyman is a researcher and a project leader at the MIT Media Lab's Changing Places group. He oversees the integration of the group's diverse research topics (city simulation, urban mobility, innovation districts and smart housing) to provide comprehensive solutions for large scale urban questions.

Noyman is an architect and an urban designer with nearly a decade of experience in large-scale urban design, institutional and public projects, urban data visualization and graphic design. He practiced at leading architectural and design firms in the US, Europe and Israel. His work was featured in Domus, Archdaily, Dezeen and the Guardian to name a few.  


Noyman taught architecture, urbanism and city science at MIT, Northeastern University and Bezalel Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture (Cum Laude, ‘08) from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Contact: noyman(at)mit.edu

Prof. Dr. Jörg Pohlan

Professor for Urban Development and Quantitative Methods of Urban and Regional Research

Jörg Pohlan (Dr. rer. pol. habil.) is Geographer and Professor for Urban Development and Quantitative Methods of Urban and Regional Research at the HafenCity University Hamburg.

His research focuses on the analysis of socioeconomic and demographic changes in cities and Regions as well as their financial situation.

Contact: joerg.pohlan(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Nina Pohler

Research Assistant


Nina Pohler studied Socio-Economics and Sociology at Vienna University of Economics and Business (Mag.a) and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (M.A). Her research interests include (Digital) Urban Studies, Organization Studies and Convention Theory. In her PhD project she studies practices in innovative and alternative organizations.

Contact: nina.pohler(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Frank Rogge


Frank Rogge is responsible for the procurement and provision of prepared map foundations for teaching and research. Digital mapping and analysis of urban informations. Creation of thematic maps for research projects. Gathering of historical geodata and maps. Coach students for an effective knowledge transfer and application of AutoCad and ArcMap. GIS-based visualization of metadata and preparation of 3D terrain and building data. Takes part in the establishment and administration of future geodata infrastructure at the HCU and the HCU-portal "Stadtlabor".

Contact: frank.rogge(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Prof. Dr. Jochen Schiewe

Professor for Geoinformatics and Geovisualization

Jochen Schiewe is a Professor for Geoinformatics and Geovisualization at HCU Hamburg. Before being appointed to this professorship, he did his PhD at Leibniz University of Hanover, his state doctorate at University of Vechta and after that was working as visiting professor at University of Bonn and at University of Osnabrück as an extraordinary professor.

His research focus is on cartographic algorythms, modelling and visualization of uncertainties, research on the usability of cartographic visualizations  and geovisual analytics.

Besides of that he is working in several study groups, e.g. as vice president of the German Association of Cartography (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kartographie (DGfK)) and head of the DGfK Committee for Cartography and Research.

Contact: jochen.schiewe(at)hcu-hamburg.de

J. Ira Winder

Research Scientist

Ira Winder leads the design and development of MIT CityScope, an initiative to create tangible-interactive, augmented reality decision support systems for cities. CityScope is effectively a suite of hardware-software platforms with integrated analytics that facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Ira's range of expertise includes Computer Science, Mathematical Modeling, City Planning, Architectural Design. He is a Master of City Planning (MIT, 2013) and Bachelor of Science and Design (MIT, 2010).

Contact: jiw(at)mit.edu

Bonan Wei

Graphic Designer

Bonan Wei studied Communication Design at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing (China) and University of Applied Sciences Mainz in Germany. Since April 2015, he is a PhD student and a guest researcher at the The Lab for Geoinformatics and Geovisualization (g2lab) at the HafenCity University Hamburg.

His main research focus lies on the UGI (Graphical User Interface) and User-Centered presentation of geographic information for pedestrian orientation in combining indoor and outdoor environment. He has worked as an Art Director and Marketing Specialist for more than five years. Currently, he is working for the company SIS (Sign Information System) in Hamburg and responsible for development of Digital Wayfinding System.

Contact: bonan.wei(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Yan Zhang (Ryan)

Research Assistant

Yan Zhang is currently a graduate student / research assistant in the Changing Places Group at the MIT Media Lab. His current focus includes developing multi-media interactive city model and interface, which enable people understand and participate the urban design intuitively, and mobility simulation in complex urban environment. 

Yan has a background of architecture design with a special emphasis on computational design for more than 10 years. He holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design in Columbia University. He worked an architect for two world-leading design firms, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and von Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP). His architecture practice includes parametric form-finding and all-phase-architectural design of Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. As an architect, he developed a strong sense of design and skills of concept sketching, 3D modeling, physical model fabrication, performance simulation, construction coordination, etc.

Contact: ryanz(at)media.mit.edu

Experienced researcher

Uli Hellweg

Experienced researcher

Uli Hellweg is architect and urban planner. He was managing director at “IBA Hamburg GmbH” (International Building Exhibition) from 2006 to 2015. Before, worked as managing director of the public-private development corporation “agora” in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxemburg and in the public and urban development sector, such as in the municipalities of Berlin and Kassel. Besides, he has been coordinator of “Urban Renewal in the Berlin district of Tiergarten” and in the International Building Exposition 1984/87. 

Uli Hellweg has held many presentations in Europe, US, Asia and Australia. He is member of diverse juries in architectural and urban competitions (i.e. chairman of the international urban competition HafenCity 1999). He has been awarded with Hünebeckpreis (RWTH Aachen) and with the “Sempermedaille des Architekturzentrums Hamburg”.

contact: Uli_Hellweg(at)t-online.de

Prof. Dr. sc. techn. ETH Michael Koch

Experienced researcher

Michael Koch is architect and urban planner. Since 2004, he is professor for Urban Planning and head of the Institute for Urban Development at the HCU. Before, he worked as professor for Urban Development at the Department of Architecture at Bergische Universität Wuppertal and at TU Berlin as well as at different other universities in Switzerland.

His research and publications focus on urban planning, e.g. the morphology of cities, the relationship between transport infrastructures and settlement development, current problems of urbanized territories outside nucleated towns, and sustainable renovation of existing urban structures. He is joint partner of “yellow z urbanism architecture” in Zurich und Berlin, as a freelance planner, he realized residential as well as street renovation projects, won several competitions and is part of juries and advisory boards.

He is member of diverse professional associations in Germany and Switzerland and member of the Deutsche Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung (DASL).

Contact: michael.koch(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Prof. em. Dr. Dieter Läpple

Experienced researcher

Dieter Läpple is professor emeritus for international urban development at the HCU and senior fellow at the “Metropolitan Policy Program“ at the Brookings Institution, Washington. ?He was, for several years, head of the institute of City and Regional Economy at the TU Hamburg-Harburg, and at the HCU. Besides, he worked in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Aix-en-Provence/Marseille and Leiden.?Since 4 years, he is co-president of the “Scientific Advisory Committee” at the “Future Cities Laboratory” in Singapore. Since 10 years, he is advisor and cooperator of the “Urban Age“-program at the London School of Economics. In 2007, he has been awarded with the building culture award by the “BDA Hamburg” (Bund Deutscher Architekten).

Contact: dieter.laepple(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Student Assistants

Tobias Holtz

Student Assistant

Tobias Holtz studied Architecture at RWTH Aachen University and Urban Planning at HafenCity University as well as at Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi. Last year he gained his Bachelor’s degree and is currently in his second year of the Urban Planning Master program at HCU. From October 2014 until September 2015 he worked as a tutor in the study path of Metropolitan Culture as well as in the field of Urban and Regional Economic Studies and Urban and Regional Sociology. Since July 2015 Tobias supports Prof. Dr. Gesa Ziemer as a student assistant in the City Science lab. Together with Ira Winder from MIT he has prepared and held the interdisciplinary workshop on building the first CityScope for Hamburg.

Contact: tobias.holtz(at)hcu-hamburg.de

Lukas Schaber

Student Assistant 

Lukas Schaber studied Geoinformation Management at the University of Applied Science Karlsruhe, where he graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Since October 2015 he is studying Geomatics at HCU Hamburg.

Contact: lukas.schaber(at)hcu-hamburg.de