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Urban Regions under Change: towards social-ecological resilience (URC 2014)


++++++++++ now available URC 2014 Final Programme and Book of Abstracts ++++++++++



International conference

Urban Regions under Change: towards social-ecological resilience

(URC 2014)

27 May 2014, Handwerkskammer Hamburg, Holstenwall 12, 20355 Hamburg, Germany

Last update: 19.05.2014


The URC 2014 conference brings together international experts and researchers from a broad range of disciplines such as physical- and social geography, planning, landscape ecology, governance, sociology etc. to discuss the topic of dealing with change in the context of urban and regional development in European urban regions. Recent years have shown an increase in the number of inter- and transdisciplinary research projects, especially on the topic of dealing with the effects of climate change. Other change related issues, such as demographic change and globalisation, show similarities in the way these issues can be dealt with in the context of urban and regional development, making it attractive to approach such questions in an integrative manner. During the conference, the latest research results and experiences from practice will be presented and discussed. To bridge gaps between the different disciplines, the presentations share a social-ecological systems perspective on urban regions. An important question throughout the conference will be how inter- and transdisciplinary research can foster the transfer of research results and recommendations into practice.


The presentations during the conference will be divided into two tracks, each addressing issues of dealing with change in the context of urban and regional development with a social ecological perspective on cities and urban regions. The first track addresses the challenges cities and urban regions are facing when confronted with change, whereas the second track focuses on the development of solutions to deal with change and the challenges for decision making. Both tracks however have a practice oriented approach, concentrating on the question what the results and experiences mean for the practice of urban and regional development towards resilient cities. The submitted abstracts were reviewed by a scientific committee before acceptance.

Track 1: Challenges to urban development
The papers that are presented in this track deal with the question how change manifests itself in an urban context and provide possible answers on how to deal with these challenges in the context of urban and regional development. Typical questions that will be dealt with in this track are related to how long term processes of change, such as climate change and demographic change, influence the structure and functioning of urban social-ecological systems. As such, the papers provide answers to the question which consequences these long term processes can have, but also which solutions can be found to deal with these consequences, to alter processes of urban and regional development towards social-ecological resilience.

Track 2: Challenges in decision making under change
The papers that are presented in this track provide insights into the challenges of dealing with change in the context of governance and urban planning and development. The presentations on the one hand provide answers to the question how current practices in decision making processes about dealing with change are organized and which experiences can be derived from these on-going practices. On the other hand, they deal with the question how structures of governance and urban planning and development should be altered, changed or transformed to deal with change and to increase social-ecological resilience.

Keynote speeches

Urban climate change – the story of several drivers - Prof. Dr. Hans von Storch - Director of the Institute for Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research

Urban transformation in the face of climate change challenges - Dr. Sirkku Juhola - Assistant professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki; Visiting scholar, Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics, Aalto University

Scientific Committee

Prof. Marina Alberti, PhD - Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington

Dr. Stephan Barthel - Theme leader of urban social-ecological systems, Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm University

Dr. Sonja Deppisch - Head research group plan B:altic, HafenCity University Hamburg

Dr. Adriana Galderisi – Assistant Professor, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II"

Prof. Dr. Stephan Pauleit - Head of chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management, Technische Universität München

Important dates

Registration deadline: 30 April 2014

Paper deadine: 15 May 2014

Paper and poster requirements

The conference papers should be written in English, the length of the paper should be between 4.000 and 7.000 words, including references (in Harvard style), tables and figures. The papers should be submitted as a .doc, .docx. or .pdf file by e-mail to Peter Wibbeling (peter.wibbeling[at]hcu-hamburg.de).

The conference posters should be A0 size and in portrait (1189 x 841 mm), the text on the poster should be in English. Please bring your poster directly to the conference, pin boards will be available.


26 May 2014:

18:00-: Get together, with dinner and drinks (at  own expenses)

27 May 2014:

9:00-10:00 Registration

10:00 – 12:30 Plenary session, Room 303 „Kleiner Saal"

10:00 Welcome and short introduction - Sonja Deppisch (HafenCity University, Head of plan B:altic)

10:05 Welcoming speech - Gesa Ziemer (HafenCity University, Vice-President for Research)

10:15 Keynote speech - Urban climate change – the story of several drivers - Hans von Storch (Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research)

11:00 Keynote speech - Urban transformation in the face of climate change challenges - Sirkku Juhola (Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Helsinki)

11:45 Keynote speech - Urban and regional resilience: barriers and pathways – inter- and transdisciplinary results - Sonja Deppisch

12:30-13:15 Lunch

13:15-13:45 Poster session, Room 303 Kleiner Saal"

13:45-15:30 2 Parallel chaired sessions with oral presentations (each 15 minutes and 5 minutes discussion)

Track 1, Room 302 "Gesellenzimmer":

·         Urban climate change related effects on extreme heat events – Michael Richter

·         Application and comparison of methods to assess heat exposure of city quarters – Mady Olonscheck, Carsten Walther, Claudia Bach, Bin Zhou, Maike Vollmer, Jörn Birkmann, Jürgen P. Kropp

·         Monitoring spatio-temporal change as a means of achieving resilience in the suburban landscape: the case of the eastern area of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece – Eleni A. Athanasiadou, Maria Tratsela, Ioannis A. Tsalikidis, Vasileios Charistos

·         Evaluating the spatial effects of urban regeneration programs for sustainable planning in a highly vulnerable urban context – Luca Barbarossa, Daniele La Rosa, Riccardo Privitera

 Track 2, Room 303 "Kleiner Saal":

·         A resilience lens on food production in the metropolitan landscape – Stephan Barthel

·         Knowledge, social space and climate change resilience: cultural differences in handling climate change in European coastal areas – Thorsten Heimann

·         Developing resilient urban waterfronts; a framework for synchronising adaptation with urban development and management – Peter C. van Veelen

·         Overcoming mismatches in the multi-level governance of urban climate change adaptation – Bart Jan Davidse

·         Climate change adaptation from a planning theoretical perspective - ambiguous legitimacy in Helsinki – Johannes Klein, Raine Mäntysalo, Sirkku Juhola

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 2 Parallel chaired sessions with oral presentations (continued)

Track 1, Room 302 "Gesellenzimmer":

·         Shifts in urban identity in the English north western industrial town – Amber Roberts

·         A spatial-hormetic approach to urban resilience – Claudiu Forgaci, Arjan van Timmeren

·         Urban land teleconnections and urbanity - two new approaches to explore current global urbanisation and its impact on sustainability – Dagmar Haase

·         The social-ecological vulnerability of an urban region – Simone Beichler

Track 2, Room 303 "Kleiner Saal":

·         Thank God, the city is complex – Rob Roggema

·         Bridging the transformation gap with “living labs” – Ernst Schäfer, Ulrich Scheele

·         Venice port-city: an integrated cross-scale strategy – Maria Cerreta, Daniele Cannatella, Giuliano Poli, Sabrina Sposito

·         From linear to circular - challenges for changing urban metabolism?! An analysis of local transition processes – Katharina Klindworth, Aleksandra Djurasovic, Jörg Knieling

17:30 Thematic insight - Achim Daschkeit (German Federal Environment Agency)

18:15 Closing remarks - Sonja Deppisch

18:30 End of conference


The conference will be held at the Handwerkskammer Hamburg. The venue is located in walking distance from the city centre and can be easily reached by Bus 112 (towards Neumühlen/Övelgönne) or subway line U2 (towards Niendorf Nord) from the Central Station. Bus 112 leaves in front of the western entrance of the Central Station, please get off at “Handwerkskammer Hamburg”. If you take the subway U2, please get off at the station “Messehallen”, take the exit “Wallanlagen” and walk to the venue. More information on the venue can be found on treffpunkt.hwk-hamburg.de (in German). Further information on the public transport in Hamburg can be found on hvv.de

The ‘Get together’ on the 26th of May will take place at the Kartoffelkeller Hamburg, Deichstrasse 21, 20459 Hamburg. The Kartoffelkeller is in walking distance from the subway station “Rödingsmarkt” (line U3). More information can be found on kartoffelkeller-hamburg.de (in German). Please note that you will have to pay for the get together yourself. You will be able to pay at the restaurant either in cash (in Euro) or by credit card. (Visa, MasterCard).


Plan B:altic is a transdisciplinary research group with expertise in climate change and spatial development at HafenCity University in Hamburg. Our researchers have backgrounds in social and natural science as well as in urban planning and spatial development. We are in the closing stages of an inter- and transdisciplinary research process on climate change adaptation in coastal urban regions of the Baltic Sea region, which involved not only the merging of research disciplines, but also the inclusion of stakeholder groups throughout the research process.  The research group "plan B:altic" is fully funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under its Social-Ecological Research Programme within the Framework Programme "FONA - Research for Sustainable Development" from 2009 until 2014 (FKZ 01UU0909).


The conference is funded by the Social-Ecological Research Programme of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Organisational issues

The participation at the conference is free of charge (except for the ‘get together’ on the 26th of May).

For registration and more information contact Peter Wibbeling (peter.wibbeling[at]hcu-hamburg.de)

URC 2014 Final Programme and Book of Abstracts