“InterUrb” (2023-25)

From ‚Planning and Building in Developing Countries‘ to ‚International Urbanism‘:
A critical history of teaching and research at German universities
on planning and building in a global context from the 1960s to 2015

DFG Project
April 2023 – March 2025

Teaching and research at architecture and urban planning faculties in Germany have recently experienced an increase in internationalization and interdisciplinary collaboration, across a wide range of chairs. Chairs that date back to the pioneering work on “planning and building in developing countries” of the 1960s and 1970s make an important contribution. The current term “International Urbanism” suggests a thematic and structural development with broadening horizons (strategic planning, participation, globalization, climate change, migration, informality, gender-responsive planning, urban governance, empowerment, etc). The development of this discipline raises multi-faceted questions: (1) about causes, contexts, structures, networks, key figures, and interactions; (2) about institutionalization and professionalization in the university context; (3) about content-related, strategic, and methodological paradigm shifts of the discipline, and (4) about the scientific applicability of the research results.

This research project traces these topics from a critical-historical perspective and with empirical methods of analysis: literature research, archival studies and expert interviews with German and international contemporary witnesses. The scope and diversity of the subject complex suggest that its developmental strands should be examined using selected case studies, and their consideration should in turn be embedded in the national and international context. Institutions at three universities which have are now among the leading German chairs in the field of International Urbanism commend themselves as case studies: Institutions at the Faculties of Architecture and Urban Development at the TU Berlin, TU Darmstadt and the University of Stuttgart.

Hosted by Professor Astrid Ley at the Chair of International Urbanism, the project is further benefiting from the expertise of a Scientific Board:
Prof. Dr. Marie Huchzermeyer, School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Prof. Dr. Emeritus Peter Herrle, HABITAT Unit, TU Berlin
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Executive Director of Bauhaus Earth and Chair of Habitat Unit at the Technische Universität Berlin (on sabbatical)