SP3: Key Urban Structures for Green Urban Reconstruction Processes

Head: Prof. Mark Michaeli

Execution: Ishika Alim & Julia Micklewright


Many measures taken over the past decade have concentrated on enhancing urban sustainability at the level of built elements (building, building elements and materials, planning regulations on plot scale). However, the syntactical spatio-structural properties of the City as Living System still is poorly understood. It is expected that carrying capacity and ecological performance of UGI is highly dependent on the spatial and temporal coherence and continuity of new gray-green infrastructure networks (SP1). Therefore, it is crucial to develop transformation projects which help to establish or enhance these superordinate network structures to enhance performance characteristics of the UGI and raise awareness in society towards environmental aspects embedded in ongoing transformation processes

In a short-term perspective future mobility trends which in the city come along with megatrends like digitization and new forms of housing and work are of particular interest, since they might unfold powerful potential for urban reconstruction which can explicitly be activated for implementation of UGI (SP2). Reciprocally, it is expected that the presence of UGI will have a substantial impact on the use patterns/routines of the city and subsequently catalyze further reconstruction processes and promote new set-ups for urban projects (location, mix, contextual conditions) which need to be mirrored sufficiently in ongoing qualification processes of the networks to assure future connectivity, adaptability, and resilience.


The objectives of this SP are to:

  • (O1): Analyze the potential for cross-fertilization between urban redevelopment projects with concepts for sustainable mobility on the one hand, and UGI qualification, on the other;
  • (O2) Increase the reciprocal compatibility of UGI projects and urban renewal by emphasizing the continuity aspects in planning of urban configuration (elemental and urban tissue scale);
  • (O3) Evaluate the generalizability and transferability of success factors into other urban project contexts or set-ups.

Main research questions are:

  • (Q1) What are potentialities and risks in UGI-projects if coupled, synchronized or phased with renewal projects and maintenance operations in urban infrastructure?
  • (Q2) What are urban patterns and layouts allowing for easier integration with UGI?
  • (Q3) In which way are the change of lifestyles as well as the technological advancements drivers of change to facilitate the subsequent change of urban structure?
  • (Q4) What role play amended planning frameworks and toolboxes for speeding-up implementation processes of UGI? (jointly with SP4)


Research on ‘carrier’ conditions for UGI-implementation through projects in infrastructural renewal is carried out by literature review (theme-oriented) and case study (context-oriented) approach. The findings feed into a model of (inter-)dependencies (stage 1). In stage 2, the model will be consolidated through expert interviews and workshops where the plausibility of modeled solutions for /paths to UGI potential is discussed in application, through simulation in the scenario approach based on the cases of stage 1. Solutions derived from this then will be examined with regard to connectivity in legal and economic contexts of urban projects in stage 3. This allows for integration into testbed of the Urban Labs, and into model projects tying into the cross-sectoral approach of SP2 and SP4.