Diversity within the RTG
Diversity, equity, and inclusion play an important role in the RTG and in the doctoral projects. Urban research presents a unique opportunity to examine how social processes around socio-cultural diversity, systemic racism, and inequality influence urban ecological and evolutionary forces, biodiversity conservation, and human health. The RTG will answer recent calls in urban ecological and environmental research to integrate social, ecological, and technological processes to explicitly investigate and address how social diversity and inequity relate to the biophysical and technical dimensions of cities.
Moreover, we will address gender, diversity, and equity in our research training program. Here, courses and seminars will incorporate readings and lectures in feminist political ecology, environmental justice, and critical physical geography to train students in theories around, e.g., intersectionality, socio-cultural diversity, and structural racism, that are necessary to understand the urban environment. Here, guest lectures from Mercator Fellows and affiliated postdocs will provide unique insight from international contexts (e.g., Drs. Iwaniec and Deeb in the USA, France). The training program will also build in career training topics around gender and diversity in academia, inclusive teaching, and supporting women and minorities in science.
In the study systems, doctoral candidates deal with a multicultural European city (Munich, Germany) that is facing issues around equitable green space access, gentrification, and immigration. PhD's will be challenged to create solutions that reduce social inequities in ecosystem service provision. For example, in Cluster 3, we can select neighborhoods for SUDS implementation from an equity-based ecological restoration perspective. In Cluster 1, governance research (SP4) will address solutions to e.g., reduce inequalities around access to green space and climate change hazards.
All diversity and gender aspects of the RTG are regularly discussed among representatives of all groups within the Diversity Circle.