Akademisches Jahr 2019/20

Seminars 19/20

Introduction to European Cities

Teacher: Jun. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Zupan

Study programme: European Urban Studies (EUS), Integrated Urban Development and Design ( IUDD), Master Architektur, Bachelor Architektur

2 SWS / 3 ECTS

Language: english

“Introduction to European Cities” is a reading seminar that is closely linked to the lecture “European Cities I”. It provides comprehensive knowledge of European city development and introduces students to key texts in urban studies. The seminar systematically deepens the topics introduced in the lecture. We will read selected texts, critically reflect upon them, and use them as the basis for group works and discussions. Doing so we will familiarize ourselves with relevant current and historical positions and research on European cities. Topics to be discussed include the European city as analytical and normative concept, neoliberal urbanism, postsocialist urban transformation, material and immaterial urban heritage. The seminar is held every two weeks.


Start: 15.10.19, 13.30, Belvederer Alllee 5, Room 005



Shrinking Destination: the Future of Urban Tourism 

Teacher: Dr. phil. Ammalia Podlaszewska

Study programme: European Urban Studies (EUS), Integrated Urban Design and Development (IUDD), Media Architecture

2 SWS / 3 ECTS


The shift in attitude by city planners towards the tourist industry was prompted by the decline of long established economic activities and the need of introducing the new ones. This urban dynamics have urged contemporary cities to find a mechanism of upgrading the image of the city through tourism, and the hope that the development of the industry would result in physical as well as social and economic revitalisation of the city. City destinations are keen to adapt to the new forces of globalisation with the references to the favoured attractions all around the world in which tourism, is paradoxically expressed in the language of the locality. As the result of such dichotomy between global and local, the ‘locality’ has emerged as a new dimension explored and commodified both by planners and industry practitioners.

The paradigm of urban tourism as opposed to the local reality in the German cities nowadays, can be observed by the downward spiral phenomenon particularly in many Eastern German Cities. Especially since 1990’s German unification and the market integration of East Germany, many cities in Eastern Germany were exposed to desolate state of shrinkage and was in the wake of economic transformation. This situation challenges the general focus of tourism development on economic growth as a ubiquitous welfare measure in contemporary society and suggests a radically different way to think about welfare and prosperity (Demaria, et al , 2013). Urban tourism in the shrinking context questions the current capitalists productive model and its growth imperative.

The seminar therefore would like to suggest alternative concepts that introduce new trajectories, new politics and new policy approaches to enact a transition of hegemonic economy. Concept such as de-growth in urban tourism will be discussed during the semester to indicate multiple facets of place as the palimpsest of social relation and identities. These outcomes are not necessarily permanent, they are temporary in nature and thus constantly oppose the sense of permanence. The influence of local politics and global capital interferes social relation and may generates new spatial outcomes. Coming to the end of the discussion of tourism space definitions, its types, development cycle and transformation, we will be looking for appropriate methods allowing its empirical identification.

Objective of the seminar:

In the seminar, students are invited to: (1) discuss the relation between aspect of tourism place-making and the factors in a given society which cause or significantly influence the process of shrinkage must be examined. The discussion thus moves away from the discourse of urban planning and toward a dialogue on values and political questions of alternative concepts of urban tourism; (2) spatial/social transformation brought by tourism in the shrinking cities looking at a fundamental shift in emphasis from the physical conditions to the social configurations and to questions of use is gradually being perceived and accepted by various actors.

The students are encouraged to investigate the significance of tourism and its role for the city development within the debate of contemporary city and the pursuit of strategic planning. Analysis is conducted on how tourism and city co-exist and interact to generate alternative economic activity structured around the production and consumption of leisure.

Excursion to cities in Thuringia is a part of the seminar exploration.

Structure of the seminar:

The pedagogical structure consist of two parts, further sub-divided: the theoretical-methodological part based on literature, and the empirical part, which presents the study visit to the relevant study case in Thuringia. The seminar includes a sequence of lectures, student’s active participation, study visit and critical reflection/evaluation. The lectures serve as the theoretical background necessary for the discussion, incorporated with the relevant literature reviews.

Concept for the excursion: The observation of the city is the rethinking of the pedagogy of place and place making will help us pave the way toward a meaningful urban design. To this end, there are those who emphasise the visual and physical attributes of place, whereas others use broader contexts, categories, and mechanisms in their attempts to understand place. For the latter group, the study of place is grounded in the large political-economic forces that mediate and redefine the physical setting and has less to do with matters related to design and aesthetics. These approaches will complement each other and require the development of appropriate teaching Methods.

During the seminar, students will have:

1.    Study visit and excursion to Thüringian city, e.g Erfurt. Students are encouraged to contextualise the knowledge of urban tourism within Erfurt’s perspective as tourist destination. Additionally we will also visit a community-based tourism places in the city, as well as inviting a guest trainer for the workshop.

2.    Group work (group of max 3 people): Students are expected to have a group presentation and lead a discussion with the rest of the class. The method of presentation/ facilitation can be suggested by the students (ppt presentation, workshops format, panel discussion, role playing, etc). The themes of the presentations are based on the content of the reading materials discussed in the class. The guidelines for the ‘’Group work’ will be discussed and distributed during the seminar.

3.    Individual work: Students are also expected to deliver short individual essay after every lecture (4 x critical reflections of the lectures, max. 2 pages). The summaries will also serve as materials for the discussion after the presentation to animate the continuation of knowledge. The guidelines for the ‘’Essay’ will be discussed and distributed during the seminar.

4.    Final Assessment to be submitted in the end of the semester (group of max 3 people): Understanding the City ‘’Guidebook’’. Students are expected to deliver this alternative ‘’Guidebook’’ for the chosen city consisting of the result of the field and the desktop study, graphical/visual representations, pictures, narratives and testimonial.

Evaluation and Assessment:

Class participation and study visit 30% 

Group works and presentation 20%

Short essays (4x critical reflections) 20%

Final Assessment (individual) 30%

Time: Every two weeks, starts from Wednesday 16.10.2019   9:15-12:30, Belvederer Allee 5, Room 005

30.10.2019 // 13.11.2019 // 27.11.2019 // 11.12.2019 // 22.01.2020 // 05.02.2020




Research Methods I (Lecture)

Teacher: Dr.-Ing. Lisa Vollmer

2 SWS / 3 ECTS 

Language: englisch 

Study Programme: European Urban Studies 

Time: Thuesday 09.15 to 10.45, Room 005, Belvederer Allee 5 

The exercise seminar will deepen knowledge about the process of the production of scientific knowledge, basic ‘rules’ of scientific work and proceedings of academic research such as different methods in urban studies. Students will be enabled to formulate an own research interest and research topic. They will define their own research question and develop a research concept step by step going from a proper wording of the research question to the selection of fitting research Methods. 

The seminar is based on exercises and the active involvement of students, who will shape the content according to their research interests and required Methods.


Academic Skills (Lecture)

Teacher: Dr. phil. Lisa Vollmer

Study programme: Integrated Urban Development and Design ( IUDD), 

2 SWS / 3 ECTS

Language: englisch

At the beginning we will deal with the process of production of scientific knowledge as such considering basic ‘rules’ of scientific work. As learning by doing is usually a successful way which makes us experiencing the specific demands of a research process you will work in the course in small teams defining and planning your own research project. Starting the practical work we will first deal with different sources of information, how to decode and evaluate them as wells as how to quote and organize them properly in scientific working and writing. Now having an idea how and where to gather information you will define your own research question and develop a research concept step by step going from a proper wording of the research question to the selection of fitting research methods, time planning and documentation.

Start: 22.10.19, 13.30, Bauhausstraße 9c, Room 004



Lectures 19/20

European Cities

Teacher:  Jun. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Zupan

Study programme: European Urban Studies (EUS)

 2 SWS / 3 ECTS

 Language: English

What is the “European City”? How did cities in Europe develop historically? And what are trends and challenges that characterize contemporary European urban development?

By engaging with these questions, the lecture provides basic and interdisciplinary knowledge on European urban development. It discusses central concepts related to the “European City”, provides an overview of foundational research, and explores new strands in urban studies. It illustrates these developments with case studies from different European cities. In the first part, the lecture reflects on the history of urban development and the material and immaterial urban heritage in European cities, and engages with the analytical and normative dimensions of the “European City”. In the second part, it confronts the conceptual and theoretical concepts with current socio-spatial, economic and political developments in different European cities, such as neoliberal urbanism, processes of postsocialist urban transformation or the construction of heritage.

Written Test / Grade

Start: 17.10.19, 17.00, Coudraystraße 9A, Hörsaal 6


Research in Urban Design and Urban Planning

Teachers: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Barbara Schönig, Vertr. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Steffen de Rudder, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sigrun Langner

Study Programme: Master Architektur, European Urban Studies, Integrated Urban Development and Design

2 SWS / 3 ECTS

Language: englisch

Time: Monday 15.15 to 16.45, Steubenstraße 6, Audimaxx

The lecture focuses on recent debates in urban research deriving from the perspectives of urban planning, urban design and landscape planning and architecture. Starting from these debates, it discusses methodological questions applied in different fields and contexts of urban and planning research.