Structural change, transformation and planning

tu! Hambach


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All students can register for one module. You can specify two preferences. Please use the numbers “1” and “2”. If you have not been assigned a place in the project after the end of the assignment and are still interested in participating, please contact sibel.yildirim[@]ipw.rwth-aachen.de directly.

(If you have any problems with the registration or with RWTHonline, please contact Mrs. Sibel Yildirim (IPW), also stating your matriculation number: sibel.yildirim@ipw.rwth-aachen.de)

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Academic Responsibility

Person 1 Name



Person 2 Name



Contact Person

Hiwi Name


Type of event

Lecture series


17. Oktober 2023


Tuesday, 04:30-06:00 pm


Online, individual sessions also available as hybrid

Online participation under the following

Credit points can not be obtained

Contact: Katja Schotte (schotte[at]pt.rwth-aachen.de)


The socio-ecological transformation of the economy and society presents cities and regions with comprehensive and diverse challenges. Economic sectors are facing upheaval, previous infrastructures and forms of land use, but also everyday practices are increasingly being questioned. This is particularly the case in former lignite regions, where the phase-out of fossil energy supply requires a reorientation of regional development. Coping with the structural change towards a post-fossil economy is a cross-sectional task, especially for spatial development and planning.

The lecture series takes up these challenges against the background of the experiences of the phase-out of lignite use in Lusatia, Central Germany and the Rhineland and discusses the following questions:

  1. What are conceptual approaches to understanding and, if necessary, supporting spatial structural change as well as its management? What insights do different scientific disciplines provide for an understanding of the upheavals in lignite regions?
  2. What empirical findings are there on the effects of structural change in lignite regions and beyond? What narratives and utopias underlie regional transformations and how are different interests negotiated in the process?
  3. What practical approaches are there to shaping structural change? What suggestions can experiences from abroad provide? How can a dialogue between science and practice succeed, what role can universities and scientific institutions play in structural change?

Speakers from different regions, scientific disciplines and practice will address these questions. The lecture series serves to promote networking not only between universities and research institutions in the regions and the federal government’s departmental research, but also the exchange between science and practice.

The lecture series is organised by Prof. Dr. Ludger Gailing (Department of Regional Planning, Brandenburg University Cottbus-Senftenberg), Dr. Matthias Naumann (Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, Cottbus), Dr. Nora Küttel and Prof. Dr. Boris Michel (Institute of Geosciences and Geography, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) and Prof. Dr. Agnes Förster (Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development, RWTH Aachen University).

Learning Outcomes

Lernziele der Veranstaltung.



Joint introduction by BBSR, BTU, MLU, RWTH




Lausitz becomes WOWsitz – Approaches for the Transformation of a Region

Dr. Cordelia Polinna
Institute for Resilience in Rural Areas


Democratising jUst Sutainability Transitions (DUST)

Dr. Verena Balz
TU Delft


Applied Research on the Transformation of Lignite Regions. Examples of Structural Change in the Lausitz Mining Area

Dr. Anika Noack & Dr. Tamara Schaal


Crocodiles, Coal & Artificial Lakes: More-Than-Human Geographies of the Post-Mining Landscape

Dr. Mareike Pampus
MLU Halle-Wittenberg


(Un)Just Coal Transitions: Community, Heritage, and Sacrifice Zones in South Wales and Mitteldeutschland, Germany

Dr. Amy Walker
MLU Halle-Wittenberg


Carbon Sovereignty: Coal, Development, and Energy Transition in the Navajo Nation

Prof. Dr. Andrew Curley
University of Arizona


Imperial Lifestyles and the Transformation of Automobility

Prof. Dr. Markus Wissen
Berlin School of Economics and Law


Democratically Shaping Regional Transformations: Potentials and Problems of Alternative Economies

Dr. Andreas Exner
University Graz


Extreme Right Mobilisations in the Transformation Process of Lausitz. Challenges and Possible Responses

Prof. Dr. Heike Radvan
BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg


Controlling of Transformation Processes

Prof. Dr. Peter Letmathe
RWTH Aachen


Structural Change Planning and Design from a Multi-Level Perspective

Prof. Dr. Agnes Förster
RWTH Aachen


Spatial Images for Regions Undergoing Structural Change

Prof. Philipp Krass
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Procedure/Working method​

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation. If you would like to take an exam, please make sure beforehand how you can get credit for it in your degree program. Of course, you can also take exams without receiving curricular credit for them. Visit our FAQs for more information.


Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)
Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)
Term Paper 10-15 pages (3 CP)
Term Paper 15-20 pages (4 CP)

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