Faculty VI - Planning Building Environment

Research Profile

In Faculty VI - Planning Building Environment, we research and teach in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, geoinformation science and geodesy, landscape architecture, environmental planning and ecology, sociology, as well as urban and regional planning. This affords the faculty an internationally outstanding profile in planning, building, environmental, and spatial science. Together our researchers examine global challenges like urbanization and resource depletion, climate change and adaptation, as well as digitalization and innovation in planning and building, providing innovative contributions to these areas. Our core competences encompass basic, applied, and interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in these fields as well as developing planning and technical solutions and integrating these into society.

Understanding that cities, landscapes, and the environment are currently undergoing significant disruption is a prerequisite to introducing and applying new technologies and processes. In this way, the faculty contributes to communicating the chances, challenges, and risks of the 21st century and lays the foundation for social-ecological innovations in urban and environmental systems.

Research Profiles of our Institutes

Institute of Applied Geosciences

The great social challenges of our time regarding resources, climate, energy, and the environment require responsible use of the geological subsurface and the environment.

Together with other disciplines, the Institute of Applied Geosciences develops solutions for the sustainable use of our earth.

We provide our students with the natural science and engineering expertise and skills they need to overcome these challenges and prepare them for the future job market.

Research at the Institute of Applied Geosciences

Institute of Architecture

The Institute of Architecture (IfA) is comprised of 19 academic chairs which take a holistic view of a wide range of issues from cities and urbanism to architecture through to construction and materials.

The institute has a strong network and applies an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to its work on transformation, issues of resource scarcity as well as climate adaptation.

In our teaching, we develop and apply the Berlin Model, a transdisciplinary learning approach which centers project work and a number of cooperations.

Using interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning and research formats such as living laboratories and DesignBuild projects, the IfA engages in networking on concrete issues of societal transformation and promotes leap innovations in urban change, architecture, and construction.

Research at the Institute of Architecture

Institute of Civil Engineering

Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science


Improving understanding of the dynamic Earth system by quantifying the spatial and temporal changes on our planet.



Providing methods to monitor, visualize, and analyze changes in the overall Earth system in space.

Providing methods to collect and visualize geodata in order to analyze processes in nature and the built environment.

Developing a transdisciplinary understanding of physical processes on Earth and planets similar to Earth and in particular of the interactions of anthropogenic influences on the Earth system as a whole.

Teaching the necessary methods skills is the focus of the research-oriented master’s program in Geodesy and Geoinformation Science.


Research at the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science


Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Using methods of open space, landscape and environmental planning and design, the Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning contributes to analyzing, preserving, developing and designing environmental conditions, ecosystems, landscapes and open spaces in urban and rural areas in such a way that they remain or become sustainable for people. In doing so, the ILAUP is making a cross-scale contribution to a socio-ecological transformation that appears to be unavoidable, among other things, due to central environmentally relevant challenges of the 21st century. These challenges include climate change and its consequences, climate protection and the energy transition, demographic change and migration, digitalization, globalization, urbanization and loss of biodiversity. Both the institute’s research and teaching are therefore located at the interfaces of ecological natural sciences, social and planning sciences, and creative design. In teaching, special emphasis is placed on the active and constructive-critical participation of students. This is particularly evident in the student projects, where students work together on solutions for problems in the context of landscape architecture and environmental planning.

Research at the Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Institute of Ecology

The Institute of Ecology’s research and teaching are focused on ecosystems in natural and cultural landscapes, including urban spaces. It focuses on an improved understanding and predictability of key natural processes, many of which are essential to perform ecosystem services for the common good. Global human-induced trends such as climate change, urbanization, resource scarcity, the loss of biodiversity, and changing material flows represent current and future challenges for functioning ecosystems, which are addressed in the institute’s research and teaching. As such, it makes an important contribution to a knowledge-based, sustainable approach to natural and anthropogenically shaped habitats. In addition to classical formats, teaching is shaped by student projects which are directly related to current research projects. Study trips and site visits in Germany and abroad also play an important role.

Research at the Institute of Ecology

Institute of Sociology

The TU Berlin Institute of Sociology currently conducts theoretical and empirical work on the fields “innovation and society” and “space and society.” In its innovation focus, research is conducted on central social innovations in the areas of the economy, the world of work, and technology development, taking into account problems of social inequality. The numerous research projects particularly consider digital innovation. Through the spatial focus, the spatial reorganization of the world through globalization, climate change, and geopolitics is considered.The institute’s research will be successively expanded internationally through ongoing collaborative research projects and also extends into the Global South. Teaching at the institute is research-oriented. Students learn the principles of social cohabitation with particular consideration for current social questions.

Research at the Institute of Sociology

Institute of Urban and Regional Planning

The Institute of Urban and Regional Planning’s research and teaching is dedicated to spatial structures and relationships at the scale level of neighborhoods, cities and communities, regions, through to the supranational level. It aims to further develop these in a sustainable manner oriented to the common good using different disciplinary perspectives in reflection of the complexity of urban reality. In this context, a city is always understood as simultaneously spatially and socially constituted. Cross-cutting themes include current challenges such as climate change, diversity and inclusion in the migration society, new demands on technical and social infrastructures due to crises, dealing with housing shortages, and the effects of ongoing digital mediatization on spatial knowledge and spatial practices. Focus is also placed on how formal procedures based on national and international planning regulations as well as informal instruments (mission statements, development concepts, etc.) impact planning control in spatial development, including the possibilities and limits.

Students learn scientific and practical knowledge from technical, social science, natural science, legal and design disciplines. Student projects are at the core of our teaching. Here, students are prompted as future planners to critically further develop their acquired knowledge with regard to practical applications. They also acquire analytical, communicative and social skills and learn how to balance the often divergent demands on space.

Research at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning

Beacon projects at the faculty

DFG Collaborative Research Center 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces” (2018–2025)

Since 2018, the Collaborative Research Center 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has been investigating the changes in socio-spatial orders that have been observed since the late 1960s. Here, researchers from the Institute of Sociology, the Institute of Architecture, and the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning, together with colleagues from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Leibniz-Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), investigate current processes of spatial reorganization and restructuring of society.

The interdisciplinary research network proceeds from the assumption that, particularly in light of the intensification of transnational economic activities, upheavals in the global political geography and the development and spread of digital communication technologies, the world has changed in ways that cannot be understood simply as globalization. Rather, conflict-ridden transformation processes have become evident, which – according to the center’s central assumption – become more tangible when understood as a refiguration of spaces.

Numerous publications, dissertations and master’s theses have already emerged from this inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration between scholars from the disciplines of sociology, geography, communication science, planning, architecture and art during the first funding phase.

Website of the Collaborative Research Center


DFG Research Training Group 2227 “Identity and Heritage” (2016 - 2025)

The DFG Research Training Group 2227 “Identity and Heritage” is a joint institution of Technische Universität Berlin and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Universität der Künste Berlin, the University of Applied Sciences Anhalt Dessau and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt are partners of the Research Training Group.

The Research Training Group offers 14 doctoral students and up to 8 associated students funded by third parties the opportunity to do their doctorate in an outstanding and unique interdisciplinary environment, under the joint supervision of researchers from Berlin, Weimar, Dessau and Erfurt as well as the support by important cooperation partners. The team also includes a post-doctoral researcher, who primarily strengthens the sociological focus of the research programme.

This research training group seeks to promote the critical study of constructions of identity and heritage based on architectural structures, historical sites, and other, primarily material, cultural legacies. Interdisciplinary analyses in cultural theory are combined in the research training group with the close observation and interpretation of the form and material constitution of the respective objects. The goal of research is to strengthen theoretical points of access to a democratic understanding of cultural heritage.

The subjects involved are Architecture, Sociology of Planning and Architecture, Archival and Literary Studies, Conservation and History of Architecture, European Cities and Urban Heritage, History, Cultural Studies, History of Art, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Planning Theory and History of Urbanism.

Website of the Research Training Group


DFG Research Training Group 2032 "Urban Water Interfaces" (2015-2024)

Technische Universität Berlin and Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries have created a unique interdisciplinary research platform for research on urban water interfaces. Together with partners from other research institutions, water management and local authorities, a stimulating research environment is created for the PhD students, international mobility is made possible and support is provided.

Urban water systems are particularly vulnerable because they are exposed to multiple current stressors in addition to anticipated changes (such as climate change and urbanization) and require preventive research and adaptive management. The complexity of urban water systems requires a gradual shift toward a focus on specific interfaces to capture the multitude of process interactions under consideration.

Basic knowledge of interface processes in urban water systems has improved during UWI's first funding period, but is not yet sufficient to predict the consequences of anticipated changes.

Our overarching goals for the second funding period are to

  • improve understanding of the functioning of individual natural and engineered interfaces and their quantitative impacts on urban water systems
  • Predict future changes by integrating mechanistic knowledge into scenarios for subsequent modeling
  • Identify vulnerable and resilient conditions in urban water systems to derive adaptations for improved water management.

Website of the Research Training Group


Past projects

DFG Research Training Group 1672: Innovation Society Today: The Reflexive Creation of Novelty

DFG Collaborative Research Center 1736: Urban Climate and Heat Stress in Mid-latitude Cities in View of Climate Change (UCaHS)


Selected research partners

  • Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung
  • German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu)
  • German Aerospace Cener (DLR)
  • Geo.X Research Network for Geosciences in Berlin and Potsdam
  • Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics
  • Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
  • Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change gGmbH
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Selected joint appointments

  • Geophysical Processing with a focus on Seismics (Prof. Dr. Charlotte Krawczyk), in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Applied Freshwater Science (Prof. Dr. Mark Gessner), in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
  • GNSS Remote Sensing (Prof. Dr. Jens Wickert), in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Climate Economics and Public Policy (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer), in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Physical Geodesy (Prof. Dr. Frank Flechtner), in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Planetary Geodesy (Prof. Dr. Jürgen Oberst), in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center - Institute of Planetary Research
  • Planning-Related Animal Ecology (Prof. Dr. Stephanie Kramer-Schadt), in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
  • Reservoir Engineering (Prof. Dr. Hannes Hofmann), in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Satellite Geodesy (Prof. Dr. Harald Schuh), in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Sustainability Economics of Human Settlements (Prof. Dr. Felix Creutzig), in cooperation with the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change gGmbH
  • Non-Destructive Testing of Building Materials (Prof. Dr. Sabine Kruschwitz), in cooperation with the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung