The Research Area Built Environment - Resources and Environmental Risks investigates sustainability issues related to the use, development and the materiality of the built environment, as well as spatial relationships with the natural environment. We understand the built environment as part of complex socio-ecological-technical systems, which physically includes buildings, infrastructures and open spaces shaped by humans.
Our research is oriented towards ambitious sustainability and climate protection goals (“minimising the consumption of natural resources”, “limiting global warming” “increasing resilience in cities and regions”) and aims to contribute to shape a future-proof and resilient built environment. In doing so, we consider social and technical innovations that contribute to achieving these goals at different spatial levels.
Particular attention is on the one hand paid to the issue of the use and degradation of anthropogenic and natural resources (Research Group "Anthropogenic and Natural Resources"). On the other hand, we also take natural hazards into account, which may pose risks to the stock and usability of the built environment, and are intensified or caused by climate change. We develop approaches, methods and indicators that can be used to describe and design circular and resilience-oriented developments of the built environment with respect to their socio-ecological-technical parameters.
With the “IOER Information System Built Environment” (ISBE), we support scientists and actors, especially in urban, regional and environmental planning as well as industry, with information on the materiality and vulnerability of the built environment. In this way, we aim to contribute to implementing circular concepts in practice as well as to the adaptation of the built environment to natural hazards and climate change.
Our guiding questions are: