Risk Habitat Megacity

Overall Coordinator Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjurgens; Dr. Dirk Heinrichs, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ
Funding Source (and Level, if known) Helmholtz Association
Project Website Link

The research focuses on the correlation between the urban habitat as a space of risk and a space of opportunity. The overall objective of the research initiative is to deepen the understanding of those complex urban processes, interactions and feedback mechanisms that turn megacities and large agglomerations into risk habitat. It intends to evaluate urban risks under sustainability criteria, to develop analytical tools and instruments to tackle the risks of mega-urbanization, and to derive paths for a more sustainable development.

Because megacity risks are frequently the result of interaction between (changing) natural conditions (such as climate) and human activity (settlement, economic activity, use of natural resources, etc.), leading to their multiplication, propagation and reinforcement, research must
capture risk interdependencies. To make solutions convincing, analysis will be based on empirical evidence and appropriate simulation models.
The specific objectives of the initiative are to:

– contribute to the specification of sustainability objectives for the future development of megacities;
– assess characteristic risks, their driving factors and consequences in megacities;
– design strategies and instruments for risk management as key tools for sustainable urban development;
– develop implementation solutions that take the institutional, political, economic, and social aspects within megacities into account;
– build a platform for continuous learning and application in order to integrate academic research and practice.