LOEWE Research Area “Intrinsic Logic of Cities”

From June 2008 to June 2013 the Hessen Ministry of Science and Art provides support for the of research focus “Intrinsic Urban Logics” in the context of the state government LOEWE program (Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz) for the development of scientific and economic excellence, a cooperation project of the TU Darmstadt and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

“Intrinsic logic” (“Eigenlogik”) is used here as a working concept to refer to the highly specific and “typical” features and tacit processes at work in giving meaning to a city, and it is these that the project is designed to identify. The scientific interest informing the project is to gain an understanding of the basic structures of cities and to render transparent relations and similarities that cities share.

One of the central methodological tools used here is interurban comparison. Alongside methods typically used in the social sciences to gather data, the Darmstadt research groups make use of approaches typically employed by urban planning as well as by the natural and engineering sciences.

The scientific centre of the LOEWE Research Area are three research groups working on different case studies. They applied successfully for DFG projects and a DFG research group. In addition, in our Graduate School of Urban StudiesURBANgrad, students prepare both doctoral dissertations on the intrinsic logics of selected cities in Hesse, Germany, Europe, and the whole of the world and case studies on the effectiveness of local potentials.