Conference revisited

Review of the Conference Urbanes Land N°1, 26.09.2019 at HfG Ulm

A large segment of Europe’s population lives outside traditional urban cores in small and medium-sized cities, suburban agglomerations, or the fringes of metropolitan areas. They cover large areas, are home to millions of people and full of economic development. In the urban land, infrastructures, agriculture and production, businesses and housing merge in a fascinatingly operational, albeit fragmented landscape. To date it falls short of its potentials and does not receive the attention it deserves.

The first Conference Urbanes Land investigated on how to shape the future of urbanized territories across municipal boundaries. The conference provided a platform for the exchange of policy makers, urban planners, business leaders, academics and community groups. Speakers came from a wide range of disciplines. Together we explored how new governance and finance models can work across municipal boundaries, support joint action and lead to sustainable societies.


An introduction to the topic by Prof. Ute Meyer,, Hochschule Biberach

Discussing urban development in Europe, at the bottom of it is still an understanding that the urban and the rural realms are two distinct realms and can be treated accordingly. Europe has more or less effective and reasonable planning authorities, laws and guidelines, still the dichotomies of urban and rural has yet to be overcome. This certainly applies to Germany, but can no doubt be expanded to many European countries alike.

Tom Holbrook

5th Studio, Cambridge London

With a keynote on recommendations to maximize the potential of the Cam- bridge – Oxford corridor. The projects bundles existing institutions in a de- tectable knowledge intensive cluster that competes on global scale – whilst protecting the area’s environment and securing homes and jobs.

Paola Viganò

Studio Vigano, Milan/Brussels

With a keynote on the studio’s under- standing of the Horizontal Metropolis, as a model for sustainable develop- ment. She will talk about the model of closely interlinked, rural/urban realms, communication, transport and economic systems.

Matthias Rudolph

Transsolar, Stuttgart/Munich/New York/Paris

With a keynote on the creative powers of climate engineering. He will sketch out the idea of the Connected City in which the urban and the rural merge. The Oberbillwerder Masterplan by Transsolar exemplifies numerous closed loops (re- gional, energy, re-use, landscape,…).

Jörg Schröder

Institute for Regional Building and Urban Planning, Leibniz University Hannover

With a keynote on dynamic phenomena outside metropolitan cores. He explains how they can be illustrated to start de- bates about territorial futures or how observations can be instrumentalized to understand emerging creative and resi- lient habitat futures in a new way.

Kerstin Gothe

Regional Planning and Building in Rural Areas, KIT Karlsruhe

With a keynote on innovative potentials for new forms of mobility, living, work- ing and infrastructure outside urban cores. Her impulse reflects the options and results that have been collected in summer schools and research projects on remote areas.

Philipp Rode

LSE Cities, London

With a keynote on the key challenge of improving urban accessibility in global urbanisation. He will demonstrate why connecting urban design with transport and climate finance is an important element to foster the urban environmental transition.

Christoph Hupfer

Insitute for Traffic and Infrastructure Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

With a keynote why mobility manage- ment is urban planning and how traffic systems and their management can be shaped to foster optimal accessibility in urbanised territories. He will point out levers he has detected in research and international education.

Christian Schmid

Network City and Landscape, ETH Zürich

With a keynote on analytical and car- tographical tools that help to decipher novel patterns of urbanisation. He will reflect urban profiles and qualities that challenge inherited conceptions of the urban and the ambiguity embedded in urban networks

Georgeen Theodore

Interboro Partners, New York

With a keynote on the Rebuild by de- sign competition and its results in Long Island. She will elaborate on the importance of always using infrastruc- tural interventions to improve the urban condition as a whole as well as the rela- tionship between strategic planning and local development.

Suzanne Potjer

Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht

With a keynote on her newest publication about Experimenting with cities. She will contextualize the panels impulses and explain, how ideas of different ac- tors can spread across institutions and scales inspiring future policy decisions.


An ad-hoc summary by Dr. Philipp Rode, Executive Director LSE Cities

I think an urbanist would possibly always argue that the “Urbanes Land” has limited urbanity. A leak maybe of complexity, a leak of diversity, a leak of anonymity, a leak of temporality publicness, the sharing of resources and ultimate provision of equitable access. But if that’s true or not, I think we need far more imperecle insights.

Photography: Hannes Kutza

Transforming Peripheries Magazine

We continue gathering and sharing knowledge on urbanised territories in an online collaboration with topos, the international review of landscape architecture and urban design. The format supports our purpose to link public interest in manifold expressions of urban phenomena to new ways of professional reporting. 

The Urban Land Conference is a project within InnoSÜD, a university network with the goal to enable a sustainable exchange between science, industry and society with innovative transfer formats. As part of the initiative Innovative Hochschule, the Universities of Applied Sciences Biberach and Neu-Ulm, the University of Technology Ulm and Ulm University have joined forces. The networks aim in the medium term is to create a dynamic innovation system whitch positions the Donau-Iller-Riß region as a link between the metropolitan regions of Stuttgart and Munich among Europe’s most competitive and innovative regions. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the federal states are funding the project over a period of five years.