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The members of the inter- and transdisciplinary funding priority »Sustainable Development of Urban Regions« publish their research results in various types of publication, that are appropriate for the respective research and implementation.


The members of the inter- and transdisciplinary funding priority »Sustainable Development of Urban Regions« publish their research results in various types of publication, that are appropriate for the respective research and implementation. In addition, the funding priority itself issues different formats of publication in which the international researchers of SURE publish their results.

A chronologically ordered selection of SURE related publications can be found here. If you are interested in a comprehensive list, please visit the individual websites of the SURE projects!

Smart technology supporting traditional and bioclimatic building functions in reducing cooling energy demand in Cambodia.

Publication 2

Cambodia has been experiencing significant urbanisation, economic and population growth over the last decade with projections showing that this trend will continue until 2035 and beyond.1 Moreover, buildings are responsible for one third of the total final energy consumption in Phnom Penh and with increasing housing needs, no intervention will inevitably lead to an exponential increase both in energy consumption especially for cooling, and in related emissions. Furthermore, despite the low penetration rate of air-conditioning (AC) in the country, according to the International Energy Agency, AC sales have doubled between 2015-2018...

Sustainable Building Arenas: Constructing a Governance Framework for a Sustainability Transition in Cambodia's Urban Built Environment

Publication B4P 0922

Transition governance approaches for the building sector have been discussed for more than a decade. Very little work has however moved beyond the socio-political contexts of
the Global North to scrutinize the spatial-institutional challenges of sustainability transitions in the Global South, or more illiberal contexts. Consequently, this paper introduces a transition governance framework, a Sustainable Building Arena (SBA), that addresses the contextual particularities of the urban building regime and its de/stabilizing factors in the case of Cambodia to inform transformational change.

The design of the SBA draws on the literature on urban transition management, transition management in the Global South, as well as transdisciplinary transition management arenas, and extends these concepts to Cambodia’s urban built environment. It furthermore builds upon the results of an extensive analysis of the sociotechnical system and an evaluation of residential buildings in Phnom Penh, including indoor environmental conditions. The SBA is conceptualized as an informal institution and as a
protected and co-creative space at the science-policy-business-civil society interface. It allows sustainability-minded but often marginalized actors to co-produce and pluralize knowledge – including the co-development of problem framings, visions and transition strategies – and facilitates cooperation, as well as the creation of alternative discourse coalitions and networks of social capital. Overall, the paper argues that such scientifically grounded and participatory processes, that are attentive to and designed for the particular spatial-institutional context, can indeed support the development of actionable knowledge, the empowerment of marginalized actors and support collective action for transformative change in the built environment sectors in contexts outside the Western liberal norm of transition studies

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Informal Settlement Resilience Upgrading-Approaches and Applications from a Cross-Country Perspective in Three Selected Metropolitan Regions of Southeast Asia


Managing climate change is synonymous to managing cities and their growth. To shoulder the challenge of climate change adaptation, informal settlement upgrading in the global south has amounted to the importance of being attuned with the growth of its city and region at large. Changing the paradigm of on-site upgrading to being community-driven and city-led with domestic funding unlocks potentials for community resilience building, especially in countries that strive for inclusive growth.

This research looks into informal settlement development dynamics and its resilience stance in conjunction of the metropolitan growth in three Southeast Asian countries. Greater Manila Area, Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Hanoi Capital Region serve as the backdrop for this investigation. The research mainly addresses informal settlement upgrading roles, mechanism and approaches for resilience building in these three metropolises, meanwhile also unveiling their city-regional development needs. The methodological approach of this study is highly participatory, demonstrating a hybrid of multi-spectrum stakeholder workshops, online surveys (due to COVID), expert interviews, project interim reports and correspondence with the local expert team in the three countries, etc. The paper attempts at providing a cross-country appraisal of the central strategies of informal settlement upgrading, related institutional constellations and upgrading applications along with the three metropolises’ urban development. This attempt accentuates the pressing needs of mitigating multi-facet vulnerability of informal communities, who are the most adversely affected by climate change and rampant urbanization. Further, this research will also reveal the mindset change of how decision-makers and the public contemplate upgrading objectives, e.g., recasting secure tenure instruments.

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Disaster Preparedness and Resilience at Household Level in Yangon, Myanmar

Publikation MYrisk Disaster Preparedness

Resilience has become important in disaster preparedness and response. Unfortunately, little is known about resilience at the household level. This study presents the results of a survey into individual and household level preparedness to disaster events in Yangon, Myanmar, which is prone to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, fooding, and earth‑quakes. The study aimed to understand societal resilience and to provide information that could be used to develop a holistic framework. In four different Yangon townships, 440 households were interviewed.

The results of the survey indicate how risk preparedness could be improved by specifc measures related to the following fve factors: (1) increasing the general public’s knowledge of first aid and its role in preparedness; (2) improving mobile phone infrastructure and capacity building in its usage so that it can be used for communication during disasters, along with building up a redundant communication structure; (3) better use and organisation of volunteer potential; (4) more specifc involvement of religious and public buildings for disaster response; and (5) developing specifc measures for improving preparedness in urban areas, where the population often has reduced capacities for coping with food supply insufciencies due to the high and immediate availability of food, shops and goods in regular times. The fndings of this survey have led to specifc recommendations for Yangon. The identifed measures represent a frst step in developing a more general framework. Future research could investigate the transferability of these measures to other areas and thus their suitability as a basis for a framework.

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Transdisciplinary Synthesis Research – Challenges and Approaches of Impact-Oriented Urban and Spatial Research

Publication Begleitforschung

With the rapid urbanisation in Africa and East and Southeast Asia, the question arises how we can find adequate concepts for sustainability-oriented cities. In this context, urban and spatial research is more and more confronted with questions on how its results contribute to urban transformation and how the effects of transdisciplinary research projects can be measured. Since 2019, the BMBF has been funding ten projects in Southeast Asia and China under the umbrella of the SURE funding priority to provide impetus for the long-term implementation of sustainable urban development strategies. Part of the funding priority is the transdisciplinary Facilitation and Synthesis Research Project, which establishes a methodological approach to highlight the impact of urban research in the context of rapid urbanisation. For this purpose, an impact-oriented monitoring is proposed, which includes a reference framework whose theoretical and methodological conceptions are discussed in this article.

State of the Vietnamese Coast – Assessing Three Decades (1986 to 2021) of Coastline Dynamics Using the Landsat Archive

FloodAdapt Publication 2022

Vietnam’s 3260 km coastline is densely populated, experiences rapid urban and economic growth, and faces at the same time a high risk of coastal hazards. Satellite archives provide a free and powerful opportunity for long-term area-wide monitoring of the coastal zone. This paper presents an automated analysis of coastline dynamics from 1986 to 2021 for Vietnam’s entire coastal zone using the Landsat archive.

The proposed method is implemented within the cloud-computing platform Google Earth Engine to only involve publicly and globally available datasets and tools. We generated annual coastline composites representing the mean-high water level and extracted sub-pixel coastlines. We further quantified coastline change rates along shore-perpendicular transects, revealing that half of Vietnam’s coast did not experience significant change, while the remaining half is classified as erosional (27.7%) and accretional (27.1%). A hotspot analysis shows that coastal segments with the highest change rates are concentrated in the low-lying deltas of the Mekong River in the south and the Red River in the north. Hotspots with the highest accretion rates of up to +47 m/year are mainly associated with the construction of artificial coastlines, while hotspots with the highest erosion rates of −28 m/year may be related to natural sediment redistribution and human activity.

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