Professorship for Open Space and Ecological Urban Design

Professorship for Open Space and Ecological Urban Design – Planning and Designing Urban Nature

The Professorship for Open Space and Ecological Urban Design deals with green and open spaces in the context of sustainable urban transitions. In particular, we are concerned with questions of planning and designing urban nature in terms of a multifunctional and resilient "green infrastructure" that provides multiple benefits for health and quality of life, social cohesion, environmental justice, adaptation to climate change and biodiversity. Our teaching focuses on the ecological foundations of urban design with special attention to the scale of the city and the urban region. Our research is inter- and transdisciplinary with a particular interest in the potential of innovative concepts for open-space planning and design in Germany and Europe. We contribute to application-oriented planning research and to the exchange of knowledge between research and practice.


Main Research Areas

  • Promoting urban nature and biodiversity: Our research supports local stakeholders in cities and municipalities in their efforts to safeguard and develop green and open spaces in a way that creates a multifunctional and resilient urban green infrastructure.
  • Planning and implementing urban green infrastructure: We explore how the concept of green infrastructure in landscape and open space planning can be improved through integrated, interdisciplinary, and co-creative approaches and how these approaches can be implemented at local level.
  • Integrating nature-based solutions in cities: Nature-based solutions focus on tackling social challenges with ecosystem services. We explore how this approach can drive the protection and development of urban nature and contribute to the well-being of citizens.
  • Assessing urban ecosystem services: With ecosystem services we can measure the importance of ecosystems for our well-being. Our research explores the potential of these approaches for more effective landscape and open space planning in urban regions.
  • Strengthening local climate action: Cities and municipalities are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions quickly and effectively. For doing so, many of them have ambitious climate goals. By developing new approaches to monitor climate action, we aim to support municipalities in their efforts.
Rieke Hansen
Prof. Dr. Rieke Hansen
Building 6701
Room 111
Phone +49 6722 502 843
Rieke.Hansen(at) Details


Die Villa Monrepos der Hochschule Geisenheim. © Hochschule Geisenheim / Winfried Schönbach
Villa Monrepos; Hochschule Geisenheim University
Gas Works Park, Seattle; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
Lisbon, Community Garden; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
Berlin, Schöneberger Südgelände; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
Munich, Landschaftspark Riem; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
Lisbon, Heron in Gulbenkian Museum Park; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
New York, Manhattan Skyline; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen
Urban Re-Wilding in Basel, Switzerland; Source: Professor Rieke Hansen