Graduate College „Mittelstadt.Mitmachstadt“

Logo of the College


Three universities, in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Foundation, are founding a graduate college on future developments in small medium-sized towns with around 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. The college has an inter- and transdisciplinary structure and combines expertise and process knowledge from various sectors.
Based on the different fields of action of urban development as well as future trends and challenges that cities will have to face, the research training group aims to identify development perspectives for concrete innovation and transformation issues of medium-sized cities and to link these with new forms of urban development and participation in the region.


Initiating change - interlocking contents and processes

The aim of the college is to investigate transformations in eight selected medium-sized towns and cities and to bring about a planning and administrative cultural change on concrete topics, future issues and transformation concerns of the towns and cities. Three possible approaches to transformation are at the centre of the research: 'Change through places and spaces', 'Change through institutions and governance' and 'Change through processes and dialogues'.
The doctoral students of the Research Training Group work at their universities, but also on site, to investigate transformation processes and to identify and concretize transformation tasks and to observe planning and dialogue cultures as well as governance structures. Building on this, the aim is to stimulate, test and subsequently reflect on the participation and shaping of important future topics on site.

Further information can be found under Mittelstadt als Mitmachstadt.

Transformative research - agents on the ground

The interdisciplinary research training group pursues an agent-based approach that aims to link empirical research on transformation processes in medium-sized cities with concrete spatial, structural and planning impulses on site in order to initiate a planning and administrative cultural change in the medium-sized cities concerned.

Doing a doctorate in the college - together instead of alone

The inter- and transdisciplinary research training group is developed and implemented by six professors from RWTH Aachen University, the University of Stuttgart and the University of Potsdam for the Robert Bosch Stiftung. They are available to supervise the dissertation:

Name Chair University
Professorin Agnes Förster Lehrstuhl für Planungstheorie und Stadtentwicklung RWTH Aachen University
Professor Frank Lohrberg Lehrstuhl für Landschaftsarchitektur RWTH Aachen University
Professorin Cordula Kropp Institut für Sozialwissenschaften und ZIRIUS Universität Stuttgart
Professorin Sabine Kuhlmann Lehrstuhl für Politikwissenschaft, Verwaltung und Organisation Universität Potsdam
Juniorprofessor Jan Polívka Nachhaltige Wohnbestandsentwicklung RWTH Aachen University
Professorin Christa Reicher Lehrstuhl und Institut für Städtebau und Entwerfen RWTH Aachen University