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Inaugural lecture Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jörn Birkmann

July 28, 2015;

“New challenges for spatial and environmental planning in the context of global environmental change and societal transformation processes"

This was the title of the inaugural lecture that Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jörn Birkmann presented as part of his appointment to the professorship in Spatial and Environmental Planning at Faculty II: Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Stuttgart. Prof. Birkmann also takes over as director of the IREUS institute. 

Herr Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörn Birkmann

The presentation started with Latin-American guitar music. Thereafter, the Dean of Faculty II, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kuhlmann welcomed the international and national guests. Among them were the University Rector, professors of the University, members of the Regional Planning bodies and members of the Academy of Spatial Research and Planning (ARL), as well as numerous cooperation partners from research and planning practice, e.g. United Nations University and colleagues from South Korea, Indonesia and England. Prof. Jörn Birkmann started his presentation with an overview of current challenges in spatial and environmental planning that stem from global transformation processes, particularly climate change and urbanization. He showed methods of risks and vulnerability assessment. Based on examples from the region of Stuttgart as well as from the Mekong Delta (Vietnam) he emphasized that planning processes will have to be designed in a more adaptive manner in order to guarantee future successful adaptation to environmental change and societal transformation processes. Using the example of flood risk management Birkmann explained that in Germany, the increasing influence of sectoral planning institutions on spatial planning as well as respective standards have to be further examined and in some cases critically revisited. The presentation finished with another round of music. A reception thereafter provided the opportunity for further discussions and exchange.