HUWISU | Summer on Campus
Subject Course

Planning Urban Neighborhoods in Transition – The Case of Berlin [S2]

Have you heard of Berlin’s creative class, the ageing society, or the new social dynamics caused by migration? There are many new changes and challenges European cities are confronted with, and we are going to hunt them down in the city of Berlin!

Course Period
July 15, 2024 – Aug. 9, 2024 Session II
Metropolitan Studies & Urban Development
Course Levels
Class Size

max. 18 participants

Credits and Certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-University.

Application Deadline
May 15, 2024, or when participant quota is reached
Course Fee

The aim of this course is to understand and learn about the different challenges European regions are facing, e.g. integration and migration, social exclusion, demographic change, creative milieus, economic decline, shrinking cities and ecological renewal.

How is the ageing society affecting our rural and urban areas?How are migrants integrated in European cities? Does Berlin have a creative class and if so, how does it affect the city? These are only some of the questions that will be discussed in the course. The city of Berlin is a hot spot for various regional developments. As a result, several of these aspects will be explored and explained during short excursions and day trips in Berlin (e.g. ethnic businesses and the migration situation in Neukölln, the newly developing zone Tempelhofer Feld).

Students of all relevant disciplines who are interested in different aspects of European regional development, including e.g. city and regional planning, geography, politics, social sciences and economics, are most welcome to join this course.

Participants will be invited to draft a presentation on a specific topic discussed in the course (including e.g. the home regions of the participants).

Course structure
  • You will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes; 11 hours per week)
  • Lessons are held three times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions

The courses are grouped into different time tracks.
Your course will take place in Track C.

Tuesday: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm & 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Wednesday: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm & 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Friday: 9.00 am – 10.30 am & 11.00 am – 11.45 am

Cultural activities
You are welcome to join our cultural program with an excellent selection of excursions, sports activities, and social gatherings. It is the perfect setting for getting to know each other and for experiencing the varous facets of Berlin. There are no additional costs for participation in the activities.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Exhibitions…

Language Skills
English B2
Motivation Letter
About one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students with an interest in geography, economics, cultural studies, social sciences, European studies.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

Prof. Dr. Lech Suwala

Lech Suwala is currently a Full Professor (Guest) for Urban and Regional Economics at Technische Universität Berlin. Apart from that, he worked as a Visiting Associate Professor for Innovation Management at Ritsumeikan University, Japan, Osaka and Senior Lecturer in Economic Geography at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is a geographer and economist with working experience in both science and industry. He has held positions as Research Fellow at Simon-Fraser-University, Vancouver, Canada; Lecturer at the University of Namibia, Windhoek and University of Applied Sciences on Technology and Economics, Berlin. His expertise includes spatial creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship research, European and regional planning, as well as smart und green approaches towards urban development. His research has been published in both peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Regional Studies, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Society and Economy) and internationally edited volumes (Ashgate, Routledge, Springer).

Dr. Robert Kitzmann

Robert Kitzmann is currently research associate  in Economic Geography at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Besides his teaching obligation in the division of Economic Geography he is actively engaged in research on real estate and urban development, for which he was inspired during his graduate research on the consequences of the housing bubble and crisis for the urban development in Phoenix, Arizona. Following his passion for topics related to urban development his doctoral research is dealing with the transformation of Berlin’s housing market and the consequences for neighborhood development. This research and the enthusiasm for his hometown Berlin has led to the elaboration of several seminars and a broad variety of field trips. Since 2013, he is regularly giving insights to international students on how the urban landscape of the growing metropolis of Berlin is transforming.

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