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Kontakt für Fragen zur Bestellung von Publikationen:

Heidi Espei
Tel.: +49 30 39001-253
Fax: +49 30 39001-275

Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik gGmbH
Zimmerstraße 13-15
10969 Berlin


The German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) was established in 1973 at the initiative of the German towns and cities, so it can look back on a 35-year history. Difu deals with the whole range of municipal subjects in a sound scientific way combined with a practical approach in academic municipal research, training and the documentation and dissemination of knowledge.

Difu’s objective is to work in the interests of the general public, particularly of the cities, municipalities, associations of municipalities and their enterprises as well as of the citizens by:

  • undertaking interdisciplinary research into the conditions under which the municipalities carry out their responsibilities and providing impulses for further research (basic research),
  • conducting scientific and practical studies of current municipal problems and their solution (action research),
  • developing methodological foundations for municipal development and making them available (application research), as well as
  • scientifically coordinating the knowledge gained from Difu’s own research and external research, reviewing this in the interests of users and transmitting them to the latter.

On the one hand, this is about working on current issues that are relevant to the municipalities, but on the other, the aim is also to demonstrate long-term prospects and possibilities of action for urban development. The institute supports individual cities to solve current problems provided that the issues are generic ones.

As a community body funded by more than 100 contributors – primarily cities, municipal associations and planning associations - Difu aims to meet the needs of towns and cities and offers a broad range of services:
reader-friendly studies and research reports, quality training seminars and specialized information and documentation services disseminate scientific knowledge in a practical way, lead to an exchange of experiences between the municipalities and provide support with implementing planning objectives in municipal administrative practice.

Targeted press and public relations work makes the institute’s knowledge known in the (specialized) public arena and useful for municipal work.