Photo: a person jumps barefoot over a square flooded by rainwater


Head: Cornelia Rösler

Municipalities have a very broad spectrum of tasks in regard to environmental protection. In addition to planning and regulatory tasks, long-term strategies for sustainability and provision of public utilities and services are necessary. It is only in this way that the objectives of hazard prevention and precautionary actions can be considered in equal measure. At the same time, municipal activities for the protection of the environment and conservation of resources have been viewed in an economic and social context since time immemorial. On the one hand, strained municipal budgets make investments in environmental protection difficult. On the other hand, it is being shown with increasing clarity that municipalities can benefit financially in this regard. Important key words in this context are: Efficiency increases and cost reductions through energy management, land management, recirculating of material flows as well was flooding provisions and prevention through strategies for climate adjustment. At the same time, increasing aspects of environmental justice and social compatibility (e.g. affordability) are to be taken into account.

The consideration of environmental matters is one of the municipal cross-sector tasks and can only be comprehensively achieved when the population, the private sector, other groups of stakeholders and multiplicators are shown specific opportunities for action. We support towns, cities, districts and municipalities in initiating and expanding their activities in the field of the environment, to show the interactions between factors relevant to the environment and other municipal policy fields (e.g. urban development, economic support, schools, housing economy, health care) and at the same to influence various stakeholders in a coordinated manner. For this purpose, we inform and advise the municipalities in an academically well-founded and practice-based manner, and provide them expert support to meet tasks and new challenges.

Our research focuses are:

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Energy management
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Material flow management and waste management
  • Air pollution control and noise reduction
  • Circular land use management

The Research Department Environment has four teams:

Environmental Protection and Climate Change Mitigation
Climate Adjustment and Urban Ecology
Resource Protection and Immission Control
Skills Centre for Municipal Climate Change Mitigation