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Heidi Espei
Tel.: +49 30 39001-253
Fax: +49 30 39001-275
E-Mail: vertrieb@difu.de

Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik gGmbH
Vertrieb
Zimmerstraße 13-15
10969 Berlin

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Staff members

Economics and Funding Division

In recent years, changing framework conditions in particular have had a great impact on the economies of cities and have greatly influenced the budgetary situations in municipalities. The most evident factors here are the global financial and economic crisis, economic and technological change, “glokalization” processes, new regulatory conditions at EU and national level (such as the awarding of contracts, increased governmental economic activity) and demographic change (such as the shortage of skilled workers). In light of this, municipal economic and fiscal policy remains a central field of activity for German cities and towns.

Difu helps cities and municipalities find answers to questions regarding the fundamental role of cities as centres of economic activity and employment in a globalized economy and – in connection with this – to identify the possibilities and limits of local and regional economic policy in a knowledge society. The institute also highlights the key role of municipal and regional economic, innovation and technology policies in ensuring sustainable development that balances questions of economics, environment and social cohesion. Education has now become a key factor in a location’s economic appeal. This research division also investigates the local and regional effects of new technologies and media to devise new recommendations for action.

Difu also provides a great deal of support when it comes to forecasting municipal investment requirements and developing strategic investment, debt and financial management in municipalities; in doing so the entire spectrum of financing instruments, efficiency optimization options and control mechanisms are assessed and evaluated. Moreover, this research division deals with questions of how to optimize organization and controls to allow municipalities to fulfil their responsibilities in the face of ever changing framework conditions.

The application of empirical social and economic research instruments represents a key methodological competence in the area of economics and funding. A main focus here is how to best use statistical criteria and indicators for comparative urban research and monitoring. The evaluation of programmes and policies is performed according to the accredited standards of the German Society for Evaluation.

Main areas of research

  • Municipal economic policy in a knowledge society
  • Economics and sustainable urban development
  • Innovation and technology
  • Investment and funding

Additional information on the work of the Economics and Funding Division