Geographical Society of Bonn

Logo of the Geographical Society Bonn

The Geographical Society of Bonn (BGG) (founded in 1910 as the Gesellschaft für Erd- und Völkerkunde) is a registered, non-profit association. The most important goal of the BGG is to present research results of geography and ethnology to a broad public interested in the subject in a problem-oriented and at the same time generally understandable way.

Program for winter semester 2023/2024

Each year, seven to nine lectures are offered by specialist scientists on general and regional geographic as well as ethnological topics. In addition, the society organizes excursions for its members and interested guests and informs about offers of other geographic societies in Germany.

Students are sitting in the lectrure hall
© Friederike Pauk/GIUB

Invitation to the lectures in the winter semester 2023/2024
"How will we live? Challenges for urban and spatial planning"

The lectures of the series will take place in presence in the Alfred Philippson Lecture Hall of the Department of Geography University of Bonn.

For members of the Geographical Society of Bonn, we also offer digital participation via Zoom this semester. For this we ask for a short message by email, we will then send you the access data.

New time! The lectures are starting at 5.15 p.m.!

Wednesday, 25.10.2023, 5.15 p.m.

Old-age poverty as a regional challenge

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Köppen (University of Koblenz Koblenz) and Dr. Claus Schlömer (Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung)  

Against the backdrop of demographic change and its tangible consequences, the issue of poverty in old age has moved onto the political agenda in recent years. Recent studies and data from the microcensus suggest that more people in Germany are likely to be affected by poverty in old age in the future. Nevertheless, the issue of old-age poverty has not yet been a separate field of action in urban and regional planning and descriptive estimates of regionally differentiated trends have only been made sporadically. In fact, official statistics only have very little small-scale data on poverty and the risk of poverty, which already makes it difficult to produce simple, descriptive regional analyses, as their informative value is very limited. For example, data on the receipt of basic income support is the only information from official statistics that allows an approximation of the small-scale patterns of poverty in old age.
Despite the aforementioned considerable limitations in the description and estimation of current and future regional trends in old-age poverty, it appears necessary to carry out corresponding analyses, particularly in order to stimulate awareness of the problem in (sectoral) planning and regional policy.
As a further aspect, the strengths and weaknesses of "classic" quantitative, descriptive methods in population geography and the significance of cartographic visualization in the field of science, planning and policy advice are discussed. (The lecture will be held in German.)

Wednesday, 15.11.2023, 5.15 p.m.

Memory needs space. Lecture and panel discussion on the occasion of the laying of the memorial stones for Alfred, Margarete and Dora Philippson

Astrid Mehmel (Bonn Memorial and NS-Documentation Center) 

Memorial stones are small memorial plaques embedded in the ground. They commemorate the people who were persecuted, murdered, deported, expelled or driven to suicide during the National Socialist era. These people included the Bonn geographer Alfred Philippson, his wife Margarete and their daughter Dora, who were deported from Bonn to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. The family survived the concentration camp and were able to return to Bonn in 1945.
The Bonn Memorial and NS-Documentation Center will lay three memorial stones for Alfred, Margarete and Dora Philippson at Königstraße 1 on 15.11.2023 at 11 a.m. The Bonn Geographical Society has taken over the sponsorship of the stones.
An evening event will also be held on the same day as part of the BGG's lecture series to mark the laying of the memorial stones. Astrid Mehmel (Memorial and Nazi Documentation Center) will give a short lecture on Alfred Philippson, his life and work at the Department of Geography in Bonn. Afterwards, we will discuss with Astrid Mehmel the importance of memorials for remembering, the contribution of the memorial stone to dealing with the Nazi era and the changing culture of remembrance. (The lecture will be held in German.)

Wednesday 13.12.2023, 5.15 p.m.

Challenges of spatial planning with and through the digital transformation

Dr. Vilim Brezina (Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung) 

The Covid pandemic was a reality check for the state of digital transformation in Germany. On the one hand, digitalization has picked up speed in the area of communication. On the other hand, many deficits and gaps in the exchange of information and data between the state and society have become apparent, particularly in the digitalization of administration. Digital transformation plays a particularly important role in urban and regional development, both as an object, e.g. in questions of locational advantages through broadband expansion or an urban society that is as digital and thus service-oriented as possible, as well as in instrumental questions such as support services in urban land use planning, regional planning, spatial control approaches of the digital platform economy through to the networked and citizen-centered smart city. The lecture will discuss these issues in terms of status, prospects, opportunities and risks using several examples. (The lecture will be held in German.)

Wednesday 17.01.2023 5.15 p.m. 

Climate change adaptation as a challenge for urban and spatial planning

Prof. Dr. Stefan Greiving (TU Dortmund University) 

In addition to climate protection, adaptation to climate change has been enshrined in law as a separate mandate for action for regions and municipalities since 2008 and 2011 at the level of spatial planning and urban land-use planning. In the meantime, there is a wide range of practical experience in this area, which is reported on in a series of research projects for the EU, federal government and federal states, as well as expert reports for regions and municipalities. A particular challenge for urban and spatial planning is the adaptation of existing settlements and infrastructures, for which the German planning system is only designed to a limited extent. The focus is on German application practice, although insights into interesting international approaches are also provided. (The lecture will be held in German.)


Membership can be obtained from the office of the Geographical Society of Bonn e.V. Here you can also obtain the current program of events.

Annual membership fee

15,00 EURO for full members
  6,50 EURO for student members

Admission at the box office

free admission for all members of the society
free admission for registered school classes and accompanying teachers
  2,00 EURO for students
  3,00 EURO for non-members

School classes can register either by mail ( or by phone (+49 228 73-7516).

Declaration of accession

If you would like to join the Geographical Society of Bonn, please fill out the membership application and send it to the following address:

Geographisches Institut der Universität Bonn
Meckenheimer Allee 166
53115 Bonn

You can download the declaration of accession as a pdf file under the following link:

Declaration of accession BGG (238 KB)

Consent to the privacy policy of the BGG e.V. for the use of member data according to the new EU data protection regulation  (69 KB)

New EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

As of May 25, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation will come into force.            

Privacy policy of BGG e.V. (104 KB)

Geographical Society of Bonn

Meckenheimer Allee 166

53115 Bonn


Chairwoman: Prof. Dr. Nadine Marquardt
Vice Chair: Arnulf Marquardt-Kuron
Managing Director: Dr. Julia Poerting
Assessor: Dr. Hans Baumgarten, Dr. Marcus Mogk

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