Research Projects of the RG Cultural Geography

Listed below are various research projects that our colleagues in the research group are currently involved with or have been involved with. They illustrate the research focus of us as a group of researchers. The projects are listed in chronological order.

Evaluation of the Participation Process „Bönnsche Viertel“
Running Time: 2023-2024

RG Cultural Geography: Dr. Juliane Dame, Prof. Dr. Kathrin Hörschelmann
in cooperation with Michael Lobeck, Büro Promediare

With the "Bönnsche Viertel" project, the city of Bonn 2023 is introducing a changed policy regarding stationary and moving traffic in two pilot districts - the Combahnviertel in Beuel and the Inner Nordstadt in the center of Bonn. The project is intended to make an important contribution to climate protection and increase the modal split for environmentally compatible traffic. At the same time, the creation of additional green spaces and meeting areas as well as more equitable participation in public space are specified as goals.

The urban project "Bönnsche Viertel" is accompanied by participation formats, which are to capture the ideas and interests of the residents and integrate them into the planned measures. The RG Kulturgeographie is part of the evaluation team for this participation process together with Büro Promediare.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact
Juliane Dame or Kathrin Hörschelmann

Bild_ Bönnsche Viertel 2.jpg
© Juliane Dame
© Kathrin Hörschelmann/GIUB

Geo-Medial – Translocal learning spaces

With the project "Geo-Medial - Translokale Lernräume" ("Translocal Learning Spaces") under the direction of Prof. Dr. Kathrin Hörschelmann and Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller Mahn, the GIUB is also involved in the first project line "vielfä" at the strategy fund "Zukunftsorientierte Lehre" of the University of Bonn.

The project "Geo-Medial - Translokale Lernräume" aims to improve teaching in several geography and agriculture courses through innovative digital formats and new forms of learning in order to make studying more diverse, flexible and international. The proposed activities are designed to enable students to broaden their horizons of spatial experiences in the context of digital media. The focus is on the creation of translocal learning spaces and the production of audio-visual materials in the context of courses, complemented by the testing of approaches of Citizen Science. The theoretical foundation of the project results from current debates in university didactic and political geography about the effects of digital media and the Internet on medial constructions of space.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact: Prof. Dr. Kathrin Hörschelmann

Evaluation of the project „Bonn4Future – Wir fürs Klima“

Bonn im Wandel e.V. and the City of Bonn initiated the participative project „Bonn4Future – Wir fürs Klima“ ("we for climate"), in which ideas and recommendations for a climate-neutral Bonn by 2035 are to be developed in accordance with the city council resolution of 07.11.2019.

The project pursues four goals: 1. to create a better understanding of the climate crisis, 2. to activate and "encourage" the citizenry to tackle the climate crisis, 3. to support the exchange with politics and administration, and 4. to promote acceptance and understanding of the city's climate protection measures. In order to check the quality of the project and the implementation of the project goals, the office Promediare together with the RG Wiegandt and our RG is commissioned to conduct an independent scientific evaluation.

Link to an interim report (german)

If you have any questions about the project, please contact: Prof. Dr. Kathrin Hörschelmann

© Kathrin Hörschelmann/GIUB

© Kathrin Hörschelmann/GIUB

The everyday experiences of young asylum seekers and refugees in public space (2019-2022)

In this project we explore the issue of refugee youth, public space and integration in Europe. We answer questions about the role that arts and cultural initiatives play in the lives of refugee youth and their engagements with public space.

We also focus on refugee youth’s stories of home-making, their interaction with arrival structures and their negotiations of inclusion and exclusion in public spaces. In doing so, we consider refugee youth’s migration histories as well as new spaces for urban citizenship, how these emerge in the city and the role these play in European integration.

The project is a collaboration with Peter Hopkins and Matt Benwell (Newcastle, UK, Project Lead), Ilse van Liempt (Utrecht, NL), and Mattias de Backer (Liege, BE).

Link to the project website

Teaching research project:
"Open bookcases in Bonn"
(Winter Semester 2021-2022)

As part of the human geography methods seminar in the winter semester 2021/2022, Bachelor students of geography under the supervision of Dr. Juliane Dame in cooperation with Dipl.-Geogr. Ulrich Kindermann (olunteer project manager at the Bürgerstiftung Bonn) analyzed the use of the open bookcases in the city of Bonn and recorded the interests and habits of the users.

For 20 years now, the weatherproof cabinets for sharing and exchanging books have been located in the city, for example on Poppelsdorfer Allee nearby the Geographical Institute. Based on ideas of sharing economy, books can be put in and taken out here for free, anonymously, without any formalities and at any time. In the course of the seminar, it was evaluated to what extent this concept is accepted and appreciated by the citizens of Bonn. At five selected bookcases at the locations Poppelsdorfer Allee, Rheinufer Beuel, Frongasse Endenich, Dorfplatz Ippendorf and Poppelsdorfer Platz, the placing and removal of books was recorded and observations and interviews were conducted.

The results of the students' project work were then processed with the support of Hanna Schmid (research assistant of the RG Cultural Geography). They show impressively that the bookcases in Bonn are a successful model. The complete report can be found here (in german).

Buecherschrank Zoom
© Juliane Dame

NATURVATION Projekt, Garten
© Sophia Hildebrandt

Nature-based Urban Innovation (2016-2021)

NATURVATION assesses what nature-based solutions can achieve in cities. Working in partnership with city governments, non-governmental organisations and business, we examine how innovation is taking place, and work with communities and stakeholders to develop the knowledge and tools required to realise the potential of nature-based solutions for meeting urban sustainability goals.

Within the NATURVATION project, Prof. Hörschelmann’s research team has concentrated on examining the engagement of diverse communities in planning and implementing NBS projects, exploring their potential for inclusive citizenship. The team has further investigated cultural values of urban nature and contributed their insights to the development of the Urban Nature Navigator, which supports municipalities in assessing and planning for nature-based solutions.

NATure-based URban innoVATION is a 4-year project, funded by the European Commission and involving 14 institutions across Europe in the fields of urban development, geography, innovation studies and economics. It was lead by Prof. Harriet Bulkeley (Durham, UK).

Link to the project website

The research within the project is summarised in this paper, among others. For a discussion of this paper, see this video on

Re-Collect/Remind: Crossing the East-West divides through memories of Cold War childhood experiences (2019-2022)

This collaborative, international and interdisciplinary project creates dialogues among people divided by multiple borders – geopolitical, economic, generational and cultural – inherited from and reordered after the Cold War. It builds an anarchive of memories that continually recreates itself, inciting experimentation, responding to continuously changing experiences of the communities, and fostering multiple, even panoramic viewpoints about diverse identities, cultures, and histories as experienced during and after the Cold War.

The project draws on the research traditions of autobiography, autoethnography, and collective biography, as well as art representations of childhood memories through visual arts, performance art, including drama, and traveling exhibitions. The project was funded by the KONE Foundation and led by Zsusza Millei (Tampere University, Finnland), Nelli Piatoeva (Tampere University, Finnland) and Iveta Silova (Arizona State University, US). Further collaborating partners include Erica Burman (University of Manchester, UK), Madina Tlostanova (Linköping University, Sweden), Inés Dussel (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico), Susanne Gannon (Western Sydney University, Australia), Lenin Museum (Tampere, Finnland) and Dollardaddy Theatre Group (Hungary).

Link to the project website

Bronze Statuen von Kindern während der KONE Konferenz
© Kathrin Hörschelmann/GIUB

Zwei Leute sitzen an einem Brunnen in einer europäischen Stadt während der Feldforschung
© Kathrin Hörschelmann/GIUB

Re-making the European: nationalism, xenoracism and regional identities of mobile East-Central Europeans (2019-2020)

This project explores how Brexit is shaping spatial identities (sub-national, national and European) and altering everyday spatial practices of Polish nationals living in urban and rural Scotland.

It aims to generate new knowledge about how migrant identities and practices are shaped by political instability using Polish migration to Scotland as a case study. It examines how the geopolitics and discourse of Brexit are co-constituted with the local, intimate and private subjectivities of individuals.

This project was  funded by the Carnegie Trust and led by Katherine Botterill (University of Glasgow, UK, Principle Investigator) and conducted in collaboration with Kathy Burrell (University of Liverpool, UK).

European Network for Environmental Citizenship, Managing Committee Member  (2017-2021)

The „European Network for Environmental Citizenship“ (ENEC) aims to improve understanding and assessment of environmental citizenship in Europe and participating countries.

It multiplies the knowledge, expertise, research and insights of different stakeholders (researchers, scholars, teachers, practitioners, policy officials, NGOs, etc.) related in Environmental Citizenship. Network partners share their expertise on macro- and micro- level dimensions of formal and non-formal education in order to enhance the knowledge and understanding of Environmental Citizenship. Good examples and best educational practices leading to pro-environmental attitudes, behaviour and values are highlighted and promoted.

Link to Project Website

Logo des Projekts
© European Network for Environmental Citizenship

Contact Information

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Prof. Dr. Kathrin Hörschelmann

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Meckenheimer Allee 166

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