Over the last years, the discourse on sustainable development has increasingly focused on the role of cities due to a global trend of urbanisation: For various reasons, people migrate from rural areas to urban areas. This trend can be observed for Germany as well: Today more than 75 per cent of Germany's population is already living in cities. However, the trend of urbanisation is taking place unevenly. While some cities register a massive growth of population, others are under pressure as shrinking cities. DemRess II focuses on growing cities and examines the interrelation between resource consumption and demographic change.
The strong and fast growth of some cities is already causing significant pressure on their housing markets and resulting in social segregation and agitation. Additionally, the growth negatively affects the quality of life and the environmental quality due to cumulative traffic, heat, noise and air pollutants, due to the overuse of green areas and public spaces as well as due the excessive use of natural resources like soil, water, local climate, fauna and flora. Moreover, land itself is becoming an increasingly scarce resource causing conflicts over the use of land within the urban society.
An inter-disciplinary team composed of the planning office BKR Aachen Noky & Simon and the Wuppertal Institute will look at possible scenarios and approaches to action for a more resource-efficient and in general more sustainable settlement development in growing cities. Thus, the focus of DemRess II will be on the immediate urban planning issue of providing affordable housing in a most resource-efficient manner. Based on an analysis of general trends, problem areas as well as the results of the scenario analysis, DemRess II will develop strategies and approaches to action for local and regional actors.