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Economic Geography and Environmental Change

Main interests and research issues of this study group concentrate on environmental economic geography and regional development. Major research interests include environmental management and governance, environmental and social impacts of globalization, transnational value chains and socio-economic aspects of natural hazards. The regional focus is on Southern Asia (mainly India and Bangladesh), East Asia, Australia, Germany and Western Europe.


Exkursion nach Indonesien

Vom 24. Februar bis zum 9. März 2024 waren Boris Braun, Konstantin Gisevius und Ajeng Larasati mit 25 Kölner Studierenden der Geographie in Indonesien. In diesem Rahmen gab es viele gemeinsame Veranstaltungen mit Studierenden und Dozierenden indonesischer Universitäten, u.a. in der Universitas Negeri Padang (UNP) auf Sumatra (siehe Foto), der Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta/Depok und der Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP) in Semarang.

"Sustainable Built Environment and Urban Transition (SBEUT)" Conference

On October 12th and 13th, 2023, the "Sustainable Built Environment and Urban Transition (SBEUT)" conference organized by EUniWell took place. The conference aimed to bring together various stakeholders from the global North and South to engage in an interdisciplinary discourse on challenges and solutions for a sustainable environment in urban areas. It served as a platform for researchers, students, practitioners, and professionals to exchange ideas and build networks. As part of the conference, Konstantin Gisevius presented results from the research project TRANSOCAP II in the form of a conference paper titled "(Trans)local Social Capital and its Role in Enhancing Adaptation to Coastal Hazards: Evidence from Urban Coastal Communities in Indonesia."

To the conference website

To the conference paper

More about EUniWell

62nd German Congress of Geography (DKG)

From September 19th to 23rd, 2023, the 62nd German Congress of Geography (DKG) took place in Frankfurt am Main. In the diverse program of the DKG, our working group was well represented with presentations by Boris Braun, Lisa-Michéle Niesters, and Konstantin Gisevius.

For more information about DKG '23, please visit the congress website.

SPP 1889 Sea Level Conference in Hamburg

On June 5th and 6th, 2023, the DFG-funded Priority Program 1889 on the topic of sea level organized an international conference on regional sea level changes and their impacts on society. During the conference, Konstantin Gisevius presented the latest findings from the DFG research project "Building adaptive capacity through (trans-) local social capital – sea level rise and resilience of coastal communities and households in selected Indonesian second-tier cities" (TRANSOCAP II).

For more information about TRANSOCAP II, please visit the project website.

For more information about the conference, please visit the conference website.

Dissertation Prize of the Johannes Rau Research Foundation 2023 goes to Valentin Espert

The Johannes Rau Research Foundation (JRF) has awarded its dissertation prize for 2023 to Valentin Espert. Valentin Espert works at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy and received his PhD at the University of Cologne under the supervision of Prof. Boris Braun on the topic "Public-private cooperations for climate-friendly urban development - A governance analysis of InnovationCity Ruhr - model city Bottrop". The award ceremony took place at the JRF annual celebration on 24 April 2023 in Düsseldorf. The award recognises Valentin Espert's work as an important contribution to the implementation of climate-friendly urban development. Valentin Espert's work thus builds a bridge from science to practice, as is the basic understanding of the JRF.

The entire working group Economic Geography and Environmental Change congratulates Valentin  on this great success.

Research Conference of the AK Industrial Geography

On November 24 and 25, 2022, the annual research meeting of the AK Industrial Geography took place in Wiesbaden. Blom Meijering presented the first results of her dissertation on the location choice of startups in Germany. The discussion part was followed by an interesting evening with fruitful discussions and the opportunity to network with other economic geographers

TRANSOCAP II - First field phase in Indonesia

From September 12 to 26, 2022, Prof. Boris Braun and Konstantin Gisevius conducted the first successful field phase of the DFG research project "Building adaptive capacity through (trans-) local social capital - sea level rise and resilience of coastal communities and households in selected Indonesian second-tier cities" (TRANSOCAP II). TRANSOCAP II focuses on coastal communities in the Indonesian cities of Denpasar and Padang, which have high socio-ecological vulnerability to sea level change and coastal hazards.

The visit included field visits, briefings of survey teams for a quantitative household survey and an intensive exchange with partner universities Udayana University in Denpasar, Bali, and Padang State University in Padang, West Sumatra.

For more information on TRANSOCAP II, please visit the project website.

Valentin Espert’s  successful defense of his dissertation

On Wednesday, 23th of November 2022, Valentin Espert successfully defended his dissertation entitled " Öffentlich-private Kooperationen für die klimafreundliche Stadtentwicklung Eine Governanceanalyse der InnovationCity Ruhr – Modellstadt Bottrop" (Public-private cooperation for climate-friendly urban development. A governance analysis of InnovationCity Ruhr – Model City Bottrop).

We offer our sincere congratulations!

Katrin Schwaiger's successful defense of her dissertation

On Monday, 24th of January 2022, Katrin Schwaiger successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Connecting Labor, Leisure and Location: The meaning of employer image, occupational commitment and regional quality of life for destination commitment - an analysis among hospitality employees in the Alps".

We offer our sincere congratulations! Best wishes for your future!

Neuerscheinung eines Lehrbuchs aus der Humangeographie, Mitherausgeber Boris Braun

Kürzlich ist ein neues Lehrbuch zur Humangeographie im Westermann-Verlag erschienen, das die vielfältigen Perspektiven einer zeitgemäßen Humangeographie darstellt und mit zahlreichen Übungsaufgaben auch insbesondere für die modularisierten Bachelor- und Lehramtsstudiengänge konzipiert ist. Herausgeber*innen des Lehrwerks sind Rita Schneider-Sliwa, Boris Braun, Ilse Helbrecht und Rainer Wehrhahn.

Mehr als 80 Hochschullehrende haben an diesem Lehrwerk (592 Seiten) mitgearbeitet, jedes Kapitel enthält eine Vielzahl an Grafiken, Fotos oder Karten zur Veranschaulichung. Das Buch bildet den aktuellen Stand der Forschung ab und ist mit dem bereits erschienen Band Physische Geographie der ideale Begleiter für das Studium!

Nähere Informationen erhalten Sie auf der Seite des Westermann-Verlags.

Guest Professor Patrick Heidkamp, PhD

On November 29, 2021, we were pleased to welcome Patrick Heidkamp, visiting professor from Southern Connecticut State University to our research group. His stay is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the responsible funding organization. Patrick Heidkamp has already been involved in the teaching program of the Institute of Geography since the beginning of the winter semester. He holds a lecture "Environmental Economic Geography / Geographies of Transition" and also offers two seminars "Enacting a Just and Sustainable Blue Economy through Transdisciplinary Action Research" and "Urban Geography of Small and Mid-Sized Cities in North America". Patrick Heidkamp will be in Cologne until the end of February 2022.

We hope you will have a good start and we are happy to have you in our research group.

Welcome to Cologne!

Anang Widhi Nirwansyah's successful defense of his dissertation

On Monday, 29th of November, Anang Widhi Nirwansyah successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Evaluating Tidal Flood Risk on Salt Farming: Empirical Methodological Insight from Nothern Java".


Second announcement for BiPoN research scholarships for master's degree students

For the second time, the forum for Plant Biology and Politics of Nutrition (BiPoN) announces 8-10 research scholarships for ambitious and advanced master's degree students from Plant Sciences, Geography, Anthropology, Ethnology, African Studies, and interdisciplinary Master programs (such as IMES and CEA). BiPoN has established as an interdisciplinary collaboration of life scientists with social scientists addressing fundamental questions of food security, plant biology and politics of nutrition, as well as socio-economic, cultural, and political constraints in plant research with the aim of improving food and nutrition security. The call for applications is open for Master’s degree students from the University of Cologne and students from the UoC's partner universities.
For more infomation click here.

Veranstaltungsankündigung: "Naherholung in der Natur - Veränderungen durch die Corona-Pandemie und die Bedeutung unterschiedlicher Landschaftsräume"

Am 26. Oktober 2021 um 19.00 Uhr stellen Studierende des Geländepraktikums „Tourismuswirtschaft und Landschaftsbewertung“ unter der Leitung von Prof. Dr. Boris Braun und Katrin Schwaiger ihre Forschungsergebnisse im Rahmen einer Vortragsveranstaltung im Naturkundemuseum Düsseldorf im Schloss Benrath vor. Die Präsentation umfasst die Ergebnisse der im Rahmen der Lehrveranstaltung durchgeführten empirischen Studie. Inhaltlich beleuchtet der Vortrag die Rolle von Naherholung in der Natur und die mit der Corona-Pandemie einhergehenden Veränderungen im Naherholungsverhalten der Gesellschaft. Auch die Landschaftsbildbewertung ist Gegenstand der Studie. Diese zeigt auf, wie Menschen bestimmte (Natur-)Landschaftsszenerien wahrnehmen und bewerten.

Nähere Informationen unter finden Sie auf der Website von Schloss Benrath.

Aufgrund der aktuellen Corona-Bestimmungen ist eine vorherige Anmeldung notwendig. Diese erfolgt bitte per Mail an unter Angabe Ihres Namens sowie einer Telefonnummer/E-Mail-Adresse (Anmeldeschluss: Mo, 25.10.2021). Alle Gebäude von Schloss Benrath dürfen ausschließlich mit einem medizinischen Mund-Nasen-Schutz betreten werden. Um an der Veranstaltung teilzunehmen, müssen Sie einen gültigen 3G-Nachweis (geimpft, genesen oder getestet) mitbringen.

New Publication by Anang Widhi Nirwansyah and Boris Braun

Tidal flood risk threatens coastal urban areas and their agriculture and aquaculture, including salt farming. Our recent publication entitled “Tidal Flood Risk on Salt Farming: Evaluation of Post Events in the Northern Part of Java Using a Parametric Approach” presents an innovative approach to analyze tidal flood risk in salt farming areas. The paper has been published in the journal Geosciences as part of a doctoral project funded by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). The article is accessible online.

Research scholarship for Lisa-Michéle Niesters

The Hanna-Bremer Foundation within the Frithjof Voss Foundation has awarded Lisa-Michéle Niesters (née Bott) the 2021 research scholarship for female early career researchers in Geography. The fellowship will enable Lisa-Michéle Niesters to conduct empirical work in Sendai for her research project "Land subsidence after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake - Risk awareness and responses of local residents in Sendai, Japan". We offer our sincere congratulations!

Digital conference: Living Wages and Living Incomes in Fair Supply Chains? A Critical Review of the Concept

In September 2021 (07th-09th), the digital conference „Living Wages and Living Incomes in Fair Supply Chains? A Critical Review of the Concept“ hosted by the Global South Studies Center (GSSC), the Competence Center Fair Trade (University of Cologne), TransFair e.V. and also supported by the working group Economic Geography and Environmental Change was held. One of the conference's highlights was the keynote by Richard and Martha Anker who developed the most important method to measure Living Wages and Living Incomes. Furthermore, it is planned to publish a selection of the conference's presentations and results in an edited book or a special issue of an international journal. 

New publication by L.M. Bott, B. Braun and K. Gisevius together with Helmholtz Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

This interdisciplinary paper investigates the relationship between physical processes of land subsidence and risk perception and adaptation of local households in Jakarta and Semarang. The results show that subsidence is the main driver of coastal hazards such as flooding. Unlike rapid-onset events, household adaptation to subsidence is driven less by risk perception than by actual exposure. The paper is available here.

Konstantin Gisevius presents his master's thesis as part of the Dr. Prill Award of the "Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Köln e.V."

The "Gesellschaft für Erdkunde" awards the "Dr. Prill Award" to the authors of theses with above-average grades in the study programs of Geography. Konstantin Gisevius received this award for the best Master's Thesis 2020 for his thesis titled: "Agents of small change - The role of local leaders in facilitating community adaptation to flood risk and land subsidence in Semarang, Indonesia" and presents it on the 24th of June.

New Publication edited by Katrin Schwaiger and three other researchers

The book provides in-depth research on tourism family firms, since these firms are essential in the creation of solutions regarding uncertainty, becoming or remaining resilient, and creating sustainable tourism destinations. Challenges of sustainability and resilience in an uncertain world are addressed, focusing on hospitality. For more information click here.

New Publication by Anang Widhi Nirwansyah and Boris Braun

Tidal flooding events in the Northern part of Java not only threat coastal urban areas, but also rural land-use such as salt farming. The economic loss has been measured in our recent publication entitled ‘Assessing the degree of tidal flood damage to salt harvesting landscape using synthetic approach and GIS - Case study: Cirebon, West Java’ in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and is part of a doctoral project funded by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). It can be accessed at


Ausschreibung von BiPoN-Forschungsstipendien für Master-Studierende für 2021 und 2022

Die Universität zu Köln finanziert im Rahmen des BiPoN-Forschungsforums 16 Stipendien für Studierende der Fächer Geographie, Biologie, Ethnologie und Afrikawissenschaften, die ihre Masterarbeiten im Themenbereich "Plant Biology and the Politics of Nutrition" bzw.  "Ko-Domestikation von Menschen und Pflanzen" schreiben. Bewerbungsschluss für eine Abschlussarbeit in der Arbeitsgruppe Wirtschaftsgeographie und Umweltwandel ist der 23. April 2021. Weitere Informationen auf der BiPoN-Webseite: 

Konstantin Gisevius receives poster award from the Graduate School of Geosciences (GSGS)

The Graduate School of Geosciences (GSGS) awarded Konstantin Gisevius, PhD candidate of our working group, with one of this year’s poster awards of their annual research conference in early March. The poster dealt with his current research project on the role of Indonesian migrant communities in Germany and the Netherlands regarding the adaptive capacities of their sending households and communities towards environmental hazards and changes. We warmly congratulate Konstantin for his achievement.