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PD Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Butsch


Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Butsch

University of Bonn

E-mail butschc(at)


  • Teacher for special tasks (4/2021–3/2022: leave of absence to substitute for a professorship at the University of Bonn)
  • Prinicipal Investigator Global South Studies Centre (GSSC)

Research foci

  • geography of health
  • urban geography
  • migration studies
  • geographical risk research
  • geographical development research

Education and professional career

4/2020-3/2021 Substitute of the professorship for geographic development research (successor Verne) in Bonn
Since 10/2020 Lecturer for special tasks
SS2020 Substitute professorship for human geography at the Department of Geography at Heidelberg University
9/2018-9/2020 Research assistant at the Department of Geography at the University of Cologne in a Belmont Forum/Norface project (own position): "H2O-T2S-Livelihoods - Transformation processes in periurban areas" (BMBF funding code: 01UV1814)
Since 2018 Principal Investigator (Belmont-Forum funded project) and senior research (internal funding)
2018 Habilitation (University of Cologne)
2015-2018 Principal Investigator (DFG funded project)
2013-2014 Member of the scientific staff of the German Advisory Council on Global Change
2011-2014 Senior research fellow University of Cologne
2007-2011 PhD University of Cologne
2006-2011 Research fellow University of Cologne




  • Belmont-Forum/Norface (PI): H2O – T2S in Urban Fringe Areas
    The project analyses transformation processes in urban fringe areas of Indian metropolitan cities. It aims at understanding how access to water as a consumption good and a resource for livelihoods is changed during the urbanisation process in periurban spaces. The project is structured around 4 research objectives: (1) understanding institutional change of water governance, (2) analysing changing access to water with changing societal structures, (3) analysing livelihood changes during the urban transformation and the resulting changing water demands; (4) Co-developing transformation pathways for sustainable water management in urban fringe areas.
    The project is designed as a multi-sited multi-method field study comparing the urban fringe areas of Kolkata, Pune and Hyderabad. Through its design, the research contributes understanding into the drivers of vulnerability and resilience of periurban communities, and helps to identify more sustainable future pathways. The project aims at initiating a stakeholder dialogue in all of the three research areas. Workshops will include government agencies, local communities and key scientific experts that bring in further knowledge needed in addition to the knowledge generated by the project researchers.
    The project generates new insights on how urbanisation processes take place in India. It identifies pathways towards the development of sustainable future cities as part of the stakeholder dialogue. It contributes to the knowledge on the sustainable use of water as an increasingly scarce resource.

  • Internal University Funding: Preparation of a DFG Priority Program "urban health in Asia

  • Bad Münstereifel - Transformation of a small town
    Bad Münstereifel, located not far from Cologne, represents a special case of urban development. In contrast to other outlet centers, the transformation of the town center into an outlet center in 2014 did not result in a reconstructed small town idyll on a greenfield site. Rather, the individual stores were housed in old store premises in the historic old town. With this controversial step, which is unique in Germany, the city reacted to high vacancy rates in the retail sector and the loss of its function as a health resort. In the project, the urban transformation of Bad Münstereifel will be examined, among other things, with a discourse analysis. It will be analyzed which chances and problems result from this profound change of the city center as well as which planning challenges arise. The study contributes to the question of how small towns in rural regions can counter shrinkage and stagnation.


  • DFG-Project (PI): Transnational actions of Indian migrants in Germany
    The project is concerned with the transnational networks of Indian migrants in Germany. Taking the Indian community in Germany as an example the relations between Indian migrants in Germany, their places of origin and the Indian diaspora in other countries are investigated. Focus of the project are the transformation processes triggered by the actions of transnational migrants at different places. As potential causes of these transformation processes the project analyses: (1) the relevance of transnational social relations, their importance for chain migration processes, the exchange of information financial values, social norms etc., (2) the construction of identity by transnational migrants, models of simultaneous embeddedness in different socio-cultural contexts and the connected question of citizenship, (3) paths of capital within the transnational networks, the utilisation of remittances and the relevance of non financial support as well as (4) the political engagement of transnational Indian migrants, the diaspora politics of the Indian government and the impact of German immigration politics. (Further information)

  • DFG project (co-applicant): Blueprint for an Effective Urban Health Monitoring System for the city of Pune
  • Geofactors and Civil Crisis Prevention in Mumbai and Jakarta (MumJak) (Project Management, german language)
  • (Mega)Urban Health: Health Disparities and Access to Health Services in Pune/India (Project Management, Dissertation Project, german language)
  • Dissertation project (completed): "Access to health services in the emerging megacity of Pune"
  • The project addressed the following research questions: Why and to what extent does access to health services vary in the Indian city of Pune? How do health service users and providers respond to any deficits? To answer these questions, a new concept of access to health services was developed and empirically tested. The dissertation paper was published by Steiner Verlag in 2011
  • IGC 2012 (DFG funding, co-applicant, project management)


Additional Evidence of Qualification

  Member of the "Interdisciplinary Commission Pandemic Research" of the German Research Foundation" (DFG)
SS2020 Substitute for the Chair of Human Geography at the Institute of Geography at the University of Heidelberg

Boardmember of the association of Geographers at German-speaking universities and research institutions (VDGH)


Secretary of the association for the promotion health geography (Verein zur Förderung der Geographischen Gesundheitsforschung)

2016-present Speaker of the Medical Geography Study Group in the German Geographic Society (Arbeitskreis Medizinische Geographie und Geographische Gesundheitsforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie


Chairman of the Cologne Geographic Society (Gesellschaft für Erdkunde)


Speaker of the South Asia Study Group in the Germen Geographic Society (Arbeitskreis Südasien in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie)




Selected publications (more on ResearchGate)

  • Butsch, C., Schweikart, J. and T. Kistemann (2022): Gesundheit und Gesellschaft aus geographischer Perspektive. In: Geographische Rundschau 74 (5): 4–9.
  • Butsch, C. (2022): Gesundheitliche Folgen von Extremereignissen und Katastrophen. In: Geographische Rundschau 74 (5): 42–43.
  • Luft, S. and C. Butsch (2022): Planning for Livelihoods Under Hydrosocial Uncertainty in Periurban Pune. In: Frontiers in Water 4: 831464. DOI: 10.3389/frwa.2022.831464

  • Crespo, M. Follmann, A., Butsch, C. and P. Dannenberg (2022): International Retirement Migration: mapping the spatio-temporal growth of foreign-owned properties in Cotacachi, Ecuador. In: Journal of Maps (ahead of print): DOI: 10.1080/17445647.2022.2039310

  • Kistemann T. and C. Butsch (2021): Stadt und Gesundheit , In: Schneider-Sliwa, R., B. Braun, I. Helbrecht and R. Wehrhahn (ed.): Humangeographie, Westermann, Braunschweig.

  • Butsch, C., Follmann, A., Keck, M. and J. Müller (2021): Geographies of South Asia: Empirical Research and the Pandemic. In: Asien 156/157: 5–15.

  • Butsch, C. (2021): „Klimaflüchtlinge" gibt es nicht. Zur komplexen Wechselbeziehung von Umweltwandel und Migration. In: Universitas 76 (905): 24–35.

  • Butsch, C., Follmann, A. and Rafflenbeul, B. (2021): Stadtentwicklung im Globalen Süden. In: Geographische Rundschau 70 (10): 4–9.

  • Butsch, C. (2021): Navi Mumbai – das neue „Gateway of India“? In: Geographische Rundschau 73 (7/8): 22-25.

  • Pramanik, S., Butsch, C. and M. Punia (2021): Post-liberal urban dynamics in India – the case of Gurugram, the ‘Millennium City’. In: Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment. Online first (in press):

  • Butsch, C., Chakraborty, S., Gomes, S. L., Kumar, S. and L. M. Hermans (2021): Changing Hydrosocial Cycles in Periurban India. In: Land 10 (3): 263.
  • Kraas, F. and C. Butsch (2020): Chandigarh. Evolution einer neuen Hauptstadt. In: Geographische Rundschau 72 (7/8): 42-47.

  • Butsch. C. (2020): Zugang zu Wasser in periurbanen Räumen Indiens. In: Follmann, A., J. Müller and G. Falk (ed.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien 10. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2020, Freiburg. Heidelberg: 1–4.

  • Butsch, C. (2020): Am Rand der Städte wächst das Land. In: Meine Welt 37 (1): 26-30.
  • Butsch, C. and S.-B. Heinkel (2020): Periurban Transformations in the Global South and Their Impact on Water-Based Livelihoods. In: Water 12 (2): 458. DOI: 10.3390/w12020458.
  • Butsch, C. (2020): Pune – von der Hauptstadt der Marathen zur Smart City. In Geographische Rundschau 72 (1–2): 42–47.
  • Kistemann, T. Schweikart, J. and C. Butsch (2019): Medizinische Geographie. Das Geographische Seminar. Braunschweig.
  • Müller, J., Dame, J. and C. Butsch (Hrsg.) (2019): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien 9. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2019, Heidelberg. Heidelberg. 
  • Butsch, C. (2019): Indische Migrantenorganisationen in Deutschland. In: Müller, J., Dame, J. and C. Butsch (ed.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien 9. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2019, Heidelberg. Heidelberg: 5–8.
  • Heinkel, S.-B. and C. Butsch (2019): Wasserbasierte Erwerbsgrundlagen in periurbanen Räumen.  In: Müller, J., Dame, J. und C. Butsch (Hrsg.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien 9. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2019, Heidelberg. Heidelberg: 18–22.
  • Butsch, C. (2019): Periurbane Räume in Indien. Wo Transformationsprozesse greifbar werden. In: Universitas (74): 56–71.
  • Butsch, C. (2019): Financial engagement of the Indian diaspora in Germany: Remitting to India. In: Population Space and Place (Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue, e2290).
  • Butsch, C. (2019): Indische Migrantinnen und Migranten in Deutschland. Transnationale Netzwerke, Praktiken und Identitäten. Stuttgart. 
  • Butsch, C. (2018): Gesunde Städte – ein Ziel, verschiedene Ausgangslagen. In: Geographische Rundschau 70 (6): 36-39.
  • Butsch, C. (2018): Die indische „Diaspora“ in Deutschland und ihre Verbindungen in die Heimat. In: Meine Welt. Zeitschrift des Deutsch-Indischen Dialogs 35 (2): 15-17.
  • Butsch, C., Kumar, S., Wagner, P. D., Kroll, M., Kantakumar, L. N., Bharucha, E., Schneider, K. and F. Kraas (2017): Growing ‘Smart’? Urbanization Processes in the Pune Urban Agglomeration. In: Sustainability, 9 (12): 2335.
  • Butsch, C. (2017): The ‘Indian diaspora’ in Germany – emerging networks and new homes. In: Diaspora Studies. DOI: 10.1080/09739572.2017.1398373
  • Kroll, M. Phalkey, R. Dutta, S., Bharucha, E. Butsch, C. and F. Kraas (2017): Urban health challenges in India - Lessons learned from a surveillance study in Pune. In: Die Erde 148(1): 74-87.
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Transnational networks and practices of Overseas Indians in Germany. In: Internationales Asienforum 47 (3-4): 203-226.
  • Keck, M., Butsch, C. and M. Kroll (2016): Geographical South Asian Studies: Current Conceptions Editorial. In: Internationales Asienforum 47 (3-4): 171-178.
  • Peters, G., Butsch, C. and A. Hennig (2016): Komplexe Risien: Überschwemmungen in der Megastadt Jakarta. In: Universitas 71 (11): 64-89.
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Leben in zwei Kulturen – transnationale Identitäten indischer Migranten in Deutschland. In: Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft (158): 13-36. Available Online
  • Kroll, M., Phalkey, R., Dutta, S., Shukla, S., Butsch, C., Bharucha, E. and F. Kraas (2016): Involving private healthcare practitioners in an urban NCD sentinel surveillance system: lessons learned from Pune, India. In: Global Health Action, 9: 32635. Available online
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Transnationale Handlungsfelder und Netzwerke indischer Migrantinnen und Migranten in Deutschland. In: In: Schlitz, N. and J. Poerting (eds.) Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 6. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 22./23. Januar 2016, Osnabrück. Heidelberg: 33-36.  
  • Butsch, C. (2016): Leben in zwei Welten. In: Meine Welt. Zeitschrift des Deutsch-Indischen Dialogs 33 (1): 13-16.
  • Butsch, C., Kraas, F., Sridharan, N. and G. Peters (2016): Risk Governance in the Megacity Mumbai/India – A Complex Adaptive System Perspective. In: Habitat International 54 (2): 100-111.
  • Kraas, F. and C. Butsch (2016): Wo beginnt die Stadt? Transformation und urbane Pfadabhängigkeiten in Pune/Indien. In: Berr, K. and H. Friesen (eds.): Stadt und Land. Zwischen Status quo und utopischem Ideal. Münster: 155-179.
  • Phalkey, R., Kroll, M., Dutta, S., Shukla, S., Butsch, C., Bharucha, E. and F. Kraas (2015):. Knowledge, attitude, and practices with respect to disease surveillance among urban private practitioners in Pune, India. In: Global Health Action 8: 28413. Available Online
  • Butsch, C. (2015): Transnationales Handeln indischer Migrant_inn_en in Deutschland. In: Poerting, J. and M. Keck (eds.) Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 5. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 23./24. Januar 2015, Göttingen. Heidelberg: 41-45.
  • Peters, G., Butsch, C., Krachten, F., Kraas, F., Namperumal, S. and M. A. Marfai (2015): Analyzing Risk and Disaster in Megaurban Systems – Experiences from Mumbai and Jakarta. Planet@Risk 3 (1): 107-117.
  • Butsch, C. 2015. Overseas Indians – indische Migranten in transnationalen Netzwerken. In: Geographische Rundschau. 67 (1): 40-46.
  • Butsch, C., Franz, M. and M. Kroll (2015): The Evolution of Geography-based South Asia Studies. Asien 134 (1): 5-8.
  • Butsch, C., Kroll, M. Kraas, F. and E. Bharucha (2015): How is Rapid Urbanization in India Affecting Human Health? Findings from a Case Study in Pune. Asien 134 (1): 73-93.
  • Kraas, F., Butsch, C., F. Krachten (2014): Urbanes Kulturerbe in Mumbai/Indien. Universitas 69 (11): 4-14.
  • Kraas, F. and C. Butsch (2014): Naturverlust in den Megastädten Asiens. In: Leitschuh, H. Michelsen, G., Simonis, U. E., Sommer, J. and E. U. Weizsäcker (eds.): Jahrbuch Ökologie. Re-Naturierung. Hirzel. Stuttgart: 180-187.
  • Butsch, C., Bork-Hüffer, T. and M. Kroll (2014): Menschliche Gesundheit in den Megastädten Indiens und Chinas. Universitas 69 (5): 40-59.
  • Butsch, C., Kroll, M. and T. Bork-Hüffer (2014): Megaurban Health in Developing and Newly Industrializing Countries. In: Michalos, A. C. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well Being Research, Springer: 3981-3985.
  • Butsch, C. Greiner, C. and N. Sanchez Ibrahim (2014): Landtransfers und Transformationsprozesse in Delhis urban fringe. In: Poerting, J. and T. Lennartz (eds.) Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 4. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien 2014. Heidelberg: 37-40.
  • Kroll, M., Butsch, C., Phalkey, R. and E. Bharucha (2013): Challenges for urban disease surveillance in India – case study of Pune. In: Lennartz, T., Butsch, C., Franz, M. and M. Kroll (eds.): Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien. 3. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien 2013. Heidelberg: 41-44.
  • Butsch, C. and T. Welte (2013): Zwei gesundheitswissenschaftliche Perspektiven respiratorischer Erreger. Hygiene und Medizin 38 (9): 361-365.
  • Butsch, C., Bembenek, F. and F. Kraas (2012): Megaurbane Risiken: Ursachen und Folgen der Überschwemmung von Mumbai 2005. Scharfenort, N. (ed.): Geographien der Globalisierung. Mainzer Kontaktstudium Geographie 13. Mainz: 37-50.
  • Butsch, C., Sakdapolrak, P. and V. Saravanan (2012): Urban Health in India. Internationales Asienforum 43(1-2): 13-32.
  • Butsch, C. (2011): Zugang zu Gesundheitsdienstleistungen. Barrieren und Anreize in Pune, Indien. Stuttgart.
  • Kraas, F. and C. Butsch (2011): Megurban societies at risk. In: GFZ Scientific and Technical Report 11/11: 11-19. DOI: 10.2312/GFZ.b103-11110
  • Aggarwal, S. and C. Butsch (2011): Environmental and Ecological Threats in Indian Megacities. In: Richter, M. and U. Weiland (eds.): Applied Urban Ecology. Chichester.
  • Kroll, M., Butsch, C. and F. Kraas (2011): Health Inequities in the City of Pune, India. In: Krämer, A., M.M.H. Khan, F. Kraas (eds.): Health in Megacities and Urban Areas. Heidelberg: 263-277.
  • Heinrichs, D., Aggarwal, R., Barton, J., Bharucha, E., Butsch, C., Fragkias, M., Johnston, P., Kraas, F., Krellenberg, K., Lampis, A. and O. G. Ling (2011): Adaptig Cities to Climate Change: Opportunities and Constraint (Findings from eight cities). In: Hoornweg, D. Freire, M., Lee, M. J., Bhada-Tata, P. and B. Yuen (eds.): Cities and Climate Change. Responding to an Urgent Agenda. Washington, D. C.
  • Butsch, C. and P. Sakdapolrak (2010): Geographien von Gesundheit in Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländern. In: Geographische Rundschau, Jahrgang 62, Heft Nr. 7/8: 12-17.
  • Butsch, C., Kroll, M. and T. Bork (2010): Health Challenges in Megacities - Examples from India and China. In: Geographische Rundschau International Edition 6 (2): 20-2.
  • Bork, T., Butsch, C., Kraas, F. and M. Kroll (2009): Megastädte: Neue Risiken für die Gesundheit. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 106 (39): 1877-1881.
  • Butsch, C., Etzold, B. and P. Sakdapolrak (2009): The Megacity Resilience Framework. Bonn.
  • Butsch, C. (2008): Access to healthcare in the fragmented setting of India’s fast growing agglomerations – a case study of Pune. In: Bohle, H.G. and K. Warner (eds.): Megacities. Resilience and Social Vulnerability. Source No. 10/2008: 62-72.
  • Butsch, C. (2008): Notfalldaten als Geodatenquelle für die Gesundheitsberichterstattung. Saarbrücken.
  • Krafft Th., Kortevoß A., Butsch C., Tenelsen, T. and A. Ziemann (2007): Nachfrageorientierte Steuerung von Rettungsdienstsystemen. In: Strobl, J., Blaschke, Th. and G. Griesebner (eds.): Angewandte Geoinformatik 2007. Beiträge zum 19. AGIT-Symposium Salzburg: 409-418.
  • Kortevoß A., Krafft, T. and C. Butsch (2006): Räumliche Verteilung von Krankenhausdiagnose und Sozialstatus: Anwendungen für die Krankenhausplanung. In: herzmedizin. Supplement 1/06: 6.
  • Krafft, T., Kortevoß, A., Siefer, A. and C. Butsch (2006): Zuverlässige Daten für fundierte Prävention: Die EU Injury Data Base. In Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin Vol. 43 Supplement 1: 79.
  • Krafft, T., Butsch, C., Heister, U. and A. Kortevoß (2005): Notfallkataster in der kommunalen Gesundheitsberichterstattung. In: Das Gesundheitswesen. Jahrgang 67 Nr. 7: 573.

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