Überspringen zu Hauptinhalt

Call – DAAD Summer School for PhD students: ‘Urban Transformations to Sustainability in South and Southeast Asia’, 17th to 26th of September 2018, University of Cologne/Germany



The summer school is steered by Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas, Dr. Birte Rafflenbeul, Dr. Carsten Butsch, Dr. Mareike Kroll (all four: Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany; http://www.geographie.uni-koeln.de/13692.html?&L=1) and PD Dr. Tabea Bork-Hueffer (Institute of Geography, Innsbruck University, Austria; https://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/personal/borkhueffer/). It is financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


Focus of the summer school

The summer school targets at facilitating exchange of scientific and methodical knowledge on urban transformation processes (For an overview see e.g. WBGU – German Advisory Council on Global Change (2016): Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities. WBGU: Berlin. Online available: http://www.wbgu.de/en/fr2016/) and assemblages in South and Southeast Asia. The social, environmental, economic and political consequences of rapid urban growth in the region are tremendous and often challenge existing governance systems. However, positive and integrative steering of current and future growth will be crucial for urban development, especially in order to achieve the goals of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. During the summer school, these global transformation processes and their dynamics as well as theoretical approaches for their understanding will be introduced and possible solutions discussed.


The summer school focuses on four areas in the broad field of urban development:

(1) Urban health: Environmental degradation and changing lifestyles cause an epidemiological transition in cities with an increase in environment related diseases (e.g. asthma) and so called lifestyle related diseases (e.g. diabetes). At the same time, health systems are not everywhere adequately equipped to address the changing disease burdens. Thus, the summer school will address the huge health disparities in South and Southeast Asian cities.

(2) Migration: Population flows from the countryside to, within and between cities as well as international movements alter the social fabric of urban assemblages. The summer school will focus on migrants’ access to social services such as health care and housing, and their strategies to access and negotiate over urban space.

(3) Governance: The interests, practices and power geometries of the actors involved in governance systems are key determinants for urban sustainable development. National, regional and local urban governance systems and urban development strategies of different countries in South and Southeast Asia will be discussed, taking into account sectoral topics (e.g. waste management systems, heritage conservation) and stakeholder groups (e.g. participation of civil society).

(4) Digitalization: Digitalization in cities offers many new opportunities (e.g. management of transportation systems, e-governance), but also pose new challenges (e.g. digital divides, increase in socio-economic polarisation). Particularly recent undertakings to develop smart cities or nations and their effects on urban environments and populations are considered.


The program is going to start on the 17th of September 2018 in Cologne with an introduction of all teachers and participants, warm-up, an introductory lecture and discussion. On the second day, current approaches and political processes with respect to sustainable urban development (e.g. New Urban Agenda, SDGs) will be discussed. During the summer school, one day will be dedicated to each of the four core topics (health, migration, governance and digitalization), including lectures, discussions, group work and short presentations of participants on their PhD topic. Furthermore, one day will be dedicated to scientific work and publishing, including discussions of concrete questions regarding the PhD candidates’ thesis (group based or individual). Two days will be used for field trips: On one day, we will visit the city of Dortmund to understand urbanization dynamics and structural changes in a region, which had to deal with deindustrialization. The field excursion will also include a visit to UNESCO world heritage site ‘Zeche Zollverein’ (a former coalmine) and the Ruhr Museum. On the other day, participants will conduct a small field study on urban transformations in Cologne (applying different methods such as mapping, interviews, observation). The last day of the summer school will be used for a final plenary discussion and evaluation of the summer school. The program is accompanied by smaller site events such as a visit of the University of Cologne and the International Office, city walks e.g. on urban transformations and migrant communities in Cologne, a visit of the Cologne cathedral and museums, and a farewell dinner on the last day.


Target group
The summer school invites PhD students and Master students (which are at the end of their studies or just completed their Master and are planning to do a PhD), who are based in South and Southeast Asia. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the summer school, there is no general restriction based on subject fields. However, the summer school targets specifically students who pursue (or plan to pursue) a PhD in one of the following disciplines: Geography, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Media and Communication Studies, Political Studies, Regional Studies or Urban Planning.


Funding of participants
Successful applicants will – according to DAAD regulations – receive a travel allowance (flight costs, visa fees etc.) depending on the country of origin (see list²) and 500, – € for accommodation in Cologne. We will assist you with visa issues and in finding adequate and affordable accommodation in Cologne. It is compulsory to stay for the entire period of the summer school. Participants will receive their travel allowance upon arrival in Cologne.


Please send your application as PDF file (one single file, not more than 10 MB) until 31th of March 2018 to Mrs. Dorina Kley (dkley@uni-koeln.de), including the following information: motivation letter (containing (envisaged) topic of your PhD thesis, year/status and (envisaged) supervisor/host institution) and CV.
We will inform all applicants until 30th of April 2018 and invite selected applicants for a skype interview. For further information, please contact Mrs. Birte Rafflenbeul (rafflenb@uni-koeln.de) or Dr. Carsten Butsch (butschc@uni-koeln.de).


² Travel allowance for individual countries: Bangladesh 700 €, Bhutan 850 €, Brunei 1075 €, India 535 €, Indonesia 875 €, Cambodia 1050 €, Laos 1050 €, Malaysia 700 €, Maldives 525 €, Myanmar 1050 €, Nepal 850 €, Pakistan 625 €, Philippines 925 €, Singapore 825 €, Sri Lanka 525 €, Thailand 725 €, Vietnam 775 €.


Call (PDF)

An den Anfang scrollen