Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

Sustainability and Transformation Research Area

Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Analyses of Socio-technical Change.

In this research area, we deal with socio-technical transformation processes such as the energy, nutrition or mobility transition. This includes both empirical and conceptual work with a focus on sustainability issues. Key questions are:

  • How can socio-technical transformation processes be adequately described and analysed? Which mechanisms, drivers and barriers play a crucial role?
  • How can such transformation processes be influenced and shaped in terms of sustainable development?

Our research projects focus on the analysis of changes in behavioural and attitudinal patterns (micro level), organisational fields (meso level), as well as cultural and socio-economic structures (macro level).

Most projects in this research area aim at interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge production and application. An essential feature of this research area is the collaboration with other scientific disciplines as well as actors from policy-making, economy and civil society.

Current Projects of this Research Area

The real-world laboratory Future City_Lab seeks to explore potentials for change of urban mobility cultures. Thereby, a key focus is placed on the close cooperation with citizens and civil society actors.

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"GartenLeistungen” explores the multidimensional services of urban gardens, parks and green spaces for urban society.

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The junior research group DynaMo seeks to develop interdisciplinary knowledge about the interplay of social, technical and political factors in the transformation of urban mobility systems. By involving practitioners and stakeholders in a transdisciplinary cooperation process, (policy) recommendations for the implementation of sustainable mobility concepts are developed.

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The joint research project wants to explore, how urban and rural municipalities can benefit from cooperation and from more sustainable land use. It aims at jointly developing strategies on the regional level, which combine the following dimensions: land use, sustainability and inter-municipal cooperation. ZIRIUS is coordinating the sub-project ‘conflicts and policy mixes’.

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The aim of the project is the regular collection of empirical data and analysis of the attitudes, expectations and perspectives in relation to new technologies and technical change.

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The WECHSEL research project uses the example of the Neckar valley in Stuttgart to address the transformation of industrial riverside areas into sustainable urban living environments. For this purpose, it bundles interdisciplinary competencies in order to offer high-quality suggestions for Stuttgart as a river city.

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Members Research Area Sustainability and Transformation


This image showsMarco Sonnberger

Marco Sonnberger

Spokesperson for the Research Area Sustainability and Transition Research


Sabine Mücke


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