Chairs at the CCR
Prof. Dr. Markus Keck (Chair of Urban Climate Resilience)
Prof. Dr. Manuel Ostermeier (Professor for Resilient Operations)
The Chair for Urban Climate Resilience is researching the question of how to design climate-resilient municipalities (cities, communities, districts). In this context, climate resilience refers to reducing social vulnerability and to strengthening social resilience in dealing with the consequences of climate change.
Climate resilience combines measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change (adaptation) and to combat its causes (mitigation). For municipalities, efforts must focus on those social groups most vulnerable, such as the elderly, chronically ill, and the socio-economically marginalised. Fundamentally, climate resilience entails the search for new forms of coexistence and economic activity that sustain the well-being of all while preserving the conditions of our common livelihood on earth.
At the Chair for Urban Climate Resilience, Prof. Dr. Markus Keck and his team are currently working on the following three core areas:
1. Urban environments: What forms of social marginalization and ecological pollution are currently shaping municipalities? How can cities be reconceptualised in such a way that protects all inhabitants from the impacts of extreme weather events and strengthens healthy environments?
2. Climate and conflicts: Which social lines of conflict are intensified by the current climate crisis and which political powers profit from this? How can social structures be developed that prevent violent conflict, foster social coherence, and enable the maintenance of our democracy?
3. Urban food systems: What social structures shape current food systems and what are the ecological consequences? How can urban food systems be transformed so that all people have sufficient access to healthy and sustainable food?
The Chair for Urban Climate Resilience is an active part of the Institute of Geography at the University of Augsburg.
At the Chair of Resilient Operations, our team focuses on sustainable and resilient concepts in supply chain management, logistics, as well as other areas of application within operations research. Climate-induced changes in particular require permanent adaptation of processes in the operational and public environment. We are working to address the question of how we can implement and improve (innovative) concepts in the above-mentioned areas in order to ensure careful use of existing resources and implement sustainable solution-orientated approaches. In national and international cooperation with universities and companies, we work on application-oriented research projects using quantitative methods (operations research, data, and simulation-based optimisation). The chair offers an international and interdisciplinary working environment at the Centre for Climate Resilience.
The chair is currently focused on the following areas of research:
- Sustainable Food Supply Chains: The production, further processing, transport, and sale of food results in considerable emissions. This is all the more serious when food is disposed of due to spoilage or other factors, with products effectively produced “for waste.” We analyse how food supply chains can be purposefully designed to avoid environmental impacts and sustainably use limited resources. This starts with agricultural activities, which are increasingly subject to climate impacts. At the other end of the spectrum, it concerns the avoidance of excess food supply, as with food waste produced through trade and other consumer activities.
- Innovative delivery concepts: In recent years, as the pandemic has shown, the demand for online trade has continued to increase. There is not only increasing demand for clothing and electronics but also for food and other daily consumer goods. This increases the traffic on our roads and the density of delivery vehicles, meaning city and regional governments have to find ways to respond to increasing levels of environmental pollution. Innovative and climate-friendly delivery alternatives are therefore needed, which both meet the increasing demand and at the same time help to reduce emissions. We are therefore researching innovative concepts and their potential implementation to counteract the negative effects of increased (online) trade.
- Climate-resilient logistics concepts for urban areas: Research into sustainable logistics concepts goes far beyond the mere delivery of goods. How can urban space be made sustainable in terms of local public transport or health care, for example? The topic of climate-smart logistics concepts encompasses far more than pure transport problems; it requires the collaboration of different disciplines to enable sustainable planning. These include, for example, geography and medicine, which must address the question of medical care options for outpatient services and the design of green hospitals.
The Chair of Resilient Operations is an active part of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Augsburg.
At the Chair of Public Law and Crisis Resilience, Prof. Dr Sina Fontana and her team conduct research in public law, including its international and comparative dimensions. The chair has a special focus on environmental and climate protection law and migration and integration law, as well as a focus on equality and diversity.
The socio-ecological transformation of society is accompanied by questions that include weighing trade-offs as well as questions of distribution, which the law determines and which in the context of climate resilience need to be negotiated through the democratic process. Crisis resilience in the context of simultaneous and ongoing crises generates an overarching focus on the legal system, which manifests itself in key reference areas such as, for example, future climate change-related migration movements.The Chair of Public Law and Crisis Resilience is an active part of the Faculty of Law.
At the Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy, we research climate resilience from a global perspective. Vulnerability to climate change is analysed as a socially produced precarity that often has its roots in colonialism, which continues to exert its effects on the current day (coloniality). In our discourse analysis research, we examine which social groups and countries are considered “vulnerable” as a result of knowledge and classification processes and which are considered “climate resilient.” We contrast this with the perspectives of those affected by climate change and their understanding of what they need to become “climate resilient.”
The team at the Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy works on three main research areas:
1. The “future rights” of those affected by the impacts of climate change:
How do people who are at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods due to climate change claim their rights? We examine how those affected by the impacts of climate change (either in future or currently) try to fight back, whether through climate lawsuits or protest movements aimed at ensuring compliance with the 1.5°C target. A particular research focus is negotiations concerning the loss and damage fund in the context of UN climate negotiations, where it is negotiated who owes what to whom.
2. Participatory climate futures
How can online and face-to-face participation processes be designed to initiate social change while also contributing to climate change adaptation? Which democratic-theoretical quality criteria are suitable for evaluating participation in climate adaptation processes? In addition to participation processes, other practices of “future making” (e.g., modelling) undertaken by other disciplines represented in the centre will also be examined.
3. Digitalisation for the Sustainability Transformation
The chair is organising an international interdisciplinary symposium at the Centre for Climate Resilience from 20–¬¬22 September 2023. The two guiding questions of the conference are: How is digitalisation changing the knowledge base and forms of governance in the field of environmental policy and sustainable development? How should digitalisation be governed/regulated to realise its potential for the sustainability transformation?
The Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy is a part of the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Augsburg. Prof. Dr Angela Oels is the deputy managing director of the Institute for Social Sciences.