The F-Project is aimed at third-year students. It enables students to further improve their skills of scientific work at intermediary stage of their studies. Under the supervision of the module leaders, students work independently and self-organised on a larger research project for one year. The topics provided form a framework, but are independently implemented by the students in more concrete questions and work packages. Over the course of the project, the students present their current project status in the form of a proposal, an interim report, and a final report. In addition, a faculty-public project market takes place around Easter time, where students present their interim results to a larger public.
This year's project focuses on unveiling the hinterlands of today and tomorrow. Urban settings are the main form of human settlements over the planet and the main focus of public policies, planning strategies, and research. The Atlas of the Human Planet estimates for 2015 that 85% of global inhabitants live in urban areas representing 7.6 % of the global landmass (and growing). Yet, these dramatic percentages downplay the actual spatial extent and range of influence of the urban dynamics beyond the urban limits. For this reason, in this F-Project, we will focus on debunking the idea of cities reproducing and maintaining themselves by addressing the dynamics happening (and those yet to come) in areas traditionally seen as non-urban. By doing so, we expect that students will expand and deepen their knowledge and understanding of spatial processes triggered by urban growth but manifesting themselves beyond cities. In particular, the attention will be given to hinterlands supporting urban clusters by analysing how landscapes accommodate global-scale logistics, ICT infrastructures, distribution centres, automated manufacturing, mechanised agriculture, among others. By exploring and unveiling the new forces and actors shaping and mastering those landscapes, the project aims to evaluate the present and future challenges they pose for spatial planning. Throughout the module stages, we set out to achieve empirical results, such as conceptual representations, mapping networks, and modelling future scenarios, as well as theoretical outcomes, such as questioning our understanding of the nature and extent of urbanisation, and its spatial expansion. Students are expected to explore how spatial theories and relations to the natural environment, rural areas, and human impact are translated into spatial dynamics, as well as to inquire into the questions of accountability involved in mega-scale and planetary transformations triggered by urbanisation. These issues could be unpacked in the framework of various cases, be it in the context of reclaiming post-industrial landscapes, the realisation of new global infrastructure projects, or the constantly increasing climatic and ecosystemic challenges. Along the way, students will get familiar with the evolution of environmental paradigms in planning in different contexts, from the modernist attitude of ‘mastering the nature’, ‘(geo)engineering ecosystems’, to social-ecological urbanism, posthuman geographies, inter alia.
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.