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MSc: Study Project


The M-Project is aimed at Master's students. The study project is strongly research-led. It enables students to further improve their skills of scientific work at an advanced stage of their studies. Under the super­vi­sion of the module leader, students work independently and self-organised on a larger re­search proj­ect for one year, whereby the overall theme is sub-divided into smaller groups. 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 formative proposal. Later, a final report will be written and the work is defended orally.

This year's project sits in the nexus of planning and digitalisation. Our society is becoming increasingly digital, and this also applies to planning. A report was recently published in the UK, led by Mike Batty, which is the result of a Digital Task Force for Planning. This report looks in depth at the technical challenges associated with digital tools and practices in planning. The main outcome of this report is a manifesto for a systems approach to planning consisting of interlocking digital tools and workflows. While comprehensive, this report is not the only account of the connection between digital tools and planning. A number of primarily process-oriented studies of the influence of digital tools on planning processes have appeared in recent years. However, planning is not only concerned with its own processes and how these are influenced by the digital. Planning also needs to focus on the main object of planning: geographical space; including how people create, live, use, and conceptualise their own meaningful places within planned spaces. The fusion of digital technologies and geographical space has given rise to the new field of 'digital geographies', but not much has been written about digitalised space itself from a dedicated planning perspective. This is the starting point for the present M-project. The aim of this project is for students to reflect on the planning of space in the light of the digital revolution of everyday life. In what ways does space change ontically when it merges with the digital sphere? What new dimensions and aspects of this nexus do we need to consider when planning residential, commercial, leisure, or other areas? How do our planning outcomes affect people's digitalised everyday practices? In what ways are existing everyday practices changed by their intermingling with the digital? These and similar questions are possible goals of the planned M-project. These questions have been partially addressed in the literature, but mainly from a geographical perspective. The idea is therefore to address the above questions by means of a systematic literature review, for the results of which the students are encouraged to design an appropriate analysis strategy. Initially, the review will help to provide a sound, evidence-based overview of the intersection between the digital sphere and geographical space. The following analysis steps are then to derive a planning perspective on digitalised spaces from the geographical understandings thus gained.

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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.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English)