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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Hartmut Fünfgeld

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Fünfgeld

University of Freiburg
Human Geography
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2020 - July 2021

Phone +49 (0)761-203 3560


Hartmut Fünfgeld is Professor of Geography of Global Change at the Institute for Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University Freiburg. He also has an affiliation as Adjunct Professor with the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Hartmut researches the social and institutional dimensions of climate change impacts and adaptation to climate change, especially in the area of municipal and regional planning and in relation to health vulnerabilities. Further research areas are social transformation processes and social justice in the context of global change. Hartmut Fünfgeld received his doctorate in human geography from the University of Heidelberg in 2006. He has more than 15 years of work experience in research, teaching and planning practice in Europe, Oceania, Africa, and Asia.

Selected Publications

  • Fünfgeld H, Lonsdale K, Bosomworth K: Beyond the tools: supporting adaptation when organisational resources and capacities are in short supply Climatic Change, 2019; 153 (4) : 625-641.
  • Fünfgeld H: Institutional tipping points in climate change adaptation processes. Journal of Extreme Events, 2017; 4 (1) Suppl. 1750002 : 29p.
  • Fünfgeld H: Facilitating local climate change adaptation through transnational municipal networks. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2015; 12: 67-73.
  • McEvoy D, Fünfgeld H, Bosomworth K: Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation: The Importance of Framing. Planning Practice and Research, 2013; 28 (3) : 280-293.
  • Fünfgeld H, McEvoy D: Resilience as a Useful Concept for Climate Change Adaptation? Planning Theory and Practice, 2012; 13 (2) : 324-328.

FRIAS Research Project

From ‘sustainable’ to ‘resilient’?  The reframing of urban policy and planning in the Anthropocene

This research project traces the reframing of sustainable urban development in urban (social) planning and policy towards the notion of resilience, by examining scholarly and policy-related discourses. By focusing on urban policy designed to improve social welfare and equity, the project investigates, if, when and how resilience language has entered urban planning and policy making in Germany and neighbouring European countries. The overarching aim of this is to take stock of, and critically review, current knowledge on transposing resilience ideas – which predominantly originate in ecological and engineering thinking – into the urban social realm in order to identify how these seemingly superficial changes in political and administrative framing may contribute to (re-)producing socially and materially altered urban spaces. A central question guiding this work thus is: To what extent can and does resilience thinking affect and change social and material urban space and what are the equity dimensions of these reproductions?