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Ongoing Research Projects

The City of Dortmund and TU Dortmund University are working together on an innovative research project aimed at charactarization of proposed quiet areas in Dortmund.  The research project supports the formal ‘Noise Action Plan’ instrument required for all urban regions by EU law and codified in the German spatial planning system under the German Federal Imission Control Act (BImSchG §47). 

Data collection and analysis methods follow the protocols developed in the successful SALVE pilot-project (Haselhoff et al., 2021; Lawrence et al., 2022), where temporally longitudinal sound data is collected at 72 locations over a 6-month period and then analyzed using an array of ecoacoustic indices (Sueur, 2018) and the SPL-measure LAeq.  The upcoming Dortmund Noise Action Plan (expected to run through 2024) will be the first formal noise action plan in Germany to use robust sound data collection and analysis to designate quiet areas in a German noise action plan.

Research Questions:

  • How high are biophonic indices in different (potentially) quiet areas in the Dortmund urban area?
  • At which (ambient) noise levels are biophonic sounds dominant in different areas?
  • How do the daily acoustic patterns differ between all sample sites?
  • What is the spatial distribution of high-quality quiet areas in the city DO and who has the most access?
  • What is the influence of green infrastructure on biophonic distribution in urban DO?

Project Details:

Project Duration: May 15th, 2022 through September 21, 2022

Principal Investigor: Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn

Project Manager: Dr. Ing. Bryce T. Lawrence


  • Dr. Ing. Bryce T. Lawrence (bryce.lawrencetu-dortmundde) TU Dortmund University, Department of Spatial Planning, Research Group Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning.
  • Andreas Fruecht (afruechtstadtdode) City of Dortmund, Environmental Office, Department of Immission Control.

Sponsor: City of Dortmund, Germany.


Haselhoff, T., Lawrence, B., Hornberg, J., Ahmed, S., Sutcliffe, R., Gruehn, D. & Moebus, S. (2021): The acoustic quality and health in urban environments (SALVE) project: Study design, rationale and methodology. In: Applied Acoustics 188 (2022) 108538; .

Lawrence, B., Sutcliffe, R., Hornberg, J., Haselhoff, T., Ahmed, S., Moebus, S. & Gruehn, D. (2022): A widened array of metrics (WAM) approach to characterize the urban acoustic environment; a case comparison of urban mixed-use and forest. In: Applied Acoustics 185 (2022) 108387; .

Sueur, J. (2018). Sound analysis and synthesis with R (p. 637). Cham: Springer.

The full project description can be found here.

The project “Planning in Germany and Pakistan: Responding Challenges of Climate Change through Intercultural Dialogue” aims to start and stimulate dialogue between the students and young academics from Germany and the higher education institutes in Pakistan. It targets modernization of teaching, promotion of skill development of young academics, identification of teaching and research areas of shared scientific interest, and establishing networks and cooperation regionally and internationally. This project will be implemented by the Department of Spatial Planning (TU Dortmund University) in partnership with 3 Pakistani Universities: University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, Department of City and Regional Planning; Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Department of City and Regional Planning; National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, with two departments: Architecture Department and Development Studies Department and funded by DAAD.

This project acknowledges two special topics to enhance dialogue, exchange, and identify teaching and research prerequisites, which will be part of developing and synergetic teaching and research activities. Climate change, the breakthrough topic for the first year, is relevant to European and Islamic world contexts. Both climate regions will need to understand its future impacts and adjust their spatial planning to address future environmental changes. Climate change challenges can be addressed from an ecological basis that is interpreted through spatial planning, thereby opening the door for dialogue about the commonalities and differences in ethnic, religious, social, economic, and ecological parameters, and the philosophy, procedures, and methods of spatial planning between the two partners. Architectural, social, urban planning, and environmental approaches to climate change challenges have also been studied in Iran, a country in the Islamic world that is drastically affected by the impacts of climate change and is in urgent need of sustainable solutions for climate-sensitive planning. Our hands-on experience in dealing with climate-related issues in this region suggests that international and interdisciplinary collaboration is needed to achieve evidence-based impact in cities catalysed by research institutions in the Middle East and the Islamic world. Climate change is a global phenomenon and cannot be addressed solely within the geographic boundaries of one country. Our goal in this project is to leverage the collaborative project with Pakistan from our well-established research on this topic with countries from the same regional context and expand the research network on climate issues.

Cross-cultural perception of urban and rural landscapes and cultural heritage is the breakthrough topic for the second year (in case of continuation of the project). An understanding of urban understanding linking them with the local cultural heritage will help appreciate the historical context and its implication in planning and management. Dialogue does not need to be limited to these topics. Still, it can also encompass methodological approaches, which can be used, for example, to understand public awareness, responses, and adaptation to climate change challenges, give insights into community preferences for climate change-related projects or integration of cultural heritage, all three of which can be areas for modernization of the curriculum within the partnership network.

Project Leader
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietwald Gruehn
E-Mail dietwald.gruehn(at)

Project Coordinator
Dr.-Ing. Mohammad Bashirizadeh
E-Mail mohammad.bashirizadeh(at)

Dr.-Ing. Mohammad Bashirizadeh
E-Mail mohammad.bashirizadeh(at)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

DAAD Program
Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World

Partner Universities
University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore,
Department of City and Regional Planning; Lahore College for Women University (LCWU),
Department of City and Regional Planning; National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST),
Islamabad, Departments of Architecture and Development Studies

In the context of our internationally oriented research on the perception of the landscape, we ask for your cooperation. The following online survey contains, among other things, numerous photos in the context of the planned wind farm Wullersdorf (Lower Austria) in random order, covering a variety of different landscape types. With our research we want to find out whether wind turbines in certain landscape types have a stronger (or weaker) impact on the landscape and whether the different preferences can be attributed to different socio-demographic groups (different gender, age, education, ethnicity, etc.).


The BMBF funded research project DAZWISCHEN (engl. between) deals with the structural change in the Rheinische Revier between Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn in the east and the German-Netherlands border region around Aachen in the west. The project is led by Prof Stefan Greiving (TU Dortmund University, IRPUD). Besides LLP and IRPUD, RWTH Aachen (Lehrstuhl und Institut für Städtebau), infas, Düren, Kreis Euskirchen and Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier are involved.

Spatial talents, weaknesses and requirements on three levels (whole region, Kreis Euskirchen, Düren) are researched in the main fields of action (climate, settlement, mobility, services for the public). This is done for today as well as for the future.

LLP (Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn & M.Sc. Florian Klopfer) is responsible for Arbeitspaket 3.1 that intends to analyze the current state of spatial structures. Especially open space will be regarded by LLP taking into account ecosystem services like water and soil-regulation functions or the regeneration function.

Results from this Arbeitspaket (milestone) go into the planned spatial information system (RIS) and form the base for further packages.

How Sounds Affect Us

by Isabell Hilpert | 08/22/2018

Sound has been a topic of urban development for years. In the context of health research, however, it has so far been limited to the risk factor "noise." Soundscapes, on the other hand, encompass all audible sounds: natural, human, technical and musical and are augmented by the spatial and temporal symphony of an urban environment. In a project funded by MERCUR, the Centre for Urban Epidemiology at the University Hospital of Essen and the Technical University of Dortmund are analysing how soundscapes and health in the Ruhr area are connected.

Cars, trains, airplanes: Motorised traffic is a major source of noise. The fact that it can cause illness - an increased risk of stroke or heart attack is assumed - is investigated in many studies. However, little attention is paid to the effects of other noises or sounds. It would be important to know what effects lesser studied, but equally as prevelant sounds have on humans in order to be able to plan healthier urban human habitats in the future.

Development of an urban soundscapes database
This is where the study by the Ruhr Area researchers comes in: Their aim is to typify the urban soundscape and to analyse the health context. This aim will result in one of the largest multi-seasonal urban soundscapes data sets ever assembled

The soundscape results will be merged with existing data from the population-based Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) study, a long-term study of people's health in the Ruhr area and urban risk factors, as well as spatial social and environmental data.

Sound measurements in Bochum
"We plan to perform and categorize extensive time- and space-related sound measurements. In addition, test persons are asked about their preferences for soundscapes. The areas under investigation are districts of Bochum, since a wide range of health and social data from the HNR study are available at a high spatial resolution," said Prof. Dr. Susanne Moebus, head of the Centre for Urban Epidemiology at the University Hospital Essen.

"The interdisciplinary research of complex interrelationships of health-related influences in a metropolitan region has yielded numerous new results. They make a lasting contribution to the overall development of the city and health," says Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn, Faculty of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund.

With the support of the project, MERCUR wants to help to establish the targeted research area' Healthy Urban Soundcapes'. This will strengthen the interdisciplinary competence field 'Metropolitan Research' of the Ruhr University Alliance.

Further information: Isabell Hilpert, Communications Manager Mercator Research Center Ruhr, Tel. 0201/616 965 11,

The project “Planning in Germany and Iran: Responding Challenges of Climate Change through Intercultural Dialogue” is a DAAD funded research project between the School of Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund University and Daneshpajoohan Pishro Higher Education Institue (DHEI) of Esfahan, Iran.

Understanding the future challenges of climate changes and the adaptation measures taken in both countries as well as the urban and rural cultural and natural heritage at the local and regional levels and linking them with the historical contexts are the focus of the project’s three years time frame 2019-2021.
Built on the experience of the project's first year in 2019, the second and third years are intended to target modernization of teaching, promotion of skill development of young academics, identification of teaching and research areas of shared scientific interest, and establishment of networks and cooperation regionally and internationally. The major project activities designed to achieve these objectives include organization of development meetings, spring workshops and winter schools to stimulate dialog and exchange, training on modern approaches in teaching and research methodology, conceptualization and organization of seminars jointly developed by the involved lecturers of partner universities, and annual conferences, including reflection meetings and discussion rounds about possible future cooperations.

Dialogue and exchange are based on two breakthrough topics: ‘climate change challenges and the protection and adaptation measures needed in both countries’ and ‘cross-cultural perception of urban and rural landscape and cultural heritage’. Rather than narrowing down the scope, the topics will act as entry point for dialog and exchange on which a shared understanding and collaboration relationship will be developed.
The project tackles climate change and natural and cultural landscape issues of universal importance for mankind and therefore aiming at developing common understanding beyond national, ideological, or religious differences. These topics also allow the application of interdisciplinary and participatory approaches and thus involving different societal groups in the intercultural dialogue activities.

Project Leader
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietwald Gruehn
E-Mail dietwald.gruehn(at)

Project Coordinator
Dr.-Ing. Mais Jafari
E-Mail mais.jafari(at)

Dr.-Ing. Mais Jafari
E-Mail mais.jafari(at)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

DAAD Program
Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World

Partner Uiversity
Daneshpajoohan Pishro Higher Education Institue (DHEI) of Esfahan, Iran

[Translate to English:] © [Translate to English:]
[Translate to English:]

At the heart of the DAAD-funded university cooperation is the desire to support the University of Mosul in times of crisis, to ensure international connectivity in teaching and research, to develop strategies for the time after the crisis and to promote interdisciplinary cooperation and networking in order to create the conditions for building a longer-term partnership. At the centre of the measures is the partnership-based organisation and preparation of an interdisciplinary Summer and Winter School to be held in Iraq. The academic events are primarily aimed at students of the following degree programmes: economics, architecture, physics, chemistry, education and psychology.

In addition, the DAAD-funded project "Connect for Change" aims to promote transnational student and academic exchange between the two universities. This mainly takes place through the awarding of scholarships and the integration of Iraqi students and academics in research and teaching projects at the TU Dortmund.

For further information, please contact the project coordinator Felix Senger felix.senger(at) or 0231 7553920.

Translated with (free version)

Homepage RESI

The PLIQ (Planning Education for Iraq) project was launched in August 2009.
It is based on an academic cooperation between the German and Iraqi governments from February 2009 and is part of the DAAD-funded programme "Strategic Academic Partnership with Iraq".

The Faculty of Spatial Planning of the TU Dortmund was commissioned to develop teaching content and research concepts in the field of spatial planning and to implement them in Iraqi universities. Since 2014 the project is located at the chair LLP (project coordinator: Dr. Hasan Sinemillioglu; project manager: Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn).

With the expertise developed over decades, the Iraqi universities in Baghdad, Diyala, Dohuk and Mosul were supported in setting up a spatial planning course. The bachelor's programme "Urban and Regional Planning" founded for this purpose was developed in the first phase (2009 - 2011) and introduced at the universities.

The special feature of the Bachelor's programme is that its structure is strongly oriented towards the Dortmund model of spatial planning. In addition to seminars and lectures in which the basics of theory and methodology are taught, a further focus is on practical-oriented services such as workshops and projects. Communication is very intensive and visits to the region take place regularly to ensure an exchange of expertise. In 2017, the first students at the University of Dohuk were able to celebrate their successful completion of their bachelor's degree in "Urban and Regional Planning".

Symposium on Planning Challenges and Planning Education in Iraq

In January of 2018, TU Dortmund Hosted a Symposium on Challenges and Advances in Spatial Planning in Iraq.  Learn more about the 2018 Symposium via our Facebook page or from our symposium summary documents on Migration and Urban Housing, The Urban and Rural Divide, Infrastructure and Settlement Development, and How Can Spatial Planning Address the Challenges of the Country?


PLIQ Project Timeline

Homepage PLIQ

Location & approach

The campus of the Technical University of Dortmund is located near the freeway junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerland line A45 crosses the Ruhr expressway B1/A40. The Dortmund-Eichlinghofen exit on the A45 leads to the South Campus, the Dortmund-Dorstfeld exit on the A40 leads to the North Campus. The university is signposted at both exits.

The "Dortmund Universität" S-Bahn station is located directly on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund main station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf main station via Bochum, Essen and Duisburg. In addition, the university can be reached by bus lines 445, 447 and 462. Timetable information can be found on the homepage of the Rhine-Ruhr transport association, and DSW21 also offer an interactive route network map.

One of the landmarks of the TU Dortmund is the H-Bahn. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Center via Campus South and Dortmund University S, while Line 2 commutes every 5 minutes between Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.

From Dortmund Airport, the AirportExpress takes just over 20 minutes to Dortmund Central Station and from there to the university by S-Bahn. A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university's train station.