Doctoral Research Group Urban and Cultural Area Research

As the oldest expression of culture in the world, architecture occupies a decisive position in our society. According to the German Federal Foundation for Building Culture, building culture means responsibly shaping our environment. Essential topics that will be discussed in this context include: urban space design and amenity value, building design and artistic expression, international cultural relations and international and cross-cultural studies, spatial perception and representation of space, and social responsibility for building culture.

The culture of a given space is characterized, on the one hand by natural factors and, on the other by human activity. The cultural sciences analyze the functional intersection of mutual influential factors as they impact space, and the cultural shaping of that space that results. From this geographical perspective, cultural landscape research also has an historical-geographical aspect. Urban spaces with urban geographic issues are addressed not only from an historical perspective. Emphasis is also placed on geographic traffic research and the examination of economic geography issues.

Areas of Research

Building culture

  • Sustainable settlement patterns (international)
  • Participation in construction planning processes
  • Digital media in urban space

Cultural spaces

  • Transportation geography
  • Economic geography
  • Urban geography
  • (Historical) cultural landscape research


  • Travel / holidays as a leisure activity and appropriation of space
  • Leisure as late modern phenomenon
  • Touristification of spaces
  • Control of tourism areas
  • Travel behavior and safety
  • Tourism marketing/management
  • Wasting Space

Doctoral Degree

The respective faculty confers the doctoral degree Dr. phil.


  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ursula Kirschner

Doctoral Supervisors

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ursula Kirschner
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Pez

Doctoral Courses

As a doctoral candidate at Leuphana, you not only write your dissertation, but also participate in the interdisciplinary doctoral courses to the extent of 30 credit points, which include (inter)disciplinary colloquia (Research Forum I and Research Forum II) and furthermore comprises four interdisciplinary modules on research ethics, research methods, scientific practice and current perspectives on science. Please find more information about Leuphana's doctoral courses here.


If you wish to pursue your doctorate at Leuphana, you must be enrolled as doctoral student. Information about admission to the doctorate at Leuphana and the application procedure can be found here.

Leuphana Graduate School offers advice and coaching to academics in the qualification phase. The Graduate School's advisor will be happy to support you in questions of decision-making, challenges in the course of your doctorate, and career planning and development. You can find more information about the counselling and coaching services here.