European cities face a variety of issues and challenges, something which lies at the core of the research interests of the working group “Urban Transformation”. Major cities with large and diversified economies experience a strong growth, evoked by international migration. At the same time they are characterized by increasing segregation, plurality and physical separation. The extend and the dynamics of urban change are significant.

The research group focuses on these urban change processes. The selected research questions are problem-driven and our research itself is theoretically based with an empirical focus. The research combines basic and approached research and develops policy recommendations. The working group brings together interdisciplinary (geographical, sociological, anthropological) expertise in urban research and a strong emphasis on diversity analysis, local integration analysis, urban housing market matters and studies on interethnic relations, social cohesion and migrant entrepreneurship.

Until 2015, our research on migration, integration and diversity primarily focused on labour migrants from both within and outside the EU, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe. This has changed since 2015/16 with the recent numerically important influx of refugees from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Northern Africa. As a consequence refugee studies have been integrated into the research programme with a long-term perspective.