Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Urban Sociology

Urban and Regional Sociology

Welcome to the homepage of the Department for Urban and Regional Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. Here you can find all the department-related information you need.



New book by Linda Chesire with a contribution from our staff - Out Now!

In August 2022 the new book by Linda Chesire "Neighbours Around the World: An International Look at the People Next Door" was published. At this point we would like to recommend the whole book and of course draw special attention to the chapter "Exploring Latent Neighbourliness: Does Turning Locally for Support in Major Challenges Matter and, If Not, Then What May?". The chapter was written by Talja Blokland, our research assistants Daniela Krüger, Robert Vief and Henrik Schultze, as well as the two student assistants Valentin Regnault and Jule Benz. The chapter is available here.


Walk & Talk


Dear Friends of the Think & Drink Colloquium,

we are pleased to announce that in June and July 2021 we will resume our program in a new format adapted to the pandemic situation: Walk & Talk!

Walk & Talk dates will be on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 pm. Since the number of participants is limited to 25 people, registration is requested. Proof of a current-day test result and compliance with Corona's protective order is mandatory for participation. In addition, please refer to the faculty guide for conducting face-to-face formats during the pandemic. Up-to-date information on availability for each Walk & Talk date will be posted on the GSZ homepage.

Start points for the tours will be communicated via email.

Please send registrations to Medina Diedrich:



07.06.2021: „Reshaping property relations through the law" (Prenzlauer Berg) mit Joanna Kusiak 

The walk & talk will reflect on the history of Berlin's social housing (using the example of Carl Liegen Siedlung), its privatization and the ongoing attempt to re-socialize it by the campaign Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen. This will also give us opportunity to reflect on the relationship between law and politics, and on the possibility of progressive change by means of law.

14.06.2021: „Gemeinwesenarbeit am Stadtrand" (Hohenschönhausen) mit Beate Janke & Julia Förster 

Der Stadtrundgang führt zu verschiedenen Einrichtungen und Orten der Begegnung und gibt Einblicke in die Vielfalt der sozialpolitischen und sozialkulturellen Aktivitäten in einer Großwohnsiedlung 

21.06.2021: „Ortsbeziehungen, Klasse und Deindustrialisierung" (Siemensstadt) mit Kaspar Metzkow 

Der Stadtrundgang zeigt auf, wie Entstehung und Niedergang lokaler Industrien die angrenzenden Nachbarschaften prägen und welche Folgen der industrielle Wandel für die Bewohner:innen hat 



28.06.21: Trust, public space and the city: Reflections on the relevance of play

Dieser Stadtspaziergang durch die 'Ansammlung von Verschiedenheit' am Gleisdreieckpark führt die TeilnehmerInnen durch ein paar Überlegungen, was Öffentliches Vertrauen in Städten ausmacht, wie der urbane Raum Vertrauenswürdigkeit untermauert bzw. untergräbt und warum die Stadt als Spielstätte - im Simmel'schen Sinne - uns dabei helfen kann, das alles zu Ende zu denken. Die Exkursion präsentiert empirische Beobachtungen der Forschungsprojekte "Städtischen Leben während Corona" (Teil des SFB1265), sowie "Zwischen Drogen und Dreck", die 2019 und 2020 unter der Leitung von Talja Blokland durchgeführt worde sind.

At Park Gleisdreieck, this stroll through a site of 'gathering in seperateness' takes participants through some thoughts on what may constitute public trust in cities, how urban space can strengthen or hinder trustworthiness, and why the city as a site of play, in Simmelian sense, may help us think this through. It draws on empirical observations of the project 'Urban Life during COVID19' (Part of SFB1265) and 'Between Drugs and Dirt: Safety at Kottbusser Tor' lead by Blokland in 2019 and 2020.


05.07.2021: „Neue Beteiligungsformate am Haus der Statistik" (Mitte) mit Carolin Genz 

12.07.2021: „Nachbarschaften des Willkommens" (Kreuzberg) mit Nihad El-Kayed & Leoni Keskinkılıç 

Der Rundgang behandelt die Frage, welche lokalen Bedingungen Geflüchteten Zugang zu Ressourcen, Teilhabe und Sicherheit bieten und welche lokalen Öffnungs- und Schließungsprozesse dabei eine Rolle spielen.



Sociological voices during Corona Crisis

Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland talked about the impacts of the Corona Crisis in the city in an interview for the Berliner Zeitung ("Großsiedlungen: Hier treffen Ausgangsbeschränkungen die Berliner besonders hart") and in the Urban Political Podcast ("Inequalities of the Lockdown"). 

International CARE-Conference at TU Vienna on November 20-22, 2019

As co-organizers of the international CARE-Conference at TU Vienna, we are excited to extend an invitation to all interested colleagues to join us from November 20-22. The conference will provide a forum for cutting-edge research on the urban dimension of care work and reproductive labor. No conference fee; there will be space for apr. 150 participants. Fore more information, the preliminary conference program, and the possibility for online-registration, please klick here.

Call for Contributions [in German language]: Hartmut-Häussermann-Preis

The Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies will award the Hartmut-Häußermann-Preis in 2019. Eligible are monographies (i.e. PhD / Habil. Theses) in Urban Research published after January 15, 2017. Applications are accepted until December 16, 2018.

The prize will be awarded on April 11, 2019 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

PLEASE NOTE: The book may be published in German OR English language, but all procedure (including the call and info on the GSZ Website) will be in German. If you plan to apply as a non-German-Speaker, please contact <schillha[at]> for further information.


New Project: Die Welt in meiner Straße

We are proud to announce our participation in the new collaborative research center (SFB 1265) "Re-Figuration of Spaces"(spokesperson: Martina Löw, TU Berlin), one of fifteen new centers funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Our project "The World in my Street: Resources and Networks of Urban Dwellers" will investigate the impact of increasing spatial mobility on spatial arrangements; how space is constituted in social networks; and how urban dwellers might use these spaces as a resource. With a perspective on social inequality, the project will explore how in the context of increased mobility and transnational experiences, soial networks might be created and transformed, and how their resources are employed for improving one's personal situation.


Community as Urban Practice - Talja Blokland's new book

"Community is a central idea in urban studies but remains conceptually vague and empirically difficult to work with. Building on existing theories of community, Talja Blokland offers an important contribution to defining and understanding this key theme.

Blokland argues that there has been too much focus on community as a stable construct, formed by durable relationships with kin, friends, social groups or neighbours. She draws attention to the non-durable, fluid encounters that constitute community, theorizing communities as shared urban practices in a globalizing world. The book proposes two core ways of thinking about community: the dimension of familiarity, defined by our ability to construct identities, and the dimension of access, defined by our freedom to enter and leave urban spaces. These dimensions form various urban configurations which enable us to experience and practise community in diverse ways. As this book maintains, community is after all an urban practice, not a fixed state of affairs." (Wiley Urban Geography)

KOSMOS Summer School 'Urbin, Urbin (Urban Institutions, Urban Inequalities)'

The Department for Urban and Regional Sociology, together with the Georg Simmel-Centre for Metropolitan Research, have successfully applied for a KOSMOS Summer University as part of the Excellence-Program of the HU in collaboration with University of Vienna, Center for Metropolitan Studies/University of Sao Paulo and Princeton University. Part of this is the appointment of a KOSMOS Felow, Dr. Gabriel de Santis Feltran, specialist on urban geography and crime in the favelas of Brasilian cities, who will be with us from March to July 2017. Aim of our KOSMOS program Urbin Urbin (Urban Institutions, Urban Inequalities) is a collaborative effort to develop an in-depth understanding of the role of everyday practices related to urban institutions to produce, reproduce or challenge urban inequalities between residents of various neighbourhoods in the city. The KOSMOS Summer School aims to provide an intensive training- and learning setting for doctoral students (Nachwuchswissenschaftler) during a two-week program.



Edward W. Soja Prize 2015: Henrik Lebuhn was awarded with the Edward W. Soja Prize for his article 'Neoliberalization in Post-Wall Berlin. Understanding the City through Crisis'. The award annually honors the best essay published in the journal Critical Planning. Congratulations!


SAGE Prize 2015: We gladly announce that Julia Nast and Talja Blokland won the SAGE Prize 2015 for 'Social Mix: Revisted: Neighbourhood Institutions as Setting for Boundary Work and Social Capital'.


Current Publications

Lebuhn, Henrik (2020): Building Solidarity Cities: From Protest to Policy, in: Rygiel, Kim; Baban, Feyzi (Hsg.): Fostering Pluralism through Solidarity Activism in Europe, Palgrave (EBook & Print), 81-106, mit Stefanie Kron

Holm, Andrej; Lebuhn, Henrik (2020): Strengthening Citizenship in Berlin. Three Modes of Claiming and Expanding Rights and Resources at the Local Level, in: Turner, Bryan et. al. (Hrsg): Urban Change and Citizenship in Times of Crisis. Vol. 3: Figurations of Conflict and Resistance, Routledge

Lebuhn, Henrik (2019): Insurgent Citizenship, in: The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (edited by Anthony M. Orum), Wiley

Lebuhn, Henrik with Bernd Belina, Johanna Hoerning, Boris Michel & Anna Vogelpohl (Eds.) (2018): Raumproduktionen II - Theoretische Kontroversen und politische Auseinandersetzungen, Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster

Blokland, T. (2017): Community as Urban Practice. Wiley.

Blokland, T. (2016). Networked urbanism: social capital in the city. Routledge.

Blokland, T., Giustozzi, C., Krüger, D. & Schilling, H. (Eds.) (2016) Creating the Unequal City: The exclusionary consequences of everyday routines in Berlin. Farnham: Ashgate.

Holm, Andrej (2016): (Un)sozialer Wohnungsbau. Schwerpunkt der Berliner Verdrängungsdynamik. In: Berliner Hefte zu Geschichte und Gegenwart der Stadt, Vol. 2 (Die Legende vom Sozialen Wohnungsbau), 13-99

Holm, Andrej; Kuhn, Armin (2016): Squatting and Gentrification in East Germany since 1989. In: Andres, Freia; Sedlmaier, Alexander (eds.): Public Goods versus Economic Interests: Global Perspectives on the History of Squatting. New York: Routledge, 278-304

Holm, Andrej (2016): Gentrification und das Ende der Berliner Mischung. In: von Einem, Eberhardt (Hg.): Wohnen. Markt in Schieflage - Politk in Not. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 191-231