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Research Objectives

The aim of the priority programme (SPP) is to develop theoretical approaches and models which are suitable for a general explanation of informal processes and structures in megacities.

This implies:

  1. Further development of theoretical concepts of mega-urban, national and global organization of society, economy, politics and their interrelations
  2. (Re)conceptualization of "informality" with a system of concepts better representing the complex, multi-layered and dynamic reality.
  3. To deepen the understanding of informal institutions and processes as well as their relevance for megaurban dynamics and actors.
  4. Further development of existing models and scenarios, especially considering multidisciplinary approaches, quantitative and qualitative methods and the complex dynamics of megaurban systems.

Four problem areas with highest dynamics and social relevance will be central to the programme:

  1. The loss of planning control and governability and the influence of new forms of governance,
  2. The dominance and differentiation of urban economies,
  3. The complexity and dynamics of material and resource flows,
  4. The multilayered dynamics of settlement development.

The focus on informal aspects and their global interconnections as well as the transdisciplinary approach distinguish the focal program from other ongoing megacity-initiatives.