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 GSZ Project: Urban Citizenship-Making at Times of Crisis. Building local-level resilience among migrants in Berlin, Copenhagen and Tel Aviv

We are excited to announce that we will start another research project about the social and political consequences of the Covid-19 crisis in 2021. The project focuses on the role of community organizations for access to information and resources under pandemic conditions, especially for migrants. The research set-up is comparative and works with case studies in Berlin, Copenhagen, and Tel Aviv in order to pay attention to locally specific settings. Project leaders are Dr. Henrik Lebuhn (Berlin), Dr. Nir Cohen (Tel Aviv), and Dr. Tatiana Fogelman (Copenhagen). Located at the Georg-Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies at HU Berlin, the project is funded by Volkswagen Foundation as part of the program "Corona Crisis and Beyond - Perspectives for Science, Scholarship and Society".


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

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

Lebuhn, Henrik (2017): Shifting Struggles over Public Space and Goods in Berlin. Urban Activism between Protest and Participation, in: Hou, Jeff; Knierbein, Sabine (Eds.): City (Un)Silenced. Urban Protest and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy, New York and London, Routledge, 145-155

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

Lebuhn, Henrik (2016): 'Ich bin New York' - Bilanz des Kommunalen Personalausweises in New York City, in: Zeitschrift Luxemburg - Gesellschaftsanalyse und linke Praxis, 3/2016, 114-119.

Lebuhn, Henrik (2015): Between Neoliberal Governance and the Right to the City. Participatory Politics in Berlin and Tel Aviv, in: International Journal for Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), 39.4, 704-725, mit Adriana Kemp & Galia Rattner