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Dr. Joern Birkmann Headshot

Dr. Joern Birkmann

Prof. Dr. / Head of the Institute for Spatial Planning and Regional Development, the University of Stuttgart
University of Stuttgart


Prof. Dr. Joern Birkmann is head of the institute of spatial planning and regional development at the University Stuttgart in Germany. He is one of the Coordinating Lead Author for the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was presented to governments in March 2022. He has also been Lead Author within the fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC and Lead Author in the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risk of Extreme Events. His research focuses on urban development, spatial planning and complex risks and vulnerabilities in the context of extreme events and climate change.

Among other projects, he is coordinating a larger research project to support the reconstruction process of regions affected by the summer floods in 2021 in Germany that killed about 180 people. Birkmann's research includes new methods for dealing with the challenges of societal change and environmental change in the global North and South. He is conducting for example research on the dynamics and linkages of cities and climate (ERC funded Synergy Grant).

Prof. Birkmann, born in Bielefeld in 1972, studied spatial planning at the University of Dortmund and obtained his doctorate on the topic of "Monitoring Sustainable Spatial Development". From 2004 to 2014, Birkmann worked at the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University. Since 2014 he is head of the institute of spatial and regional planning at the University of Stuttgart /Germany.

What do you foresee as the most important development in international grantmaking in the next 5 years?

  • Link grants to global challenges
  • Provide grants for global networks and cooperation in a more fragmented world

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