•  Prof. Dr. Florian Koch, HTW Berlin

    Prof. Dr. Florian Koch, HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Brain City Ambassador Professor Dr. Florian Koch researches topics of the present and future: He is an expert in real estate management, urban development and Smart Cities at the HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences. In his projects he works closely with other research institutions in the city, but also with international partners.

I have always been interested in the diversity of cities, and also the question of what options there are to resolve current urban problems, says Professor Dr Florian Koch and at the same time explains: “The changes that result from increasing digitisation, as well as the task of enabling urban transformations towards more sustainability, are becoming increasingly important.” The research of this expert for Smart Cites and urban development at HTW Berlin focuses primarily on questions regarding social science. “What is a Smart City and who determines the objectives that should be achieved with it? How can urban sustainability be measured and what potentials and problems does digitisation offer? How do cities deal with increasing competition for space?”

In 2002 the Brain City Ambassador came to Berlin for the first time “as I was offered my first job here: as a research assistant at the IfS Institute for Urban Research and Structural Policy.” After studying spatial planning at the University of Dortmund and the University of La Sapienza in Rome, the young scientist received his doctorate from the Humboldt University in Berlin in 2009. However, the Brain City was initially a stopover for Florian Koch: “I then worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Colombia, among other things, and for the last few years I was involved in a larger research project on the topic of sustainable urban development at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig.” In 2018, he was offered the professorship for Real Estate Management, Urban Development and Smart City at HTW Berlin. “I was very happy to come back to Berlin,” says Florian Koch.

He has stayed here until now. There is a reason for this: “One of the great advantages of Berlin is that the city is an exciting object of investigation and offers a great deal of research topics.” One of his current projects is researching a monitoring system for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Treptow-Köpenick district. “We are developing indicators that can be used to measure whether the district is moving in a sustainable direction. The aim is to define the corresponding parameters, to present data availability and quality and think about forms of communication.” Another of his projects deals with sharing solutions. “Here we are investigating how the scarce resource of space is dealt with in two neighbourhoods in Berlin-Kreuzberg and what options there are for sharing both public and private spaces. We are primarily interested in non-commercial, common good-oriented solutions.”

Berlin is international, multicultural, changeable and offers many research topics. Culture and nature can be reached quickly by bike.

More ambassadors