In postindustrial cities, sustainability serves as an umbrella term to describe a multitude of practices, policies, and positions relating to ecology, environmentalism, waste reduction, the development of recreational spaces as well as public health. Historically, such green city movements relate to the notion of garden cities, a settler colonialist heritage, as well as the industrial pasts of these urban spaces.

The projects exploring scripts of sustainability demonstrate the breadth of such discourses. Different researchers of the research group are interested in the possibilities of urban development in regard to sustainable restoration, sustainable building certificates, sustainable living and working in waterfront projects, as well as urban gardening, and repurposing or reusing in a variety of contexts. 

The doctoral candidates working on the study of the sustainable city will further undertake internships at the Öko-Zentrum NRW, the Environmental Office of Essen, the European Green Capital 2017, the urban planners Zachary & Associates in Detroit, as well as the Duisburger Hafen AG.