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Projekte im Kolleg Life Sciences und Grüne Technologien

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Urban oases in nature-based climate adaptation: Small-scale solutions for heat resilience and wellbeing?

Urban oases in nature-based climate adaptation: Small-scale solutions for heat resilience and wellbeing?
Identifying spatial and structural determinants of social co-benefits provided through public green space experience and their provisioning equity at neighborhood level


The trends of global warming and urban densification draw attention to public green spaces as nature-based solutions for climate adaptation in research and practice. Depending on their structure, location and size, they can regulate microclimatic conditions, but also fulfil certain social and ecological functions - also referred to as co-benefits. Health-related co-benefits include, among others, the experience of thermal comfort on hot days, mental recovery from urban stressors and the promotion of activities that can increase physical fitness and strengthen the sense of social belonging. Although these potentials are widely recognised in the socio-ecological research context, there is so far only scattered empirical evidence of the links between certain green space features (e.g. the structural complexity of vegetation), their (micro-)climatic effects and the aforementioned health-promoting co-benefits. The role of small green spaces is of particular interest in this context because they are assumed to have a higher potential to be integrated into existing urban fabrics.

With regard to the practical realisation of assumed co-benefits it is crucial to collect and/or validate them with the involvement of the population and practical actors, since the interrelations between green space structures and co-benefits is impacted by individual factors as well as by spatial, temporal and socio-cultural context. Moreover, according to the three normative environmental justice principles underlying my research - procedural, representational and distributive justice - the direct involvement or broadest possible representation of the needs of all those affected is central in assessing the suitability of certain green space structures as a nature-based health resource and their socio-spatial provision. In this context, the so-called AAA model (Attractiveness, Availability, Accessibility) is suitable for operationalising the objective and subjective provisioning effectiveness. It asks which objective biotic, abiotic and aesthetic structures qualify a green space as subjective urban oasis with certain health-relevant meanings and functions, for which social groups this applies and for whom they are physically and psychologically attainable and accessible. These aspects can differ for people depending on their socio-economic situation, demographic status and individual factors such as state of health, closeness to nature, previous experience, migration background and aesthetic preferences. A neighbourhood-level and participatively informed evidence base therefore promises potential for the socially equitable realisation of theoretical co-benefits.

Against this background, my PhD project examines selected public green spaces in the wider city centre district of Munich for subjective and objective health co-benefits as a function of their size and structural complexity.  In order to incorporate aspects of distributive, representational and procedural justice, I work with participatory qualitative and quantitative methods of social geography and urban ecology as well as with theoretical foundations and application-oriented concepts from environmental psychology, urban planning and urban political ecology. In addition to statements on the interactions between green space structure, size and health relevant co-benefits, the aim is to develop recommendations for process design and indicators that support the socially equitable implementation of health-promoting green space structures at neighbourhood level benefits in the course of nature-based climate adaptation.  To this end, I am working with actors from the field of neighbourhood-oriented public health promotion and with two other doctoral students from the fields of environmental psychology and urban climatology.

*This work is part of the joint project "Stadtoasen im Klimawandel" (https://www.stoasen.de/; www.vkg.bayern.de/), which is funded by the Bavarian State Ministries for Health, Care and Prevention (StMGP) and for the Environment and Consumer Protection (StMUV) and carried out with the support of the State Office for Health and Food Safety and the Bavarian State Office for the Environment. It is also supported by the Bavarian Science Forum - BayWISS.



(1) Stadtoasen im Klimawandel - Die sozial-ökologische Bedeutung von Stadtgrün für das Wohlbefinden (Projekt im Verbund „Klimawandel und Gesundheit“ II, gefördert durch das Staatsministerien für Gesundheit und Pflege (StMGP) sowie für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz (StMUV));

(2) Team-Website Forschungsgruppe "Urbane Produktive Ökosysteme" (Prof.Dr. Monika Egerer, TUM SoLS)




Betreuerin Technische Universität München:

Prof'in Dr. Monika Egerer

Wissenschaftliche Laufbahn und Forschungsgebiete

Dr. Monika Egerer (*1990) erforscht die Ökologie und das Management von produktionsorientierten Ökosystemen in und um Städte. Sie verfolgt einen interdisziplinären Forschungsansatz, der Zusammenhänge zwischen Biodiversität, Natur- und Klimaschutz, Ökosystemleistungen und sozial-ökologischen Fragestellungen in urbanen (Agrar)systemen analysiert. Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt liegt auf der Rolle von Insekten und der pflanzlichen Biodiversität in urbanen Ökosystemen, insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit Habitatmanagement, Urbanisierung und Klimawandel.

Prof. Egerer studierte Umweltstudien an der Universität von Kalifornien, Santa Cruz, und promovierte dort. Nach mehreren Forschungsaufenthalten in Australien kam sie 2019 als IPODI Postdoc-Stipendiatin an das Institut für Ökologie der Technischen Universität Berlin. Im Jahr 2020 wurde Prof. Egerer auf die Professur für Urbane Produktive Ökosysteme an der TUM School of Life Sciences (Life Science Systems) berufen.

Betreute Projekte:

Betreuerin Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Weihenstephan-Triesdorf:
M. Sc. Stefanie Burger

Stefanie Burger

Technische Universität München

Master: M.Sc. Sustainable Resource Management, TU München

Bachelor: B.A. International Relations and Management, OTH Regensburg


Publikationen: Egerer, M., Annighöfer, P., Arzberger, S., Burger, S., Hecher, Y., Knill, V., Probst, B., & Suda, M. (2024). Urban oases: The social-ecological importance of small urban green spaces. Ecosystems and People, 20(1), 2315991. https://doi.org/10.1080/26395916.2024.2315991


Treten Sie mit uns in Kontakt. Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Fragen und Anregungen zum Verbundkolleg Life Sciences und Grüne Technologien.

Dr. Ute Nazet

Dr. Ute Nazet

Koordinatorin BayWISS - Verbundkolleg Life Sciences und Grüne Technologien

Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Weihenstephan-Triesdorf
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