Habitat Unit

BMBF, 2019 - 2025
Prof. Anke Hagemann, Anna Wilk-Pham, Adrian Hodgson, Tino Imsirovic, Arina RahmaProf. Dr. Philpp Misselwitz

Polycentric Approaches to the Management of Urban Water Resources in South-East Asia
A Localization of the Sustainability Targets of Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda at the City/Municipality Level (PolyUrbanWaters, Polyurbwater)

Cities in South-East Asia are challenged to seek new ways to enhance their resilience, inclusiveness, and water resource security. Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be realized if water resources are effectively protected and managed for the enhancement of water security in all countries of the region. In urban zones of SEA region, the challenges for comprehensive water management are of crucial importance and reflect a range of specific challenges of urban development.

'PolyUrbanWaters' is in line with calls to advance research and development to generate innovative solutions for a comprehensive polycentric, water-sensitive urban transformation.

As outputs, the practice-orientated project: will generate a comprehensive scientific knowledge about the parameters that are relevant for a polycentric, water-sensitive urban development as a lever for a comprehensive transformation to sustainability at the municipal/local level, and will develop instruments that supports respective transformation processes at the local, national and SEA-level.

Habitat Unit will carry out the scientific monitoring of the real laboratories from a planning and urban research perspective with the aim of translating the concrete experiences into strategic approaches, instruments and tools that can be transferred to other districts or municipalities (upscaling).

The 'PolyUrbanWaters' project ('Polyurb') is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). An initial Definition Phase from 08/2019 to 01/2021 will be followed by the Research and Development Phase from 02/2021 to 01/2025.


Job Vacancy - Research Assistant (student/graduate/young professional) - application deadline 13.10.23+

25% TV-L 4 to help in the research project PolyUrbanWaters!


The Habitat Unit (Department for International Urbanism and Design) is a globally networked research and teaching centre developing new approaches, expertise and application-oriented tools relevant for global urbanisation and urban change processes. It is committed to an inclusive and rights based approach to urban policy, urban management as well as development-oriented and actor-driven planning. Based at the Institute of Architecture at the TU Berlin, the Habitat Unit promotes an extended understanding of urban and architectural design, which integrates spatial, material and cultural sensitivities with new models of participation, co-production and urban governance. (www.habitat-unit.de) 


PolyUrbanWaters is a research and project network funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that consists of academic institutions, municipalities, local and national government agencies, civil society and private-sector stakeholders from Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Germany. Working through this network and on the ground in three pilot cities, the PolyUrbanWaters project aims to generate comprehensive scientific knowledge that helps develop practice-relevant strategic planning models for fast-growing cities and peri-urban areas in Southeast Asia, enabling them to implement polycentric approaches for water-sensitive urban development. 


40h/month - Starting ASAP October 2023 until February 2025 

You will support the research team of the project PolyUrbanWaters with the organisation and management of the project, especially in the coordination of research partners, organisation of conferences and workshops, supporting travel planning and public relations. Additionally, you will support the team in mappings, graphical design, literature research, evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data and social media updates. 


Please send your application including your motivation letter, a short CV and portfolio (max. 5 MB) until 13.10.23 to habitat.unit@tu-berlin.de (RE: PolyUrbanWaters_application research assistant) 


We are looking for a highly motivated and well-structured candidate with interest in the teaching and research topics of Habitat Unit, willing to work in an interdisciplinary research team. We expect good knowledge in German and English as well as good skills in Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop), Microsoft Office, CAD- and GIS-Software. Proficient in German in both written and spoken, and experiences in sustainable planning are desirable. Applicants can be students, graduates or young professionals of architecture, urban design, urban management, town and regional planning, landscape architecture, geography, urban sociology, graphic design and/ or related fields. 

Download flyer here.

Kick-off workshops (09/2019)+

The Polyurbwater Project has been officially started in the framework of a kick-off workshop and pilot sites visits taking place in Sleman in Indonesia and Sam Neua in Loas, from September 2 to 13, 2019.

Throughout the workshop weeks the project partners, local municipalities and communities were involved in several working sessions, presentations, introductions and networking events as well as a wide range of field visits. The exchange together with representatives of the local government and an introduction of the Polyurbwater project was a main focus of the workshop.


Dr. Bernd Gutterer (Projektleitung)
Am Deich 45,
28199 Bremen

Chair of Integrated Land and Water Resources Management
Prof. Dr. Lars Ribbe
TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)
ITT – Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics
Betzdorfer Straße 2
50679 Köln (Deutz)
+49 221 8275 2774

Consortium partners+

Prasetyastuti Purpowardoyo
Jl. Pandega Mandala 34 C Yogyakarta 55283, Indonesia

Cambodian Institute for Urban Studies (CIUS)
School of Architecture and
Dr. Tep Makathy
#89, Str. 313, Boeung Kak-2, Toul Kok Campus,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hamburg Wasser
Infrastrukturkoordination und Stadthydrologie Christian Günner
Billhorner Deich 2
20539 Hamburg, Germany

City Alliance "People.Sanitation.Cities"
Sri Purnomo
Kayen No. 176, JI. Kaliurang Km 6,6 Yogyakarta 55283, Indonesia

Environmental Sanitation Cambodia (ESC)
#490, Str. 456, Sangkat Tuoltompoung 1 Khan Chamkarmorn
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Universitas Gadjah Mada
Department of Architecture and Planning Prof. Bakti Setiawan
Kampus FT UGM, Jl. Grafika 2 Sekip Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia

Kota Kita, A City for All Ahmad Rifai
Jl. Melon Raya no. 53 Karangasem
Central Java 57145, Indonesia

Umweltbetrieb Bremen
Dr. Georg Grundwald
Willy Brand Platz 7
28215 Bremen, Germany

Freie Hansestadt Bremen
Der Senator für Umwelt, Bau und Verkehr Hildegard Kamp
Contrescarpe 72
28195 Bremen, Germany

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Aida Karazhanova
United Nations Building Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Vietnam Academy for Water Resource Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tung Phong
171 Tay son, Dong Da, Ha noi, Vietnam, Inc.Square Co. Ltd.
Dr. Atitaya Panuvatvanich
58 AIT Conference Center Phoholyothin RD., Klong Luang Pathumtani 12120, Thailand

Fibertech Co. Ltd.
Kittisak Tangsiri
36 MOO 15
Racha Thewa, Bang Phli Samut Prakan 10540, Thailand



Ania Wilk-Pham

Adrian Hodgson

Johanna Westermann


Habitat Unit, Room A 624 / A 409
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21908
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907