Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport

The working group investigates the dynamics of urbanization, transport systems, ground rents and alternative land use options. The research focus is on the relevance of path dependencies of spatial infrastructures for climate change mitigation and sustainability. On this basis, the group examines policy options of climate protection in spatial agglomerations at the urban, national and international level.


Team members

Head: Prof. Dr. Felix Creutzig

Christopher Bren d'Amour
Dr. Aneeque Javaid
Nikola Milojevic-Dupont
Dr. Leila Niamir
Anjali Ramakrishnan


Research topics

The group seeks a holistic-interdisciplinary understanding of what makes cities sustainable. Our key goal is to bring theory and empirical findings on urban climate change mitigation together. The following questions are key for the team: What kind of urban form renders cities sustainable in local and global environmental and social dimensions? How can urban public finance and land rent taxation contribute to low-carbon cities? And how does urbanization interact with global environmental change, such as l land use and food security?


Research projects

In a recent study, the researchers showed how increasing urbanization consumes the world's best agricultural land. According to them, due to the rapid expansion of cities, by the year 2030 about 300,000 square kilometers of particularly fertile farmland will be lost globally. The food production of this area could feed over 300 million people a full year. Another study shows the potential of urban planning to avoid emissions by building low-carbon infrastructures. If transport systems, buildings and other infrastructures were designed climate-friendly, almost half of the future CO2 emissions could be saved, according to the researchers.


Current publications

Niamir, L., Ivanova, O., Filatova, T., 2020

Economy-wide impacts of behavioral climate change mitigation: linking agent-based and computable general equilibrium models

Environmental Modelling and Software
Peer Review
Niamir, L., Creutzig, F., 2020

Energy Demand: From Individual Behavioral Changes to Climate Change Mitigation

Managing Air Quality and Energy Systems. CRC Press, pp. 307–319
Creutzig, F., 2020

Limits to Liberalism: Considerations for the Anthropocene

Ecological Economics
Peer Review