Detlev Ipsen


Curriculum Vitae

Born in a small village in the mountains of Tyrol (Austria) in 1945 and growing up from my seventh year in the highly industrialized city of Dortmund in the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhrvalley) in Germany, may be important to understand the focus of my later scientific work. The changing urban-rural-relations, the change of landscape, the interconnection of nature and society, and the importance of esthetical Gestalt‘ for the perception of these patterns can describe one of my main working fields.

The study of the regulation of urban and regional development in the context of the modernization of society and the empirical reconstruction of these processes are the more pragmatic frame of my scientific work.

I started to study sociology and ethnology in München in the year 1965. In Wien, (Austria) I had a good chance to study and get practice in empirical field studies. I finished my diploma in sociology and psychology in Mannheim. Immediatly after my diploma in the 1969 I start to work as a assistant researcher at the University of Mannheim. After two years I moved to Michigan University in Ann Arbor, (USA) to study Econometric statistics, which I carried on one year later in Colchester (GB). I finished my PHD in 1973 in the field of organizational sociology and founded my first little research institute for urban studies, especially the development of the urban housing market and migration. At the end of 1977 I left Mannheim to travel thru the Sahara desert to Niger, Mali and Senegal. One year later I had the chance to become professor for urban and regional studies at the University of Kassel (Germany). Since this time I work as a teacher at that department in teaching students of planning and architecture. My research concerns regional and international aspects. So I did a study about the role of self-regulation in the development of Athens in Greece and San Juan in Costa Rica. About regional development I also worked in Ecuador and Bolivia.

My focus is now on sustainabel urban and regional development on the one hand and the impact of migration and cultural diversification on the other. As You may understand in reading the list of selected publications, water and the different cultures in understanding and using water, has been the main field of theoretical and empirical work about sustainability.