06 February, 2024

Professor Michael Wegener R.I.P.

Michael Wegener died on 2 February 2024. An architect by training, he joined the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the (Technical) University of Dortmund already in 1977 and became Professor of Spatial Planning in 1996. He served as deputy head and head of IRPUD, the faculty's body for the preparation and coordination of externally funded research projects. He pursued a highly regarded research portfolio (even after his retirement in 2003) with both general interests in spatial development and planning and the introduction of time and the temporal dimension of spatial development. The simulation modelling of space-time relationships that he has developed has been the basis of his excellent reputation in the international communities concerned with land use and transport (see the illustration below, courtesy of S&W). In this respect he definitely set a standard.
    My personal memory of Michael Wegener is also very positive, as he was the chairman (“Prüfer”) of my doctoral dissertation-committee in spatial planning at the University of Dortmund in October 1997. Thanks to his careful moderation, we had an extremely inspiring debate on how to properly approach logistics as a research topic in urban contexts. Given the latent unsustainability of logistics operations at the time – which still seems to be an issue and a challenge today – we moved on to discussing more fundamental aspects of the system of flows, the spaces it affects in positive and critical ways, and where the limits to growth, circulation and resource consumption could be (set).
    His kind personality was made up of a rather rare combination of scientific rigor and ethos on the one hand, and a strong normative orientation towards equitable, sustainable development on the other. There is much to learn from him in this respect too.

Markus Hesse

No comments: