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International Book Prize Goes to Professor Wolfgang Sonne

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Portrait foto of Prof. Wolfgang Sonne in front of a book shelf © Felix Schmale​/​TU Dort­mund
Professor Wolfgang Sonne.

A distinguished award for Professor Wolfgang Sonne of the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering at TU Dort­mund University: His book “Urbanity and Density in 20th Century Urban Design” won the IPHS Book Prize 2018. According to the International Planning History Society, this is the most prestigious in­ter­na­tio­nal prize awarded for the world’s best book in planning and urban development history.

The prize is awarded every two years by the International Planning History Society as the “1st prize for the most innovative book in planning history written in English” and was presented in Yokohama in July 2018. The International Planning History Society describes it as the most prestigious in­ter­na­tio­nal prize awarded for the world’s best book in this category.

Outstanding quality

The book by Wolfgang Sonne, published by DOM publishers in Berlin in 2017, is not only exceptional in its academic achievement, but also outstanding in its production quality: “Sonne’s book is extraordinary, beautifully produced and breathtaking in its scope.” It is the result of a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and deals with a hitherto neglected line in modern urban development: the design and production of dense and urban spaces oriented towards the cultural traditions of urban development. At the same time, they still create modern urban areas. This new view not only rewrites the history of urban planning in the 20th century, but also provides references for current planning problems.

Innovative perspective

In the words of the jury: “Through its comparative and analytical approach Sonne’s book, as a mature piece of work having a deeply pondered familiarity with the conventional historiographies, introduces a new, innovative perspective in Western planning history, by bringing to the foreground a topic that is no doubt highly relevant for contemporary urban design practice.” The competition was particularly strong this time, as the jury expressly emphasized: “The prize winner was selected from among excellent research projects”. The prize is for the most innovative, original new research illuminating the most promising aspects of planning history and urban development.

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

Dort­mund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dort­mund Airport to TU Dort­mund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dort­mund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more in­for­mation). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dort­mund Airport.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.