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Project information

Project team

Francis Harvey, Tim Leibert, Eric Losang, Aura Moldovan, Maria Turchenko


German cities and municipalities

Duration of project

06/2018 – 06/2021

Funded by

Leibniz Competition (Leibniz Transfer Programme)

Further information

Prof Dr Francis Harvey
Tel.: +49 341 600 55-111

Project web page

"hin&weg" – Analytical visualisation application for the study of urban and regional demographic change

Since the early 2000s, the IfL has developed visualisation and analysis instruments for its regional investigation of socio-spatial trends in German cities. Named hin&weg, it originally focused on fundamental research examining long-term trends in nationwide urban development (e.g., inner differentiation of cities, growth vs. shrinking, suburbanisation, re-urbanisation). During the last ten years, the institute has tested and further developed this system together with the administrations of ten large cities including Bonn, Rostock, Stuttgart and Leipzig. hin&weg works with existing statistical data from city departments and is used to describe, analyse and visualise socio-spatial dynamics on the district level of cities.

Now hin&weg is ready to be enhanced for wide-spread usage in cities and regions by professionals, like city statisticians, as well as by citizens. From developments ofhin&weg, based on the experiences of cooperation and contact with practitioners and with the public, this project sets the following goals for sustainable knowledge transfer:

  • Bringing together the expertise of IfL researchers in inner city/regional analysis of mobility and migration data with the need for analytical tools in municipalities;
  • Further developing a version of hin&weg together with practitioners so that planning offices in municipalities can handle it and benefit from it in their everyday duties (“expert version”);
  • Developing a web-based “citizen version” of the hin&weg application for those municipalities, which want to combine their internal analytical requirements with an open-data-policy.

With the further development of hin&weg, the IfL reacts to the increasing dynamics and complexity of socio-spatial changes, which present city councils with great challenges. On the one hand, they urgently need reliable information about the underlying demographic processes such as the revaluation and devaluation of residential neighborhoods or the age- and gender-specific immigration from the surrounding area. On the other hand, there is often a lack of resources, capacity and experience to analyse the mass of statistical data and draw the right conclusions for sustainable political and planning action.


A test version (alpha version) of hin&weg was made available to the pilot municipalities involved in the project in August 2019. In November 2019, the city statisticians and urban planners met with the project team of the IfL and the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) in Leipzig to discuss the experiences and suggestions of the users and to set priorities for the development of the beta version. This was presented in June 2020 in a consortium of 17 municipalities, the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), the software developer Delphi IMM and the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu). In the coming months, the participating cities and districts will intensively test the application in a process accompanied by the research partners in order to provide suggestions for further optimisation.