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Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies

Urban Ethnography Lab

Researchers and practitioners from many fields have been adapting ethnographic research methods to suit the complex demands of contemporary urban settings. The Urban Ethnography Lab is an initiative by scholars from the University of Toronto’s Ethnography Lab and Humboldt University’s Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Social- and Cultural Geography from Humboldt-University of Berlin.

We are happy to continue building institutional links between departments and scholars that are interested in fostering an international and interdisciplinary network of labs dedicated to spreading the value of ethnographic and qualitative urban research.

The motivation for creating this partnership was to create a lab through which to promote ethnographic methods in the study of urban and metropolitan areas and increase its relevance in science and policy-making. The Urban Ethnography Lab is a growing centre that promotes ethnographic research methods, with a focus on urban areas, while the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies encourages the growth of international networks of academic groups focused on metropolitan research. On the basis, our long-term objectives have been identified as to:


  1. Enhance ethnographic research methods at the intersection of urban anthropology, human geography and design.
  2. Create opportunities for research on urban comparisons,
  3. Promote the creation of a research network by facilitating the exchange of students and researchers internationally.


Past Activities

Workshop: Beyond Urban Transformation

KOSMOS Workshop

Beyond Urban Transformation

5. - 8. September 2018

The workshop brings together senior and junior scholars from urban anthropology, human geography and design to collaborate on researching how urban transformation can be studied ethnographically from the perspective of urban everyday practice along the topics of urban commons and resilience. The KOSMOS Workshop is funded by the Excellence Initiative by Humboldt-University of Berlin. hosted at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies and organized in cooperation with Harvard University and University of Toronto.

Workshop Publication's Link


For further information and questions please contact Carolin Genz (carolin.genz@hu-berlin.de).