Author: Diana Maria Ramirez Daza

Digitalisierung und Zivilgesellschaft in Leipzig

The city of Leipzig plans to strengthen civil society organizations as key players in shaping the digital transformation in Leipzig by building up a “network of competence” with advice and support services.

Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) is supporting the Department “Digital City” in the following topics:

  • Elaborating a status quo analysis of the current level of maturity of civil society organizations in digitalization in Leipzig
  • Developing a potential analysis with a focus on opportunities that lie in the increased digitalization of the practices of civil society organizations.
  • The aforementioned analysis is supplemented by a case study research
  • Providing recommendations for the conception of advice and funding offers to support the city of Leipzig in the process of establishing the network of competence

Commissioned by: City of Leipzig

Period: 2020

Conference and Policy Brief : The Role of Cities in Regional Development of Georgia

Georgia experienced significant decline in population in the first decade of its independence. Recent census also revealed continued decline in the number of overall population, nevertheless some areas show stabilization and even recovery. The recovery process is mainly observed in urban population.

The Urban System of the country is composed generally by towns but the most population lives in the cities with more than 100.000 inhabitants. This represents four cities out of which only the Capital has over a million population. Apart from the four cities, the rest of the urban settlements fall below 50.000 inhabitants.

Against this background, Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) supported the GIZ Local Governance South Caucasus in the following fields:

  • Facilitating a workshop with key stakeholders to come up with a concept on the role of towns in regional development
  • Delivering a presentation on the German spatial and urban planning system
  • Elaborating a policy brief to define the potential role of cities in Georgia in regional

Commissioned by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Period:  2018 – 2019

Projektkurzevaluierung: Regionalfonds „Verwaltungsreform in der Östlichen Partnerschaft“

The objective of the Eastern Partnership Regional Fund for Public Administration Reform  is to support the Eastern Partnership countries  (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine)  to successfully implement public administration reforms. The Fund promotes the establishment of professional networks and communities of practitioners to generate peer-learning and to foster capacity building. This process takes place through piloting innovative approaches for public administration and transnational knowledge exchange. It also aims at improving the regulatory and institutional framework needed in the respective countries for the implementation of reforms.

The project evaluation carried out by Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) included a desktop analysis, an evaluation mission to Georgia and Armenia and reporting, and focused on the following areas:

  • Evaluation of the sub-measures of the project
  • To provide conclusions and recommendations for the conception of the follow-up project based on the evaluation of selected sub-measures
  • To lay the foundations for the review mission of the subsequent phase of the regional fund

Commissioned by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Period: 2019

Kapazitätsbedarfe bei der Schaffung nachhaltiger und klimafreundlicher Infrastruktur

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the projects “C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF)” and the “Financing Energy for Low Carbon Investment – Cities Advisory Facility (FELICITY)”, which support the provision of urban infrastructure. In order to ensure that their advice and support are tailored to the needs of their partner cities, the projects carry out comprehensive capacity needs assessments. The determined capacity needs form the basis for anticipating need for advice and support services for the planning and provision (including financing) of urban infrastructure.


The Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) evaluated a total of 16 capacity needs assessments in cities with the following objectives:

  • Comparative analysis of the carried out assessments of the capacity requirement
  • Outline of the anticipated advice and funding needs as well as primary fields of action
  • Recommendations for action to adapt GIZ’s advisory services

Commissioned by: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Period: 2019

Introducing our new Blog


Searching on the internet about urban development can be a nerve-racking experience. Frequently, the results end up in shiny best practice case studies or distract the reader with the latest ranking of the most polluted, the densest, the most expensive cities or the most liveable ones. Others might end up with checklists of the ten commandments to “make our cities friendlier for cyclists”, “better adapted for climate change” or “best prepared for the 21st century”.

Urban planning enjoys (or maybe suffers from) a particular characteristic. It is a field that is known and experienced – in one or the other – by a large portion of the world’s population. More than half of the world’s population (specifically 55.27% in 2019) spend most of their lives living in cities. Hence, urban planning can be compared to other disciplines such as law or politics; fields that we all deal with in one way or another. The way every person experiences these fields depends not only on the place we live at but is also influenced by our lifestyle, preferences, job, age, gender, health, financial conditions, and sometimes, even religion and physical appearance.

There are different approaches to urban issues. This section of our website is dedicated to reflections upon our own observations and to present opinions that are the results of our office team’s double profile as everyday residents and as urban planners, with an academic and professional education in the field, and also in additional disciplines such as architecture, public administration and law.

Our objective is not to provide answers. We won’t reveal the hidden truth that hasn’t been discovered yet. Instead, we aim at providing informed and concise reflections to bring urban development closer to any reader interested.

Experiencing a host city for the first time

Moving to a new city can be a life-changing experience. In some cases, it could be compared with how brown bears must feel at the beach or colorful amazonic parrots in the Sahara Desert. We humans face enormous challenges when finding ourselves living in a different city than the one we were born or settled for a long time. Tips and advice for all brave individuals experiencing it can be as multi-faceted as the reasons why people move to a different city. Let’s construct two hypotheses that influence the experience of moving to a new city:

  • Firstly, moving to a new city is better when it is the consequence of a voluntary decision for a change in personal life or as a family decision. In comparison, moving to another city as a last resource due to an insecure or non-viable situation that pushes people to abandon their home cities and frequently their countries, entails a completely different set of “arrival experiences”.
  • Secondly, the experience is presumably better when there is a clear plan on how one will spend his/her time productively, studying or working for example, than when there is not certain plan on how life will look like in the new place.

Many scholars and policy-makers have conceptualized groups of cities such as “destination cities” or “host cities”, “arrival cities”, “refugee cities” or “sanctuary cities” due to the large migration they received or are receiving presently. But in general terms, any city can be a destination or a welcoming city. The way its administrations, businesses and residents act as hosts can make the way a new-comer experiences a city for the first time either a nightmare or an enriching and inspiring experience.

Are you and longtime resident of your city? Do you consider yourself a local or a fully adapted and integrated long-term migrant? Or do you perceive yourself, on the other hand, as temporary or permanent “guest” in a new city? Regardless of your answer, you might possibly be interested in the following  examples which we use to reflect on the framework in host cities and to understand the challenges newcomers likely face in any city.

Sofiya Chuhuyevets

M.Sc. Urban Design

Employee at Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) in Leipzig

Project manager for competitions and awarding at D&K drost consult GmbH, Hamburg

Internship at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the global project Connective Cities, Bonn

Masters degree in Urban Design (M.Sc.) at HafenCity University Hamburg

Internship at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the project “Municipal Development and Old Town Redevelopment in Lviv, Ukraine”.

Internship at Ranger Design im Bereich Innenarchitektur und Ausstellungsgestaltung, Stuttgart

Bachelor’s degree in Innenarchitektur  (B.A.) at the  Fachhochschule Rosenheim