The fundamental goal of the society is the study of urban development and urbanization in German-speaking countries.

The orientation of the society is cross-epochal, but includes in particular the urban development of the modern era.

On this basis, the GSU sets itself the following tasks:

  • Supporting research cooperation between German universities, but also between universities and non-university research institutions

  • Organization of scientific conferences and colloquia

  • Support of young scientists

  • Editing of a publication organ Modern Urban History (MSG) and a publication series


One of the most important goals of GSU is to promote young scholars in the field of historical and interdisciplinary urban and urbanization research. Therefore, GSU offers travel grants for the participation in the annual International Conference on Urban History of the European Association of Urban History.


The GSU Research Award is intended to recognize an outstanding dissertation in the field of urban history and historical urbanization research on the period 18th-20th century. The prize money amounts to 1.000 €. Young scholars who have made a theoretical, methodological or empirical contribution to historical urban and urbanization research from various disciplinary perspectives are invited and eligible to participate.


Modern Urban History (MSG)

Published since 1970, Modern Urban History (MSG) – until 2017 Information on Modern Urban History (IMS) – is aimed at anyone working in the field of German urban and municipal history of the 19th and 20th centuries or interested in its themes and problems.

Contributions to Urban History and Urbanization Research

The „Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte und Urbanisierungsforschung“ (Contributions to Urban History and Urbanization Research) have been published since 2003 as a book series of the GSU by Franz Steiner Verlag. In it, scholarly works on the history of cities and urbanization in the 19th and 20th centuries from various disciplinary contexts are published. The series is aimed at all scholars and practitioners interested in historical urban research. Submitted manuscripts undergo a review process by the editors. Interested parties seeking publication of their manuscript in the series may contact the managing editor Christoph Bernhardt (bernhardt@irs-net.de) directly.