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Funded by the German Research Foundation


Governance of the Discontinuation of Socio-Technological Systems 

Duration: 01 November 2012–30 September 2015

[Translate to English:] Bildlogo Projekt DiscGo

Research goal

The purpose of the project is to better understand the governance of the dismantling of socio-technological systems. In the in­ter­na­tio­nal project network, we analyse technological politiy decisions that relate to the phase-out of established technologies (e.g., nuclear power, automobiles with combustion engines). With a view to the targeted termination of socio-technological systems, the project represents an alternative to traditional control research, which focuses primarily on the management of innovations.

Research questions

  • Are there (cross-technological) commonalities regarding the termination of socio-technological systems and related control efforts? What patterns can be identified?
  • Which stakeholders are involved in the phase-out processes and how do they get involved?
  • Are the abandonment of diverse technologies and corresponding governance efforts influenced by national or transnational developments and stakeholders?
  • What opportunities and obstacles does the governance of discontinuation encounter?

Research methods

To answer these questions, we use a combination of different methods, including case studies, network analyses and computer simulations.

Project structure

The project comprises four teams in four countries, each responsible for a different case study:



Results of the "Automobility" sub-study

The core results of the "Automobility" sub-study can be found in the following publications:


Location & approach

The  Technical University of Dortmund campus is located near the Dortmund West autobahn junction, where the A45  (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the A40 (Ruhrschnellweg B1). The most convenient autobahn exits are found on the A45 in Dortmund-Eichlinghofen (closer to the south campus) and on the B1 / A40 in Dortmund-Dorstfeld (closer to the north campus). The university is signposted at both exits.

The TU Dortmund has its own S-Bahn station ("Dortmund Universität") on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund’s central station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf’s central station via "Bahnhof Düsseldorf Flughafen". This makes the university directly accessible from the cities of Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg. Furthermore, the TU Dortmund may be reached via buslines 445, 447 and 462.
Individual timetable information for public transport is also available on the website of the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association, and the Dortmund Transport Authority also offers an interactive route network map.

One of the landmarks of the TU is the H-Bahn overhead monorail which connects the two campuses. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between the stops Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Center via Campus South and Dortmund Universität S. Line 2 shuttles every 5 minutes between the stops Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.

To get from the Dortmund airport to the campus, we recommend taking the "Airport Express" to Dortmund's central train station (20 minutes), and then boarding the S-Bahn there.  A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometres away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.