The research expertise of the Institute is characterised by three cross-cutting themes. Firstly, numerous members of the Institute are actively engaged in the field of climate research, which counts as one of the key areas of excellence of the Hamburg university landscape. Specific projects focus on the impacts and consequences of climate change for cities, land use and violent conflict worldwide as well as the communication and perception of climate change between science and society. Secondly, the Institute has developed a high level of expertise in the field of urban geography, with research focussed on global cities, social differentiation and planning policy questions of urban development in the context of sustainability. Thirdly, the geography of resources constitutes a particular focus of research activity. This research cluster is particularly concerned with questions of resource scarcity, resource perception and resource conflict.