The IMPETUS project




Climate change threatens people's livelihoods in many regions of the world - the extent to which this causes them to leave their homeland and how it affects cities is an unsolved problem. The project “Climate Change Impacts on Migration and Urbanization” (Impetus) of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS) and the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to this topic. The aim is to model current and future international and national migratory movements under the influence of climate change and to assess their impact on urbanization. To this end, economic developments, diaspora situations, and political framework conditions are taken into account. The consortium combines interdisciplinary expertise from the fields of climate change, migration, and urban development.


The Project is funded by Leibniz Association and runs from 03/2018 until 08/2021.


Contact: Diego Rybski (coordinator), Jacob Schewe


Selected publications:

  • Helbling, M., & Meierrieks, D. (2021). How climate change leads to emigration: Conditional and long‐run effects. Review of Development Economics.
  • Rikani, A., & Schewe, J. (2021). Global bilateral migration projections accounting for diasporas, transit and return flows, and poverty constraints. Demographic Research, 45(4), 87-140.
  • Glockmann, M., Li, Y., Lakes, T., Kropp, J. P., & Rybski, D. (2021). Quantitative evidence for leapfrogging in urban growth. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 2399808321998713.
  • Helbling, M. (2020). Attitudes towards climate change migrants. Climatic Change, 1-14.
  • Heider, B., Stroms, P., Koch, J., & Siedentop, S. (2020). Where do immigrants move in Germany? The role of international migration in regional disparities in population development. Population, Space and Place, 26(8), e2363.

Impetus Webinar (registration-link)

Impetus Webinar Agenda (pdf)