Dr. Simone Sandholz is Research Associate in the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management & Adaptive Planning (VARMAP) section of UNU-EHS. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Dr. Sandholz has previously worked as assistant professor at the University of Innsbruck, where she was part of the working groups ‘Development Studies and Sustainability Science’ and ‘Natural Hazards Research’. At TH Köln University of Applied Sciences she has managed an international research project on the potentials of urban green spaces in Brazil and worked as scientific coordinator of the Center for Natural Resources and Development, a global university network under the “Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation” Programme of German Academic Exchange Service and German Federal Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ). Amongst others, she was involved in different activities related to urban areas, namely urban risk and risk reduction as well as resource efficient cities.
In her research Dr. Sandholz focusses on, sustainable urban and regional development, in particular on urban regeneration, nature-based solutions for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, good governance and livelihood approaches, based on empirical social research methods. She has conducted projects on aspects of urban resilience in Latin America and Asia, supported by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Eurasia-Pacific Uninet. For her MSc and PhD fieldworks she has received financial support from German Academic Exchange Service and the ASEAN European Academic University Network.
Besides her lecture activities at University of Innsbruck and TH Köln, she has been a guest lecturer in Nepal and Indonesia. Dr. Sandholz is also co-author of a MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate”, a joint initiative of UNEP and CNRD, where she authored the sessions on urban risk reduction as well as planning and management tools. Based on more than more than 18 months of field work in Latin America and Asia, Dr. Sandholz has published different papers and teaching materials on urban regeneration, urban risk and risk reduction with a focus on the Global South.