Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll

Dr Knöll is full professor at Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. In Darmstadt, he directs the Urban Design and Planning Unit at the Department of Architecture. Together with his team of more than 10 researchers, Dr Knöll aims to contribute to the much-needed transformation of cities towards more inclusive and healthy living environments. His current research focuses on building empiric data in neuro urbanism and new participatory approaches in people-centered urban design. He is a registered architect and is active in working groups at the German Institute of Urbanism and the Academy of Territorial Planning in the Leibnitz Society. In 2020, Dr Knöll has been awarded a Heisenberg Grant by the German Research Association (DFG) for his project “Urban Design and Health”.

CV (opens in new tab)
Profile (Ger)

09/2021 Full Professor (W3) of Urban Design and Planning,TU Darmstadt
2020 Associate Professor of Architecture and Wellbeing, Aalborg University, DK, declined
2014 – 2021 Assistant Professor (W1) of Urban Health Games, TU Darmstadt
2013 – 2014 Research Group Leader, TU Darmstadt
2012 – 2013 Postdoctoral Researcher, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
2012 Doctorate (Dr.-Ing.) in Architecture and Urban Planning, Universität Stuttgart
2010 – Registered Architect, Architekten- und Stadtplanerkammer Hessen
2009 – 2012 DAAD Doctoral Fellow, Middlesex University London, United Kingdom
2007 Diploma (Dipl.Ing.) in Architecture, Universität Stuttgart
Funded research projects as principal investigator (PI)
2021 – 2026 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Heisenberg program: Urban Design and Health, € 593,620
2021 – 2024 DFG project grant: Restorative Boulevards – Urban design elements to promote mental wellbeing in inner-city arterial streets of the Frankfurt Rhein-Main agglomeration, Germany, € 247,370
2018 – 2022 Research excellence programme of the State of Hesse: LOEWE SP Infrastructure – Design – Society; Urban Design & Multimodal Mobilities , € 3.5 Mio (€ 460,000 PI)
2019 – 2022 European Union Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership: UrbanScope – Urban Sustainable Mobility in focus: student education, community involvement and participative planning , total € 300,000 for consortium (€ 98,000 for PI)
2021 – 2022 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): International Virtual Academic Collaboration 2021-2022 – Transatlantic Architectural Discourse, € 38,000
2020 – 2021 DAAD: International Virtual Academic Collaboration 2020-2021 – Transatlantic Architectural Discourse, € 168,892 for consortium (€ 50,000 PI)
2019 – 2020 City of Frankfurt: Temporary Traffic Calming at River Mainkai – Before / After Study of Pedestrian Comfort, € 30,000
2018 – 2019 City of Darmstadt: Green and Active Schoolyards – Design interventions to promote physical activity and climate adaptation, € 21,000
2018 DFG International Scientific Event: Accessible Hubs – International workshop on Universal Design in urban mobility systems , 8th and 9th November 2018, € 13,200
2016 – 2019 Coordinator of EU / DAAD Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership: PREHealth – Promoting education and jobs to enhance the use of urban blue and green infrastructure for health and fitness , € 355,000 (€ 122,000)
2017 – 2019 Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH: Frankfurt Book Fair for All – Improving pedestrian accessibility by addressing physical and informational barriers , € 68,000
2017 Novo Nordisk Germany: Cities Changing Diabetes, € 3,500
2016 – 2018 TU Darmstadt Seed Fund: Active Learning Spaces – a pilot study on co design in healthy schools , € 18,000
2016 – 2017 ECE Project Management GmbH: Pedestrian accessibility and user perception in Aquis Plaza Aachen , € 39,000
2016 German Diabetes Foundation + City of Stuttgart public health funds: Urban design, physical activity and diabetes therapy for young type-1-patients , € 11,000
2016 – 2020 TU Darmstadt Grant Excellence in Teaching: Smart and Inclusive Cities , € 80,000
2013 – 2016 TU Darmstadt Grant for Interdisciplinary Teaching: Urban Health Games, € 135,000 (€ 25,000)
2022 EDAD Award 2022 – “Excellent Design For All”. Award for research and teaching with the “Inclusive Lab”
2021 Athene Preis für Gute Lehre – Award for Good Teaching
2020 DFG Heisenberg Grant "Urban Design and Health“
2019 Award 2019 »Excellent Design for All« for Frankfurt Book Fair project
2017 Travel Grant, Strategic Partnership TU Darmstadt / Virginia Tech, Washington D.C.
2015 Travel Grant, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Washington D.C.
2013 – 2018 Appointed Research Group Leader in TU Darmstadt University Industry Collaborative (UNICO) Initiative, Funding for own position + research infrastructure + 1 PhD student, externally funded by State of Hesse with € 814,000.
2012 – 2013 Fellow, AkademieSchloss Solitude, Stuttgart (Juror: Prof. Beatriz Colomina, Princeton University, NJ)
2009 – 2012 Doctoral Fellowship, Landesgraduiertenstiftung Baden-Württemberg
2008 – 2009 Karl-Steinbuch Fellowship, MFG Stiftung Baden-Württemberg


Knöll, Martin, Podiumsdiskussion, New Rooms for Mobility in Frankfurt, Uni Frankfurt – Räume für die Mobilität in Frankfurt, 05.07.2022, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.


Knöll, Martin: Mobilität, autonomes & vernetztes Fahren und Städtebau, Beitrag zu „Koalitionsvertrag im Expertise-Check“, TU Darmstadt, 25.11.2021

Knöll, Martin, Gesundheitsfördernde Stadtplanung, Fachtagung Stadtpsychologie, 18.09.2021, Psych-Alumni der Universität Zürich.

Knöll, Martin, Aktivierende urbane Freiräume mitgestalten – Spielerische Interventionen in der Stadtplanung, Diabetes Kongress 2021, 13.05.2021, Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft, online.

Knöll, Martin, Inklusive, gesunde Städte, Berufungsvortrag für die Professur Entwerfen und Stadtplanung , TU Darmstadt, 12.02.2021, online.


Knöll, Martin, Teilnahme an der Podiumsdiskussion „Innenstadt“ in der Reihe „Frankfurt machen“, 20.08.2002, Mainkai Café, Frankfurt am Main.

Knöll, Martin, Stadtumbauprojekt Darmstadt Ost – Perspektiven für die Umsetzung einer inklusiven, gesundheitsfördernden Stadtgestaltung?, Kongress Armut und Gesundheit 2020, Berlin. Session – Kongress Armut und Gesundheit 2020

Knöll, Martin, Digitale Werkzeuge für gesunde Städte, Akademisches Viertel, Forum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung (FiF), 15.01.2020, TU Darmstadt. Das Akademische Viertel

Knöll, Martin, Street networks and isovists analysis in Neurourbanism, Cognitive Science Colloquium, 15.01.2020, Centre of Cognitive Science, TU Darmstadt. Cognitive Science


Knöll, Martin, Von Schweinehunden und Bewegungsrouten – Digitale Beteiligungswerkzeuge für gesunde Städte, 13. Bundeskongress Nationale Stadtentwicklungspolitik 2019 (opens in new tab) , 19.10.2019, Stuttgart.

Knöll, Martin, On isovists and street networks in Neurourbanism, Ph.d. Course: ARCHITECTURE, NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHY (opens in new tab) , 02.102019, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Knöll, Martin, An introduction to the EU Erasmus+ funded action and research project PREHealth, International Conference “Promoting the use of urban blue and green infrastructure for health and fitness“, 20.06.2019, Athens, Greece.

Knöll, Martin, ”Public space and pedestrian stress perception: Insights from Germany“, Symposium: Reframing Research on Urban Mobility and Wellbeing: new technologies, global contexts, Einberufen von: Sara Carr, Northeastern University, Jenny Roe, University of Virginia, EDRA50 Brooklyn Sustainable Urban Environments, NYC, 22.-26.05.2019.

Knöll, Martin, “Green, Active, Open – Approaches from Health-Promoting Urban Planning”, at the event Healthy or sick: A question of where you live? – What does urban development contribute?, Munich, 19.05.2019.


Knöll, Martin: „Urban Design and Mobility" at the interdisciplinary forum of the Schader-Stiftung in Darmstadt, 30.10.2018

Knöll, Martin: „City Backstage Park – Activating Green Spaces with Urban Acupuncture“, 4. Bürgerveranstaltung Stadtumbau Darmstadt-Ost, Stiftskirche Darmstadt, 13. Juni 2018. Flyer (opens in new tab)

Knöll, Martin: “Movement-Promoting Architectures”, Department of Architecture / Interior Design Hochschule Darmstadt, 7. Juni 2018.

Knöll, Martin, “City as a Health-Promoting Living Environment? Approaches from Urban Planning”, at the event Healthy or Sick – a Question of Where You Live?, Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank, München, 19. März 2018.


Knöll, Martin and Holder, Martin, (Klinikum Stuttgart), “Urban factors influencing physical activity and diabetes therapy“, Health Conference Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 14 November

Knöll, Martin, Health-promoting urban design, ”Smart Cities and Urban Solutions – a Danish-German Exchange“, Kgl. Dänische Botschaft, Berlin, 13th Oct 2017

Knöll, Martin, "Innovative GIS based approaches for healthy city planning“, CityHealth 2017, Basle, 13-14th Sep 2017

Knöll, Martin. Digital participation in health-promoting urban design, ARL Kongress 2017: Integrating health into spatial planning, Potsdam, 11.+12.05. 2017

Knöll, Martin, Collective Mapping of Health Promoting Urban Spaces, German Alliance Non-Communicable Diseases (DANK), German Diabetes Foundation, Berlin, 05.04.2017


Knöll, Martin. Mobile Participation. Healthy New Cities. Evening lectures of the AG Stadtforschung, TU Darmstadt: Research Group Urban Health Games.
Poster (opens in new tab)

Knöll, Martin, Environmental factors and tools to analyze perceived stress in open spaces. ANFA 2016: CONNECTIONS – BRIDGESYNAPSES. 23rd-24th September 2016, La Jolla, CA: Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. Full video

Knöll, Martin, Mobile Participation in Design & Health – tools to learn about and co design healthy places, Invited talk in session: Innovative spatial methods and tools for Healthy City Planning, Dortmund: TU Dortmund & Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL), 09.06.2016

Knöll, Martin, Inter- and transdisciplinary reflection on health-promoting urban development for all: national and international perspectives, participation in panel discussion moderated by Rainer Fehr and Sabine Baumgart, City of the Future: Promoting Sustainability and Health Together – New Methodological Approaches, Dortmund: TU Dortmund & Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL), 09.06.2016


Knöll, Martin, „Active Design – health promoting urban design?.“ Sufficiency Strategies – Urban Architecture, Summer School, Department of Architecture, TU Darmstadt, 22.07.2015

Knöll, Martin. “E-Partizipation als innovatives Instrument zur Beteiligungsförderung.“ Experten-Workshop: Gesundheitsfördernde Stadtregionen des Arbeitskreises „Planung für gesundheitsfördernde Stadtregionen“. Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL). TU Dortmund, 8. + 9.06.2015

Knöll, Martin. „Gameful Green – Promoting walkability in suburbia.“, Symposium Peripheral Museum of Contemporary Art (PMCA), Architectural Association, School of Architecture London. Visiting Summer School im Salon Kennedy, Frankfurt, 15.03.2015


Knöll, Martin. „Urbanism, health promotion and games.“ Geeloquium – Games and Experimental Entertainment Lab, Prof. Dr. Steffen Walz, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, RMIT Europe, Karlsruhe, 16.10.2014

Knöll, Martin. “Architecture & … the Urban Condition.” Group Exhibition, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, AKADEMIE SCHLOSS SOLITUDE, 22.11.2013 – 22.01.2014


Knöll, Martin. ““Digital Games for Health Promoting Cities.” Lecture at the Bended Realities Festival 2013, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, 25.05.2013
2023 International Working Group "Urban Planning for Health Equity“, Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL)
2020 Scientific Board “Public Health Congress” TU Berlin
Since 2019 Board of Directors, UrbanGrad – Graduate School of Urban Studies / Interdisciplinary PhD Programme at TU Darmstadt
Since 2018 Department Representative, Ingenium – Young Researchers at TU Darmstadt
Since 2017 Member of Task Force “Health-oriented Urban Planning“ / Gesundheitsfördernde Gemeinde- und Stadtentwicklung (AGGSE), Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik, Berlin
2017 – 2019 Member of Ethics Commission, TU Darmstadt
2017 Reviewer for journals Environment and Planning B, Building and Environment, Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour

Picture: Gregor Schuster