Launch of Morgenstadt City Challenge

Morgenstadt City Challenge
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International competition: Open to all municipalities aiming to improve their sustainability credentials

What makes a town or city fit for the future? Fraunhofer IAO, together with its numerous industry and city partners in the Innovation Network “Morgenstadt: City Insights” has developed an action-oriented model to provide precise answers to this question. Now they’ve launched an international competition, the Morgenstadt City Challenge, to select three cities to implement the new Morgenstadt model for sustainable urban development.

The three winners will benefit from access to an extensive range of research and consulting services tailored to their specific requirements:

  • Analysis of current status: What level has the city reached with respect to sustainable development, for instance, in terms of resource saving, openness to innovation, and quality of life?
  • Analysis of present and future needs for action
  • Support with the development of strategies and their implementation

By participating in this project, the winners of the City Challenge will benefit from the opportunity to enhance their profile as attractive and innovative locations. The first city will be selected on June 26, 2014; the closing date for applications is June 10. A second round will follow; applications can be submitted until October 10, 2014. The necessary documents must be submitted online via the site

The Innovation Network comprises 15 cities, 25 companies, and ten Fraunhofer Institutes – all high-level first-movers already working in the field of urban sustainability. They are pursuing a holistic approach that combines individual concepts such as smart cities and sustainable urban development with proven innovation strategies. The Innovation Network has developed an action-oriented model based on six deep-dive analyses and hundreds of case studies to enable other cities to improve their sustainability credentials.

The first stage of this model involves analyzing the need for action in core areas of the urban development system. A comprehensive set of indicators is evaluated to determine the current status in key technology sectors including energy and resources, urban water infrastructure, mobility and traffic, buildings, information and communication technology, and economic and business innovation. The subsequent analysis covering over 80 key areas of application provides a detailed picture of the city’s sustainability status today – enabling strategic priorities to be set in accordance with an action plan that outlines the concrete steps required to implement its transformation process. The network partners work together with the participating cities to develop forward-looking scenarios and innovative transformation projects for selected aspects of urban development, and also help to identify potential funding sources.

Cities wishing to participate in the Morgenstadt City Challenge must have more than 100,000 inhabitants and a clearly defined sustainability mission statement. Applicants must provide us with a brief outline of their strategy, underlining their willingness to invest in a medium-term program of measures designed to promote urban sustainability and confirming their interest in a holistic approach to strategy development. They will also be expected to set up a team representing all municipal functions to participate in various workshops and finance 25 percent of the project costs through their own means. This will maximize their chance of counting among the pioneers of sustainable urban development.

Further information