Mar 12, 2013
Representatives from science, business, and local communities launch initiative to help shape the CO2-neutral city of the future
What will define the city of the future? On March 5, 30 representatives from science, business, and local communities, including Fraunhofer IAO in its role as coordinator of Fraunhofer’s Morgenstadt (city of the future) initiative, came together in Berlin to launch a joint initiative aimed at exploring the scientific possibilities behind this question. The Platform falls under the umbrella of a future project focused on creating the CO2-neutral city of the future, which in turn is part of the German federal government’s high-tech strategy.
The objective for the next two years is to generate concepts of how cities can be made as CO2 neutral, energy efficient and climate adapted as possible. Lead representatives for the German government are the Federal Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF) and of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS). The Platform falls under the umbrella of a future project focused on creating the CO2-neutral city of the future, which in turn is part of the German government’s high-tech strategy.
For BMBF State Secretary Georg Schütte, this kind of research is crucial for determining how cities are to be developed in future: “In just a few years’ time, two thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities. The BMBF intends to establish the necessary scientific basis for keeping cities livable now and in future. In doing this, we have to consider not only the issues of conserving resources and saving energy, but also the effects of climate change.”
BMVBS State Secretary Rainer Bomba points out the special role that cities must play in tackling the challenges faced by our society: “Cities are the testing grounds for living and working together, and fostering their development in terms of economics, infrastructure and environmental compatibility remains the joint task of society, business, science and politics.”
The National Platform for the City of the Future has set itself the task of developing a comprehensive strategic research agenda. This involves better coordination among ongoing programs, and connecting research projects on many different levels – a process which will also open up new areas of research. At the heart of the matter are the questions of energy and resource efficiency, climate adjustment, and the governance of our cities, and it will take a cross-system approach to get to grips with them. Getting future users of the new technologies involved early on ensures success when putting findings into practice.
Spokespersons for the Platform are Prof. Dr. Michael Krautzberger, President of the German Academy for Urban and Regional Spatial Planning, and Prof. Dr. Dieter Spath, director of Fraunhofer IAO. The main office of the National Platform for the City of the Future is operated jointly by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu).