The Concept

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Developing adaptive solutions in cooperation with Municipalities, Businesses and Research

Fraunhofer IAO and Stadtretter, together with actors from Administration, Economy, Research and Society, initiate an Innovation Partnership in order to develop innovative concepts for public space and city centres. The aim is to find adaptive solutions for a future-proof city. Participating partners will be enabled to weigh up current options for action using scientific findings, to evaluate them and to translate them into concrete measures for designing public spaces. Such implicit knowledge builds the ground for a discussion on changing frameworks of urban development. 


By involving the Morgenstadt Network, Stadtretter  and other Fraunhofer Institutes as well as partners from industry and administration, the initiative establishes a network for developing resilient solutions for public spaces and city centres of tomorrow. New intersectoral collaborations develop and test, under scientific monitoring, concrete solutions in the form of demonstrators and prototypes installed in public space. Thereafter those solutions will be prepared for further replication. The overall goal is the continuous development and progress of new (public) space and infrastructure concepts, which will make a decisive contribution to increasing quality of life and resilience in public spaces. The innovation partnership is part of the ongoing work programme of the Morgenstadt Innovation Network and follows the principles of the position statement  »Zukunftsfähige Städte und Regionen«.


The innovation partnership »City Centre 2030+ | Future Public Space« focuses on interdisciplinary conception, testing and the subsequent replication of real prototypes in public space. Holistic solutions have to be integrated into such a rapidly changing environment where conventional business models and financing mechanisms are not lasting. Too many components come together that make business development for market introduction out of the textbook difficult or even impossible, including not least the different spatial and social structure of cities. The solution lies in adaptive structures, which combine all aspects for successful planning and independent operation of an urban solution. Such solutions, adaptable for changing frameworks, will be developed by the Innovation Partnership. Participating partners of the program can directly place their own projects and subjects. The project partners gain first-hand knowledge through regular knowledge and information transfer. In addition to regular web talks and information formats, publications and a roadshow are also planned.

Living Labs as catalysts for innovation

Pursuing a continuous cooperation between the individual partners and constant scientific evaluation, the course of the project is based on the four successive principles of the living lab approach:


Defining the project objective “future public space” and identification of the transformation challenge. It will be discussed, which challenges the involved actors are facing.


In order to define future scenarios that address current challenges and show alternative development paths, this step consists of a needs and trend analysis. Visionary thinking and visualization are used to actively stimulate the public discourse. 


Deriving concrete measures and demonstrators that will be implemented with the help of the project partners. Those experiments build the foundation for learning how future-proof solutions for public spaces can be translated into practice.


Transfer and reflection of experiences and knowledge in form of a final report and a roadshow. In this step gained knowledge is summarized and made accessible for different interest groups. The aim is nationwide distribution and the initiation of further projects.