Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative

Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) supports pilot cities in India, Mexico and Peru in the development and implementation of sustainable transformation processes and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”).

As central funding instrument for climate and biodiversity projects, IKI has been financing projects focusing on the contribution to climate protection, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity since 2008.




The Morgenstadt Global Initiative is concluded

With finishing the three pilots, MGI as a whole has also come to an end. The experts and partners look back at their highlights and lessons learned from the project.



User-centered city planning in Piura

The pilot project in Piura transformed a neglected public space into a promenade for pedestrians with benches, sport equipment and playground through user-centered urban planning.



Saltillo: Solutions to floodings and heat

In the now finished project a regularly flooded green area was adapted to heavy rainfalls and heat.



Project in Kochi initiates sustainable neighborhood

The project opened up ways towards transforming the Elamakkara neighborhood with renewable energy, natura-based water treatment and integrating Green Infrastructure to address climate challenges.



A Guide to Gender Justice and Urban Planning 

The guide summarizes the results of the roundtable on gender and resilient cites and puts them into a wider context with guidelines for practitioners.



Climate Risk and Resilience in the Global Context

The report shows with the example of the MGI pilot cities how locally adapted solutions and strategies for climate change adaption can be developed with the Morgenstadt Methodology.



Final Conference: Results from four years of MGI

The results of the conference showed how the Morgenstadt Methodology was successfully applied for developing locally tailored solutions to climate change in cities worldwide.



Roundtabel on Gender and Resilient Cities

On March 8, MGI invites all interested parties to discuss the relevance of gender for urban resilience and sustainable development with an interdisciplinary group of experts.



MGI Review of the Year 2022

MGI looks back at an eventful year full of important progresses in the pilot projects. The review invites to look at the milestones, activities, and publications accomplished during 2022.




User-centered city planning in Saltillo

To include the needs of the neighborhood in the planning process, MGI in Saltillo invited the future users of the pilot project to an interactive workshop.




MGI launches new podcast series: MGI Expert Interviews

In the first episode of this new podcast series, MGI talks with gender expert Juliet Kariuki about gender-inclusive city planning and women in the climate crisis.




Piura City Lab Coordinators at the PLEA 2022

The Piura City Lab Coordinators presented two papers about their research results in relation to urban transformation in Piura at this year’s PLEA conference in Chile.




Smart City Finance Report Published

This detailed analysis of financial sources for sustainable urban transformation in the MGI partner countries serve as a blueprint example for similar projects worldwide.




MGI at the Sustainable Cities Meeting in Mexico

Due to the application of the City Lab Method and the integration of nature-based solutions, the pilot project of Saltillo was invited to the Sustainable Cities Meeting in Mexico City.



MGI Webinar on Smart City Financing

The webinar introduced possible financing mechanisms for smart cities. Five international experts presented use cases and best practice examples.



Design concept of pilot in Piura approved

The MGI local team in Piura presented the design concept of the pilot project. The municipality and the residents approved. The construction works can now move forward.




Neighborhood inclusion in the pilot project in Piura

To include the needs of the neighborhood where the MGI pilot project is implemented, the local team in Piura conducted three interactive workshops with the residents.




MGI in Piura provides capacity building for GIS software

The local implementation partners of the MGI pilot project as well as municipality officials were trained in the software tools QGIS and CARTO in a workshop of 36 hours in total.




Progress in Kochi towards implementation

Energy expert Gerhard Stryi-Hipp has visited Kochi. With the residents committee they selected buildings for the installment of photovoltaic panels as part of the pilot project.



Implementation site in Saltillo is selected

During a site-visit, the Saltillo City Lab team has selected the implementation site of the pilot project. They also presented the project to the new mayor of the city.




MGI Webinar on 13th of May

The webinar gave an insight in nature-based solutions for sustainable urban development and climate resilience with experts from Italy, Finland, and Argentina.




Analysis Process of All City Labs Concluded

The pilot projects are now entering the implementation phase. In Piura and Saltillo, the focus lies on restoring green public spaces. Kochi focuses on energy efficient and green buildings.



City Profile Summary Report of Piura

The publication summarizes the results of the analysis by the City Lab Piura. It includes a sustainability profile of the city and a roadmap for the implementation process, within others.




Publication City Lab Saltillo

The executive summary of the Saltillo City Profile has been published in a report. It contains information on the city and sector analysis conducted, the sustainability profile, the action-oriented roadmap and project ideas.



MGI Webinar "Urban Water Management for Climate Resilience"

On November 19, MGI hosted a webinar to discuss urban water management challenges and solutions with MGI stakeholders and international experts.



MGI Webinar "Integrated Planning for Resilient Cities"

The third webinar in the MGI webinar series was held within the Morgenstadt digital event series and focused on tools and approaches to integrated urban planning for climate-resilient cities.



Publication City Lab Kochi

The executive summary of the City Lab Kochi was published. It contains information on the conducted city and sector analysis, the sustainability profile as well as the action-oriented roadmap and project ideas.


MGI Exchange Session

On 12 November 2020 a digital Exchange Session of the MGI was held in the context of an internal Morgenstadt meeting. The objective was to provide a platform to exchange experiences and best practices between the pilot cities Kochi (India), Saltillo (Mexico) and Piura (Peru).



Official launch of the MGI website

The Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative has a new online presence! On the website the three pilot cities Kochi, Saltillo and Piura as well as MGI partner organizations and individual team members are introduced. 



COVID-19 Interactive Working Session

On 30 July 2020 the first COVID-19 Interactive Working Session of the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) with participants from Germany, India, Mexico, and Peru was held. 



Stakeholder Meeting and Workshop in Kochi

In January 2020 representatives of MGI met during the City Lab in Kochi to discuss future project ideas and solutions for the sectors water, energy and housing.



Kick-Off Event

In November 2019 the official Kick-off event of MGI with representatives from the three pilot cities, partners from the Morgenstadt Network and experts from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft took place during the Morgenstadt Innovation Network Meeting in Barcelona.


MGI's primary objective is to mitigate the consequences of climate change in the pilot cities, to increase their resilience towards climate risks and to ensure the preservation of natural resources.
The close international cooperation with partners from research, economy and politics, the exchange of knowledge and experience between the pilot cities as well as the expertise of the Morgenstadt Network are therefore the key to success.


For each of MGI's pilot cities, the transformation path starts with the City Lab, which was developed by the Morgenstadt Initiative. The Morgenstadt framework is adapted to the specific impact factors of each city in order to create a comprehensive sustainability profile by conducting on-site visits, meetings and workshops in collaboration with important local actors over the course of several weeks. The profile presents strengths, weaknesses and areas of need of the urban system and identifies potentials, opportunities and risks.


During the City Lab process key sectors are defined which require action. Based on the data analysis and in co-operation with local stakeholders, a strategic roadmap is developed, according to which innovative measures and projects are devised and their implementation and financing are initiated.

Kochi – India

Kochi is located on the Malabar Coast in the Ernakulam District of Kerala State and consists of several low-lying islands and peninsulas. The coastal location makes the city one of the major ports of India, attracting workforce from neighboring areas. With over 600,000 inhabitants, Kochi is one of the most important cities on the west coast in the fields of finance, trade and tourism. On the other hand, its location poses great challenges for Kochi such as rising sea levels and changing rain patterns. In addition to flooding, increasingly built-up city areas cause negative effects, such as the urban heat island effect.
In order to increase resilience to the effects of climate change, MGI works mainly in the energy, housing and water sectors with a focus on energy efficiency, water pollution control and locally adapted construction methods.

Saltillo – Mexiko

With almost one million inhabitants, Saltillo is the capital as well as the largest city in the state of Coahuila de Zaragoza in northeastern Mexico. Due to a dry, medium-warm climate with scarce rainfall, which increases in summer, the Saltillo region is often threatened by droughts, extreme temperatures and flooding.
Its location close to the US-Mexican border makes Saltillo a popular location for production facilities of major automobile manufacturers, a factor that contributes to the city's prosperity but also presents a challenge in improving the sustainability profile of these large industrial facilities.
MGI is mainly concerned with the sectors energy, mobility and water. The project considers climate change mitigation and adaptation as an overarching priority among the different sectors.

Piura – Peru

Located in northwest Peru at the banks of the Chira river, Piura is the fifth biggest city in the country and the capital of the Piura region with about 473,000 inhabitants. Rapid growth of the city and population as well as a lack of long-term urban planning strategies have led to the unregulated settlement in environmentally sensitive areas.
Due to its geographical location, Peru is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change, with extreme temperature fluctuations and irregular rainfall, as well as the melting of the Andean glaciers, which threatens the water supply. Piura in particular is exposed to El Niño and La Niña events that pose the dangers of floods and landslides.
In Piura, MGI focuses on the urban planning, water and energy sectors in order to increase the resilience towards climate risks and to guarantee broad access to water and electricity.

The coordination of the overall project is conducted by the University of Stuttgart, represented by the Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) working together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) on the basis of a cooperation agreement.

Implementation Partners:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO (Coordination Piura)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB (Coordination Kochi)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy System ISE
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (Coordination Saltillo)
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management FSFM
  • Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education ITESM, Mexico
  • Municipality of Piura, Peru
  • National Institute of Urban Affairs NIUA, India
  • Saltillo Municipal Institute of Planning IMPLAN, Mexico
  • University of Piura UDEP, Peru


  • Fernandez, T., Schroeder, S. (2021): “Global Approach - Local Solutions: Sectorial Planning Approaches for a Sustainable Urban Future in Piura, Peru”, from the conference proceedings for the Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) organized by TU Delft (peer-reviewed, DOI: 
  • Schroeder, S. Fernandez, T., Stöffler, S. (2022): “Contextualised guidelines and indicators for smart and sustainable urban project definition at local level in developing countries”, from the Regional Development and Regional Policy Journal, published by the Adam Mickiewicz University (peer reviewed, DOI: 10.14746/rrpr.2022.60s.06 
  • Fernandez, T., Schroeder, S. (2023): “Impact-Based Project Ideas for Sustainable Cities: The Case of Digital Planning Tools In Piura, Peru” from the conference proceedings for the 36th Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference PLEA, Conference Vol. 2, organized by the University of Utah and United Nations Academic Impact (peer-reviewed, Link:
  • Fernandez, T., Schroeder, S. (2023): “GIS for Sustainable Urban Transformation in Countries With Emerging Economies: The Case of Piura in Peru”, article published in the International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), 2023, vol. 12, issue 1, 1-20. (peer-reviewed, DOI: 
  • “The World Towards the Future. Global Initiative for Healthy Cities. Piura, Peru” in Publications Volume II of the First Academic Conference of the Sustainable Development Goals Utah Valley University, USA:
  •  Nature-Based Solutions through Blue-Green Infrastructure as Measure of Adaptation, Resilience and Liveability to Climate Change: Case Study City Lab Saltillo, Mexico




Webinar Schedule

  • Linking COVID-19 Response to Climate Action (January 2021)
  • Smart City Policies (März 2021)
  • Integrated Planning for Resilient Cities – Tools and Approaches (June 2021)
  • Urban Water Management for Climate Resilience (November 2021)
  • Climate Mitigation in the Mobility Sector (February 2022)
  • Nature-based Solutions and Climate Resilience (May 2022)
  • Smart City Finance and Procurement (October2022)

Further Information on the Project-Website