City Labs

© cinoby - istock; draghicich, MasterLu - Fotolia
© Noppasinw - Fotolia
Prague was the first city to convinc the jury at the City Challenge and thus won a Morgenstadt City Lab.
© JFL Photography - Fotolia
The area of the airport Tegel in Berlin was the winner of the fourth round of the Morgenstadt City Challenge.
Lisbon won the Morgenstadt City Challenge as the third city in 2015.

Fraunhofer IAO: Morgenstadt City Labs


The »Morgenstadt City Lab« is a unique approach to boost a city’s transition towards a sustainable, innovation driven and prosperous future. An interdisciplinary team of experts analyses your city based on a one-of-its-kind urban systems model and supports you with the development of an integrated smart city roadmap and investment plan.

In order to support cities in becoming more environmentally friendly, prosperous, livable and resilient, Fraunhofer has developed the Morgenstadt City Lab Framework focused on the interplay of groundbreaking technologies, efficient business models and inno­vative governance approaches for a sustainable urban development. Digitization offers new opportunities, but at the same time requires re-thinking of urban systems towards interconnected systems based on urban data. These developments hold great potential for sustainable and resilient urban future, but only if they are aligned with the city‘s long-term development goals, business strategies, and in particular with the varying demands of the city‘s users.

In the face of the increasing complexity of urban development challenges, a new urban planning paradigm championing the co-creation approach has gained relevance. This paradigm has been adopted as guiding principle for the Morgenstadt City Lab Framework, because it has been proven that an early involvement of relevant urban stakeholders such as technology providers, financing institutions and end users into the project planning process helps the city amplify its innovation potential and stream­line future-oriented development.

What happens in a Morgenstadt City Lab?


A City Lab starts with a full-fledged analysis of the city’s sustainability performance comparing ca. 100 city indicators, assessing ca. 85 action fields and conducting expert interviews with ca. 50 key city stakeholders. This analysis informs an integrated smart city roadmap and investment plan that outlines a range of locally anchored projects across multiple sectors meant to catalyse future-proof urban development.

Analysis and actions address three key areas of smart city development:

  1. Urban leadership: The City Lab process helps you adapt your governance system so that your city successfully masters the transition towards an innovation driven and digitally supported municipal organization that is able to pursue long-term strategies and at the same time reap short-term benefits of the smart city.
  2. Socio-economic strategies:  we support the activation of your local innovation ecosystem and help your city work closely with research, businesses and citizens to solve current challenges and pursue a sustainable and innovation-driven growth model.
  3. Technologies & Infrastructures: we help you identify and activate the most promising investments in clean and connected technologies and infrastructures in the key areas of energy, ICT, water and waste management, mobility and logistics, buildings, resilience and security.

Based on the assessment results, innovative projects are designed in a co-creation process with local stakeholders, ensuring development of demand-driven, user-friendly and locally-attuned projects. In order to ensure success at both the implementation and operation stages, the projects will be underpinned with viable business models and alternative financing strategies. To maximise the impact and achieve maximum synergy, the proposed projects will be integrated into the city‘s urban development plans and strategies.


Results and outcomes:


  • Individual smart city / sustainability profile that shows current strengths and challenges of the city;
  • A detailed analysis of specific urban sectors (e.g. mobility, energy, water supply, environment protection, etc.)
  • An action oriented roadmap including a set of integrated state-of-the-art projects to boost local innovation and sustainable development
  • 3-5 system-wide projects ready for immediate implementation
  • Activation of key stakeholders for project implementation and operation push


Smart City Finance


  • Cost-benefit & risk analysis of selected projects
  • Identification of public funding and development of financial instruments and programs.
  • Design of investments strategies and plans for the identified projects.

This may be of interest to you:


City Lab Berlin TXL

Here you can find the operation model, financing suggestions and innovation ideas for the Tegel area. 


City Lab Chemnitz

The Saxony city will anchorage its urban development strategically. 


City Lab Prague

The Czech capital will improve itself as smart Prague with an innovation quarter and a transportation app. 


City Lab Tbilisi

In the Georgian capital there have been developed recommendations after indepth analysis in order to improve the sustainability and life quality in the city. 


City Lab Lisbon

In the Portuguese capital a forum has been established in order to cross-connect actors of industry, research and administration. 


City Lab Joinville

Innovative Mobility Solutions are created in the brazilian city of Joinville.