The Covid19 pandemic is omnipresent, drawing much public attention to urgent, acute issues of how to deal with the new challenges it poses. But even in these times, it is important to work on common, positive versions of the future.
The digital event series "Morgenstadt - City of the Future" from 18 June to 2 July explored the contribution that the Smart City can make to overcoming the current crisis. Not only acute issues in the context of the Covid19 pandemic were to be discussed here, but also other major problems were not neglected. Among other things, anthropogenic climate change poses major challenges for many cities and regions, which is why it is our declared goal to identify solutions and transformation paths for CO2-neutral, livable and resilient cities and to implement them in an exemplary manner with the help of social, technical and organizational innovations.
In a total of four events on 18 June, 24 June, 25 June and 2 July, the Morgenstadt Initiative, together with participants from local authorities, business and research, discussed these issues. The great response and the diverse forms of participation and feedback during the series of events encourage the Morgenstadt Initiative to continue on its path of close exchange with practitioners in urban system design.
For a deeper insight into the various workshops, please find below the short descriptions of the events, and at the top of the page the complete event presentations with the discussion contributions of the participants.
Internal meeting of the Morgenstadt Network (18 June 2020)
In the internal Morgenstadt meeting, important network developments and development potentials were discussed together with our partners. The new Steering Board members Lutz Heuser ([ui!] the urban institute), Henk Kok (City of Eindhoven) and Michael Materne (Deutsche Telekom AG) had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the network. Furthermore, Alexander Schmidt gave an overview of the future cooperation with the Fraunhofer IAO spin-off BABLE UG and of potentials for future collaborations.
Presentation of the Morgenstadt Work Program 2020-2021 & »Zukunftsfähige Städte und Regionen«
The Morgenstadt work program for the next two years has been presented. Morgenstadt has set itself ambitious goals because time is running out: If we do not succeed in significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the next few years, we must expect massive damage from global warming. To avoid this, we are focusing on promoting sustainable urban development at national and international level. In Germany, this means shaping the market in such a way that the implementation of sustainable solutions and digitization becomes possible for every municipality. For our international approach, this means adapting and developing our models, which have been tried and tested in Europe, to countries of the Global South and promoting new partnerships. Over the next two years, we have planned various activities in these areas, which were presented and discussed during this event. We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for the many positive responses.
As part of our political strategy for Germany we also had the opportunity to present our position paper »Zukunftsfähige Städte und Regionen«. After many sustainable urban development projects have been promoted and countless solutions piloted over the past decade, it is now time to spread the idea widely. Sustainable urban development must be accessible and affordable for all cities and municipalities in Germany. The position paper identifies the obstacles to a broad implementation of sustainable urban development and presents an approach to overcome them.
Workshop »Innovation Program Climate Neutral Cities« (German: 24 June 2020; English: 2 July 2020)
Global warming and the climate emergency have led to a number of proclaimed goals at global, European and national level, including the EU's climate targets for 2030. Within the 9th European Framework Research Program HORIZON EUROPE, numerous projects for the CO2-effective transformation of cities will receive financial support from 2021 onwards.
In order to increase the still too slow speed of transformation towards climate-neutral urban systems, the Morgenstadt Initiative is developing the »Climate Neutral Cities Innovation Program«. Within the framework of the ICNS, Morgenstadt has created the basis for working together with cities and companies to develop, on the one hand, a quantitative tool that will enable local authorities to analyse their climate performance and identify potential savings regularly and as easily as possible and, on the other hand, to provide a qualitative handbook in which tried and tested, climate-friendly system solutions from industry and applied research can be analysed and presented. The focus here is less on the technical-infrastructural side of the solutions, but rather on how these solutions have been implemented in different pioneering cities, i.e. how inhibiting factors could be overcome and enablers activated, and which »best practices« and ideal-typical roadmaps can be derived from this for implementation processes in other cities.
With the help of this dual approach, the Morgenstadt Initiative wants to help municipalities to approach transformation processes in a more targeted and promising manner and to support companies in understanding how they can structure and scale their solutions according to their needs.
During the workshop, the research design of the ICNS was presented and discussed and further developed with interested municipalities and companies. In the linked presentation you will find both the content background of the ICNS and the feedback and suggestions for improvement from the participants.
Needs assessment: Digitisation and sustainable development in cities in the post-Corona period (25 June 2020)
There is currently a great deal of actionism in response to the Corona crisis. Cities and municipalities are facing the challenge of identifying effective measures. The effects of the current situation are complex and range from economic implications to questions of future health care and changes in the education system. In order to meet their care responsibilities, many cities are currently revising their crisis management. What long-term consequences the current situation will have and what will happen to cities and communities in the coming years is currently difficult to foresee for individual cities.
The Morgenstadt Initiative wants to remedy this lack of reliable knowledge about the implications of corona for future urban development and develop a corresponding study that systematically deals with the post-corona opportunities and challenges of cities. Accordingly, not only all sub-areas of municipal administration will be examined, but also their interaction with each other and with external factors such as geographical location, district and country. The workshop served as a prelude for the development of the study. The aim was to include the needs and questions of cities and companies and to specify further steps. We therefore invited representatives of cities and municipalities, but also of commercial enterprises, to contribute to the development of the study. In the linked presentation you will find further background information on the study as well as the feedback and suggestions for improvement from the participants.