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Mission: city of the future


German national platform lays out strategic research and innovation agenda: Science Year 2015 is devoted to the city of the future. On February 19, Fraunhofer IAO joined representatives of communities, science, industry and the general public in Berlin to present recommendations for how we can sustainably develop our cities and equip them for the future. As part of a campaign tackling the major questions around the city of the future, Fraunhofer IAO is also informing city authorities, companies and individuals and helping them find the answers.

Welcome to the city of the future – carbon-neutral, energy- and resource-efficient, livable and social. Almost two years ago, the German government worked with 34 stakeholders from communities, science and industry – including Fraunhofer IAO – to launch the National City of the Future platform (NPZ) to turn this vision into reality. The platform comes under the umbrella of the German government’s high-tech strategy and is designed to further systematic discussion on this topic across all disciplines.

Seven items on the research and innovation agenda

Science Year 2015 – City of the Future is up and running. On February 19, 2015 in Berlin, NPZ members presented Prof. Johanna Wanka, Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, with a strategic research and innovation agenda for the carbon-neutral, energy-efficient, climate-adapted and social city of the future.

Compiling the agenda was a collaborative effort that was coordinated by Fraunhofer IAO, Fraunhofer IBP and the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu). NPZ has set seven priority areas of innovation that outline the challenges, requirements and structural measures involved in the closely interlinked social, spatial and technological facets of the city of the future. You can download the NPZ agenda (German only).

A campaign designed to inform, connect and support

Fraunhofer IAO is addressing major aspects of the seven innovation areas a part of campaign running in parallel to the Science Year 2015 – City of the Future: Fraunhofer’s Morgenstadt initiative will be on board the “MS Wissenschaft” exhibition ship, giving visitors a fun way to discover a wide range of research projects concerning the city of the future.

And experts at Fraunhofer IAO and its cooperation partner the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) at the University of Stuttgart are starting a blog series about the city of the future, in which they present their insights, ideas and questions related to the following priority topics:

• Versatile city: Cities will have to be incredibly resilient and able to adapt to cope with the effects of climate change, shifting demographics and digitization. What are the success factors that pave the way to a “resilient” city?

• Livable city: More and more of us are living in increasingly complex urban systems. How can we embrace the idea of the city as a collaborative and social space, and how can we then design new ways of getting involved?

• Productive city: In the city of the future, production centers will be so quiet and clean that they can be located right next to residential areas. Which work practices, processes and technologies do we need to turn this vision into reality?

• Social city: Sharing is the new having. Establishing a “shareconomy” provides people and companies with new, sustainable opportunities and business models for how they use goods and resources. What do smart services look like in the city of the future, and what new living models can we expect to see?

• Moving city: More and more people and goods are on the move in our cities – leading to traffic jams, air pollution and noise. New technologies and connectivity options are making urban mobility hassle free. What do pioneering transportation concepts look like?

• Digital city: Connectivity in the Internet of Things is not only about people, but increasingly also about machines and our environment. What specific opportunities and risks does this development pose in an urban setting?

At the beginning of Science Year 2015, Fraunhofer IAO Director Prof. Wilhelm Bauer said: “As the lead institute in Fraunhofer’s Morgenstadt initiative, we want this campaign to connect the relevant players, to support companies and of course inform the public.”

Fraunhofer’s international “Future Cities” convention will take place in Berlin on November 25 and 26. It will provide an overview of the latest research as well as ideas and visions for the city of the future. The event is also a chance to meet and exchange ideas with a host of national and international players from research, politics and industry connected with this topic and to collaborate in shaping the future.


Steffen Braun
Urban Systems Engineering
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2022

Weitere Informationen:

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

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