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Tbilisi becomes Morgenstadt City Lab


Under the leadership of Fraunhofer IGB and on the basis of a detailed review of the current situation, the Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Innovation Network is developing an innovation strategy to make the Georgian capital Tbilisi more sustainable. A precise roadmap indicating the path towards a city that is viable for the future will be available in ten months.

20 cities from Germany and Europe applied for the Morgenstadt City Challenge”; they had formulated clear objectives with the aim of achieving greater sustainability. The competition, organized by the Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Innovation Network, undertook to support three winning cities with comprehensive research and advisory services.

For this, a methodology will be employed that was developed for the “Morgenstadt: City Insights” project; these methods facilitate the planning and implementation of innovative sustainability concepts.

Besides the cities Prague (Czech Republic), Chemnitz (Germany) and Lisbon (Portugal), which were chosen by the network partners, thanks to the financial participation of KfW (Bank for Reconstruction Loans) a cooperation agreement was also concluded with the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The Morgenstadt City Lab Tbilisi is led by Dr. Marius Mohr, who heads the Integrated Water Management group at Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart.

In the first phase of the Morgenstadt project Mohr led the Copenhagen City team and analyzed the water sector there. In 2014 he also visited a total of eight cities in Asia within the scope of the project “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus”. For these cities he developed concepts that could be used to integrate of the water, energy and food security sectors.

On 6th July 2015 Mohr presented the key aspects and landmarks of the Morgenstadt City Lab project at the kick-off ceremony in Tbilisi. The mayor of Tbilisi, Dr. Davit Narmania, representatives of the municipal administration and also representatives of KfW gave assurances that they would engage in an open discussion and constructive cooperation.

Within the next ten months the Fraunhofer experts – together with the municipal administration of Tbilisi and in association with KfW – will work out a sustainability profile and a roadmap for the sustained development of the Georgian capital.

The point of departure for this is an analysis of the current state of the metropolis in the Caucasus: Where does Tbilisi stand today regarding its sustainable development in terms of careful management of resources, innovative capabilities and quality of life?

“The review of the present situation is carried out on the basis of a comprehensive set of indicators as well as over eighty actions fields,” Dr. Marius Mohr, the City Lab Project Manager, explains. In Tbilisi the main focus is on the sectors waste management and municipal water supplies and disposal, energy and resource efficiency, mobility/transport and traffic, information and communication technologies, economic and business innovations as well as security and governance.

The Fraunhofer expert and his team aim to present the results of the analysis in February 2016. “In order for a project like this to succeed it is important to appoint and involve responsible partners in the municipal administration to deal with the specified action fields,” Mohr stresses.

“Together we then develop – in the form of the roadmap – a strategy plan and measures indicating specific steps on the way to the city of the future.” The aim is that these should result in specific project proposals, some of which can be directly implemented by the city, some of which however also require external financing, for example by KfW. The expertise of the partners in the Morgenstadt Network will also be used when working out the proposals for the project.

How does a city become viable for the future? The Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Innovation Network has been examining this question since 2012 in the project “Morgenstadt: City Insights” in association with partners from municipalities and industry. In a first project phase the high-caliber network from 15 cities, 25 companies and ten Fraunhofer Institutes elaborated the model now being used in the second phase of the project in the Morgenstadt City Lab. This working model is based on six comprehensive urban analyses and a hundred case studies.

The results of the research from the Morgenstadt Network as well as other showcase projects from Germany and Europe will be presented and discussed by visionary thinkers from municipalities, politics, business and science at the Fraunhofer Congress “Urban Futures” on 25th and 26th November 2015 in the Westhafen Event and Convention Center in Berlin.

Weitere Informationen:

Dr. Claudia Vorbeck | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

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