Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference, which takes place in Berlin on November 25 and 26, 2015, will offer participants a glimpse of the urban future. Scientists, engineers, politicians and economists will present new concepts for intelligent and sustainable urban innovation. The aim is to help transform our cities into clean and vibrant places to live and work.
Over half the world’s population lives in cities, and this proportion is set to rise. According to projections by the Organization for Economic Cooperation OECD, some 70 percent of the world’s population – more than seven billion people – will live in major conurbations by 2050.
This growth poses a tremendous challenge for planners of urban areas and transport systems, logisticians, suppliers, and waste management companies. Plus there are climate targets to factor in, too. Global CO2 emissions must be reduced, with the EU aiming to cut emissions figures by 20 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by the year 2050.
“Achieving sustainable and CO2-neutral urban development is vital for meeting these targets. But we’ll only succeed by combining innovation management and urban planning to create hybrid solutions – everything from energy-efficient construction methods, electrically powered means of transportation and intelligent control systems to emissions-free production centers and wastewater purification schemes,” explains Steffen Braun, head of the Competence Center Urban Systems Engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. Braun also coordinates the “Morgenstadt – City of the future” initiative, which was launched in 2012 as a joint project by Fraunhofer and several scientific and industrial partners.
Smart City – An urban paradise
Taking the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF’s vision for the city of tomorrow (Morgenstadt) as their starting point, the expert network has been developing strategies for sustainable and intelligent urban development. Their objective is to create the “smart social city”, a central living space and economic environment for the 21st century.
The underlying idea sounds sublime: Inhabitants of the city of the future will go to school, work, and enjoy their leisure time without these activities having any detrimental impact on the environment. And with access to clean water, healthy food, environmentally friendly energy, efficient transportation concepts, and good air quality, these modern smart citizens will have everything they need to live comfortably and shape their own urban habitat.
To make this vision a reality, interdisciplinary research teams are developing new concepts and testing the use of innovative technologies. Dutch scientists in Eindhoven, for instance, are working on strategies for emissions-free traffic, with plans to allow only electric vehicles (buses and cars) into the city center in the future. In the German cities of Chemnitz and Reutlingen, experts are investigating ways to capture visitor flows and road traffic data using an intelligent sensor network.
Their system, which works a bit like a fitness tracker for cities, is intended to be used in the future to help urban planners avoid congestion and create shopping areas tailored to residents’ needs. In the Norwegian city of Stavanger, another interdisciplinary team examined the extent to which energy could be saved and medical care improved by enhancing links between companies, inhabitants and doctors. “Fraunhofer researchers are heavily involved in projects on both the German and European sides,” says Braun.
Urban Futures in Berlin
Results of this work will be showcased at the Morgenstadt: Urban Futures Conference in Berlin, where leading international experts will present their visions, solutions, and recommendations for action. Representatives from the worlds of politics, business and research will be able to discuss urban transformation guidelines and evaluate the technical, economic, and social impacts such changes could have. Also on the agenda are a “Call for ideas” innovation competition and a “Morgenstadt marketplace” where conference participants can exchange ideas and discuss new projects. “Here in Germany, we’ve largely completed the process of defining our strategy, but we still have a long way to go before we can make the city of the future a reality,” says Braun. Over the course of the next five years, he plans to work with numerous “Morgenstadt – City of the future” innovation partners to implement new concepts.
Urban Systems Engineering
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2022
Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction
12.12.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations
10.12.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy