Baden-Württemberg funds "Urban Transition Lab" in Karlsruhe [17.11.2014]
The Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts of the state of Baden-Württemberg will fund the "Reallabor 131 – KIT findet Stadt" ("Urban Transition Lab 131") from 2015 onwards for a period of three years. The Urban Transition Lab 131 is embedded in the project "District Future—Urban Lab" to extend its research activities in cooperation with several other KIT departments and institutions.
The overall objective of the urban transition lab is to establish a link in thinking and working on knowledge, innovation, and urban development in a transdisciplinary process. The KIT Center Humans and Technology was mainly responsible for the application of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the Urban Transition Lab 131. Funding is expected to start in January 2015.
Urban Transition Lab 131 in the District Future project
The spectrum of Urban Transition Lab 131 topics ranges from livable mobility and circular economy, social environment and neighborhood, climate and energy to health and demographic development. The core of the project is to initiate and implement several projects for sustainable neighborhood development and support them with corresponding research activities. These projects will be defined and carried out in a cooperative and participatory way. The participation process "BürgerForum Nachhaltige Oststadt | Zukunft aus Bürgerhand" which is currently on its way offers the opportunity to generate ideas and bring together partners for these projects already. A sustainability science shop will be the focal point of the urban transition lab, serving as a communication center, a location for events and as a working space for project teams.
What is an urban transition lab?
An urban transition lab is a concept of transdisciplinary research. Within the context of a transition lab researchers step into societally meaningful and real change processes, e.g. the sustainable development of an urban quarter like Karlsruhe-Oststadt or the implementation of a new regional energy system.
"Transition labs help to better understand and design societal change processes and to measure their impacts. They offer network and cooperation structures between universities and non-university research institutions as well as between the economy, politics, administration, and civil society stakeholders", states the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts.
Within the context of the current round of the program "Strengthening the contribution of science for a sustainable development" the state of Baden-Württemberg supports seven transition labs with a total budget of seven million Euros from 2015 on.