Theme night "Urban Futures"
The future of cities is on everyone’s lips. Their residents expect them to react to trends and challenges and influence them proactively: Sustainability and demographic change are only two examples here to which the infrastructures of cities have to adapt to. There is no lack of visions and future scenarios. Various concepts and ideas are circulating for the fields of transport and energy, two determining factors of modern cities. In this context, digitalization plays a major role. For example, robot cars could improve the traffic flow or interconnected small power stations could satisfy the energy hunger of our cities.
The fourth theme night "Urban Futures. Between Smart City and Blackout" on Thursday, 29 October 2015 at 6 p.m. at ITAS (Karlstraße 11) is dedicated to these future scenarios. The topics of the three lecturers will range from urban visions to risks, for example the dependency of modern cities on efficient infrastructures. It is not about foretelling the future. Their aim is rather to look – together with the audience – into the different future scenarios from an interdisciplinary perspective. Because: What is technically feasible does not have to be desirable and vice versa.
Many "futures" instead of one single "future"
The theme night ties in with the German Science Year "City of the Future" and reflects the typical ITAS view on innovation processes: Instead of one future for cities there are numerous – at present optional – urban futures. These are in need of controversial public debate and political decisions.
For almost one year now, ITAS and its quarterly public series of events "technik.kontrovers" have been presenting societally controversial topics (recently big data, nutrition, and the relation between man and machine) which are researched at the institute. The series aims at pointing out connections between thinking and acting and establishing an exchange between science and the public by interactive and multifaceted networking. ITAS is researching the societal dimension of science and technology at KIT and is interested in new – and even controversial – forms of interaction with the interested public in the framework of "technik.kontrovers". (23.10.2015)