A special living space will be created in Karlsruhe: District Future – Urban Lab, where urban life of the future will be tested and developed.
Climate change, shortage of resources, demographic change, increasing burden of public debt, deterioration of the ecological sphere, social inequality and fragmentation, alienation, etc., have resulted in the demand for comprehensive sustainable development on a global and local scale. Cities play a major role in many respects in such an overall social change towards a sustainable way of life.
The research and development project District Future – Urban Lab opens up an experimental space in and for Karlsruhe where promising technological and societal innovations from the KIT as well as project ideas from the urban society will be implemented in cooperation with the project team in the years to come. The primary and long-term objective of District Future – Urban Lab is to transform an existing city quarter of Karlsruhe into a sustainable one. Part of this societal aim is to fundamentally connect the KIT with the region and the urban society of Karlsruhe and to try out, study, and establish new forms of advising regional policy and society as well as of participation in knowledge production and urban development. In this transdisciplinary endeavour with KIT, the government and administration, the citizens, the private sector, and cultural actors co-operating, new forms of science in society and society in science are to be established with a long term-perspective.
Such a transformation of a city quarter towards sustainability can neither be produced nor decreed. What can be achieved is a shaping of the process by pointing to possibilities, developing new ideas, to select and implement innovations, to create a space for creativity and new approaches and to accompany the process in a transdisciplinary way. In this project, the tasks of the project team are to continuously develop the concept and to shape the process based on fundamental guidelines of sustainable development.