Urban Xtopias: Open Spaces of the Future

  • Project team:

    Beecroft, Richard (Project leader)

  • Funding:

    Robert Bosch Stiftung

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik, Universität Kassel, Transition Town, Westfälische Hochschule, and self-employed urban planners

  • Research group:

    Sustainability and Social Transformation

Project description

The aim of the project is to enable people to participate in the great urban transformation, both in planning and implementation. To do so, we develop an innovative tool, “Urban Xtopias”: Xtopias integrate content from utopian and dystopian futures – including technological, ecological, economic and social aspects – with a focus on urban open spaces as interfaces between individual and collective life in the city. But Urban Xtopias are also methodological tools to address these contents, paving the way from thought experiments to practical tests. In a “Year of Xtopias”, we will test three exemplary Urban Xtopias through nine interventions in three cities, adapting the approach to different actor groups and local contexts. A formative evaluation will show to what extent Urban Xtopias can stimulate people’s imagination with regard to future ways of life and develop their competencies and motivation to create, use, and assess futures. The results of these practical tests will be integrated into the Urban Xtopias, which will be published as the final project outcomes, while supporting long-term continuation of the local interventions. In Karlsruhe, the project is embedded in the real-world lab “District Future – Urban Lab”.

Project website: www.xtopien.org (in German)


Book Chapters
Parodi, O.; Beecroft, R.
Reallabore als Möglichkeitsraum und Rahmen für Technikfolgenabschätzung.
2021. Technikfolgenabschätzung. Hrsg.: S. Böschen, 374–387, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 
Parodi, O.; Steglich, A.
2021. Handbuch Transdisziplinäre Didaktik. Hrsg.: T. Schmohl, 255–265, transcript 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore für die Nachhaltigkeitstransformation.
2021, November 3. Brain Bite (2021), Karlsruhe, Germany, November 3, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Zum Verhältnis von Kunst, Kultur und Nachhaltigkeit.
2021. Workshop "Kulturförderung jetzt in Zukunft" (2021), Freiburg, Germany, July 20–21, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Nachhaltige Entwicklung.
2021. Workshop "Kulturförderung jetzt in Zukunft" (2021), Freiburg, Germany, July 20–21, 2021 
Parodi, O.; Wagner, F.
Reallabor Karlsruhe: „Quartier Zukunft“, Karlsruhe und die Zukunftweltstadt.
2021. IQ-Netzwerktreffen (2021), Online, February 25, 2021 


Dipl.-Ing. Richard Beecroft
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24674