Urban Research Strategy at KIT – Bundling Knowledge, Shaping Change

Project description

The global trend of people migrating to cities continues unabated. At the same time, the “Great Transformation” (WBGU) of our lifestyles and economies requires massive changes in urban structures, processes, and cultures. With its broad portfolio of topics and a knowledge spectrum ranging from basic research to real-world lab research and knowledge transfer, KIT has significant potential to help shape the upcoming transformation. The project aims at a strategic reorientation and strengthening of KIT’s urban research. Its core elements are the conception, operationalization, and implementation of an urban research strategy at KIT using a specifically developed research logic. The central and structuring moment of this research logic are the so-called research lines: the direct and effective linking of KIT’s basic research with problem- and application-oriented research, ranging from transdisciplinary and real-world lab research to bidirectional knowledge transfer with society and on to concrete urban development. Future urban research at KIT should be characterized by a combination of topics that have a particular relevance and high potential with regard to the transformation of cities (such as sustainability, climate protection, energy, mobility, digitalization) on the one hand and the existing strengths in research at KIT on the other hand.

In order to capture sustainable urban development in all its complexity and, at the same time, be able to create and use synergies, overarching cross-cutting topics should also be established and developed. In this way, a thematically profound, robust, transformatively effective, scientifically new, and also holistic urban research will be created at KIT. On the one hand, the planned research philosophy supports the KIT-internal synergetic networking of scientists in the research field “Urban Transformation” and thus the development of new research topics. On the other hand, it establishes a research strategy that can do justice to the contemporary multiple upheavals and corresponding challenges in dealing with cities.


Dr. Oliver Parodi
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26816