Karlsruhe Real-world Lab for Sustainable Climate Protection (KARLA)

Project description


Real-world labs are in a special position to address the global challenge of “climate protection” by appropriate local measures. As one of five climate real-world labs in Baden-Württemberg, the Karlsruhe Real-world Lab for Sustainable Climate Protection (KARLA) aims in a triad, together with over 30 practical partners, to

  1. research, evaluate, and accompany the climate protection measures planned in Karlsruhe with regard to sustainability aspects (field of action 1),
  2. conduct concrete, multi-year “transformation experiments” in the real-world lab to implement selected climate protection measures (field of action 2), and
  3. institutionalize climate protection by developing and establishing a “climate pact” between the local universities and the city of Karlsruhe (field of action 3).

The aim is to eliminate unintended side effects of climate protection measures in advance and thus make climate protection more robust (1), to implement climate protection measures more quickly and diffuse them into society (2), and to ensure and synergistically expand climate protection in the long term (3).

The “catalog of measures” of the “Karlsruhe Climate Protection Concept 2030,” which was adopted by the municipal council in April 2020, serves as the starting point and central reference of the real-world lab. This ensures social and practical relevance and broad legitimacy, which is underlined by the commitment of more than thirty (completely different) organizations to participate in the real-world lab.

As is usual in real-world labs, KARLA pursues research, transformation, and educational goals at the same time and links these goal dimensions in the planned measures. General research goals are, for example, the identification of drivers, barriers, and organizational factors of transformation processes in the field of climate protection or the development of the “IKoNE-Climate”-tool for sustainability assessment of climate protection measures.

Transformation experiments (TEs) are at the heart of the work of KARLA. The focus is on the social embedding of climate protection measures. Firstly, the TEs serve to concretize and pilot climate protection measures and processes that are to be further rolled out and/or modified by the participating (and possibly new) actors after the experiment has been completed. Secondly, they enable the transdisciplinary development of system, action, and, in some cases, orientation knowledge in the relevant subject area and, thirdly, they give the participating actors the opportunity to develop roles for future climate protection cooperations in line with their needs and to negotiate mutual expectations. The following TEs are to be carried out in the coming years:

The selection and conception of the TEs was already carried out in the course of the full application in co-design with the relevant stakeholders and with the involvement of the citizens of Karlsruhe.

The geographic framework of the real-world lab is the urban space of Karlsruhe, with specific inclusion of the KIT sites. KARLA is a KIT project and is carried out with the involvement of the “Karlsruhe Transformation Center for Sustainability and Cultural Change”. It builds directly on the real-world lab “District Future”, which has been running since 2012, and the “Urban Transition Lab 131” (2015-2019) as well as their climate protection-related follow-up projects, making use of the existing transdisciplinary infrastructures and networks.


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 
Journal Articles
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.; Meyer-Soylu, S.
Karlsruher Reallabor Nachhaltiger Klimaschutz - Projektvorstellung.
2021. Lenkungskreissitzung KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (2021), Online, May 4, 2021 
Parodi, O.; Wagner, F.
Kulturlabor Freiburg - Kunst- und Kulturförderung zukunftsfähig gestalten.
2021. Auftaktveranstaltung des Kulturlabor Freiburg (2021), Online, November 27, 2021 


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