Press Release 098/2012

Urban Development in East Europe

KIT Participates in “ReNew Town“ EU Project – Workshop on “Urban District Upgrading” on June 20 for the Interested Public and Experts
Wie lässt sich ein Stadtteil unter Beteiligung der Bürgerinnen und Bürger gestalten? Antworten gibt ein Workshop zum EU-Projekt „ReNew Town“ (Foto: Marko Govek)
How can an urban district be designed with the participation of citizens? Answers are provided by a workshop under the “ReNew Town“ EU project. (Photo: Marko Govek)

Quality of life in an urban district depends on many factors, for instance, on affordable rents, a good transportation network or diverse offers for leisure time. The “ReNew Town” EU research project in which Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) participates focuses on urban district development in former socialist countries. Project results will be presented at a workshop on “Urban District Upgrading” on Wednesday, June 20, at KIT. The interested public and experts are cordially invited. Prior registration is required.

Buildings and public squares in need of reconstruction, bad infrastructures, and lacking offers for leisure time – the need for modernization is high in many cities in former socialist countries like Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. “Urban reconstruction and upgrading mean more than just architectonic upgrading and rehabilitation. Design of social and cultural life affects the well-being of the inhabitants of an urban district,” says Christina Götz from the KIT Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS).

Since 2011, ITAS been participating in the ReNew Town EU project by supporting its partner countries in realizing citizen participation in urban district upgrading. Eight Central European municipalities and research institutions are involved in the project.

Under ReNew Town, ITAS supports its partner countries in developing practicable solutions for urban district development, for example by presenting strategies of German cities and municipalities. The ITAS project team selected ten exemplary projects for urban district upgrading with the active participation of citizens. An old building made of pre-cast concrete slabs is converted into a cultural center and a hotel established and run by children. A former kindergarten building is converted into a center for young startups. To find out how citizens can be integrated in designing an urban district, the ITAS project team made surveys in East and West Germany. One of these surveys focused on a project of the Karlsruhe Renters’ Initiative (MiKa), in the course of which former barracks buildings were converted into residences with cultural and common rooms. MiKa has shown that motivation and the willingness to compromise of the actors as well as a good project management structure are essential to the success of such a project. These and other results will be incorporated in the solutions developed under ReNew Town.   

To find solutions for four pilot projects in the cities of Velenje (Slovakia), Prague (Czech Republic), Cracow (Poland), and Hnusta (Solvenia) together with the interested public, ITAS will organize a discussion with experts on Wednesday, June 20, 10 to 16 hrs (Ostendorfhaus, Weberstraße 5, Karlsruhe). The interested public and experts are cordially invited to actively discuss the participation of citizens in urban district upgrading. Discussion will be based not only on the study results obtained, but on the experience gained in East and West Germany. Prior registration by e-mail to christina goetz does-not-exist.kit edu or by phone +49 (0)721 608/28036 is required.

ReNew Town is part of the Central Europe programme of the European Union to promote cooperation of central European countries.

More information:


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

sk, 12.06.2012

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Saskia Kutscheidt
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing
Phone: +49 721 608-48120
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
saskia kutscheidt does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.