Press Release 126/2013

ZeitzeicheN Sustainability Award for “District Future“

KIT Project Focuses on Sustainable Urban Development – Close Exchange among the Population, Politics, Science, and Industry
Sustainable urban development – “District Future“ asks citizens for their ideas. (Photo: ITAS)

The “District Future – Urban Lab” project of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was granted the 2013 ZeitzeicheN German Local Sustainability Award in the category of “Ideas”. Yesterday evening, the Germany-wide Network 21 Congress handed over the award to the scientists of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Neues Schloss, Stuttgart. Together with the population, politics, industry, and other actors of urban society, the scientists plan to test and develop concepts for future urban life in the next years. It is their objective to sustainably design an existing district of the city of Karlsruhe.


“We have to learn to analyze integrated relationships and to realize ‘holistic’ urban development. At the moment, we are far away from this objective, and models and concepts for sustainable urban development are still lacking. The ‘District Future – Urban Lab’ project starts exactly at this point,” said the Baden-Württemberg Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection, and the Energy Sector, Franz Untersteller, in his laudation.


District Future – Urban Lab will open up in and for Karlsruhe an area, in which promising technical and societal innovations from KIT as well as project ideas of the urban society will be implemented together with the project team in the coming years. The issues covered will range from living and building to mobility and communication to education, health, leisure, and culture. It is aimed at transforming an existing district of the city of Karlsruhe into a sustainable one. The location of the District Future is presently being negotiated. The award in the amount of EUR 2000 plus non-cash items will be used to help the actors start the project on the local level.


The project is executed by the KIT Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and embedded in the Karlsruhe 2020 integrated urban development concept. As of now, all citizens of Karlsruhe, companies, associations, and initiatives are invited to inform themselves on the website of the project and to submit and comment ideas relating to the development of the city and city life.

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The ZeitzeicheN Award is granted by the Germany-wide Network 21 for local sustainability to initiatives that noticed the signs of the times, build bridges to society, and initiate sustainable acting. This year, awards were granted to seven projects from all over Germany. They were handed over at the Network 21 congress organized by GRÜNE LIGA Berlin in cooperation with the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate, and the Energy Sector in Stuttgart. Funding is provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Environment Agency, the Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (Sustainable Development Council), the German Association of Cities, the German Association of Districts, and the Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund (Association of German Cities and Municipalities).


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 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 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.

le, 09.10.2013

Monika Landgraf
Chief Communication Officer
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Chief Press Officer
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