Press Release 059/2015

Official Opening of the “Zukunftsraum” on June 13

KIT Urban Development Projects “District Future“ and “Reallabor 131” Establish Central Meeting Point for Transdisciplinary Research and Dialog with Citizens
The Zukunftsraum is a central meeting point for scientific work, advisory services, and dialog with citizens. (Photo: ITAS/Alexandra Quint, Katja Saar)

It is a milestone for the two transdisciplinary urban development projects of KIT “District Future – Urban Lab” and “Reallabor 131 – KIT findet Stadt”: On Saturday, June 13, 2015, the “Zukunftsraum” will open its doors on the occasion of the Baden-Württemberg Sustainability Days and in the presence of the Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer. In the center of Karlsruhe’s Oststadt that is to be transformed into a sustainable urban district in the long term, a central meeting point will be established for scientific work, advisory services, and dialog with citizens.


Thanks to its direct vicinity to the city center and the KIT Campus South, Karlsruhe’s Oststadt is characterized strongly by the life and work of students. In this highly dynamic urban environment, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and other institutes of KIT have found an optimal space for experiments. Within the framework of the two research projects, Karlsruhe’s Oststadt is to be rendered sustainable with the participation of the people living there, science, industry, and local administration. So far, however, a central project office has been lacking.


On Saturday, June 13, 2015, the “Zukunftsraum für Nachhaltigkeit und Wissenschaft” (future space for sustainability and science) will be opened officially and fill this gap. In the center of the project area, the Zukunftsraum will be the central meeting point and contact office for citizens as well as the place of work of scientists and other actors involved in the transformation of the Oststadt.

The official opening will take place on the occasion of the Baden-Württemberg Sustainability Days. The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts, Theresia Bauer, will first give a welcome address and then directly talk to interested citizens. Other welcome addresses will be made by the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe Frank Mentrup, and Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn, Head of the “Natural and Built Environment” Division of KIT.


 “Cities are future labs of modern society,” Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer, says. “Projects, such as District Future/Reallabor 131, make Baden-Württemberg assume a pioneering role in the development of viable solutions for urban spaces by science in cooperation with society.”


“Karlsruhe is a city of creative minds,” Lord Mayor Frank Mentrup adds. “Students and scientists come here to conduct research and to develop solutions for the future. Now, the KIT with its project “District Future – Urban Lab” brings together science and citizens. I am very happy about this, because an urban society mainly lives on community. And creative impulses ensure further development.”


“Research for the city of the future is an important task of science to ensure viability of our society,” Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn says. He coordinates urban research at KIT and for the Helmholtz Association. “At KIT, research relating to this topic covers a very wide range, from engineering to environmental research to social sciences. By means of Reallabore (field labs), this research can be transferred to a real environment and research can learn much from reality. Here, the project office plays an important role.”


Program for the Opening of the “Zukunftsraum für Nachhaltigkeit und Wissenschaft”


Venue: Rintheimer Str. 46, 76131 Karlsruhe Oststadt


Program – Saturday, June 13, 2015


10.00 hrs

Workshop 1: Build Your Furniture
Workshop 2: Build Seed-bombs


13.30 hrs

Official Opening: Musical introduction to open the doors


14.00 hrs

Welcome Addresses:
Minister Theresia Bauer (Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts)
KIT Division Head Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn
Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe Frank Mentrup


14.15 hrs

Opening Presentation on the “Zukunftsraum”
Musical interlude


14.45 hrs

Discussion to Join
“Nachhaltige Entwicklung: Vom Wissen zum Handeln”
(Sustainable Development: From Knowing to Acting)


15.30 hrs

Conclusion of the Program and Continuation of the Workshops


18.00 hrs



Permanently at the office:

o Poster exhibition relating to the Reallabor 131 and other sustainability projects

o Timeline of District Future (photo exhibition)

o Interactive photobox of the Karlsruhe School of Sustainability

o Snacks and beverages


KIT possesses extensive scientific competences for research into, development, and integrated planning of the city of the future in all major aspects. Scientists of five KIT Centers – Climate and Environment; Energy; Mobility Systems; Humans and Technology; Informations, Systems, Technologies – work on studies and the sustainable design of urban spaces from their disciplines’ perspective and in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner.

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.

ne, 05.06.2015

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Nils Ehrenberg
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-48122
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
nils ehrenberg does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.