Press Release 102/2015

Vision for the Future City of Karlsruhe

”SmartQuarterVision KA 2030+“ Project Develops a Vision for the Future of Two Districts of Karls-ruhe with the Participation of Citizens
In late June 2015, interested citizens informed themselves about the project at the EFFEKTE Science Festival. (Photo: Fränkle / Stadt Karlsruhe)

What will the city of Karlsruhe be like in 2030? How can tech-nologies improve the lives of citizens and the competitiveness of local industry in the future? Answers to these questions are to be found under the project “SmartQuarterVision KA 2030+”. The project is aimed at developing with the participation of citizens a vision for the future of two reference quarters of Karlsruhe and, if possible, at transferring this vision to other districts. The project is accompanied scientifically by the European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), a joint research institute of Electricité de France (EDF) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It will develop concepts for the participation of citizens with the advisory support of the KIT Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS).


Quiet cars which cause no emissions. Healthy vegetables growing on rooftops. New concepts for buildings that generate climate-friendly energy from wastewater. There are so many ideas about how to improve urban living in the city of the future. The “City of the Future” contest sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research aims at discussing these ideas with the citizens, develop-ing joint visions of the future, and testing them in first cities. Of a total of 168 applications from all over Germany, a jury selected 51 cities, districts, and municipalities in April 2015, which will now take part in the first project phase. One of them is the city of Karlsruhe.


The “City of the Future” contest covers three phases. In the first phase, the 51 participating municipalities will develop a vision for the years 2030+ with the participation of citizens and propose actions. In the second phase from 2016, up to 20 municipalities selected will scientifically analyze these visions and develop a concept for implementation. In the third phase from 2018, up to eight selected municipalities will implement first innovative ideas in so-called “real-world laboratories”.


Karlsruhe 2030+

The city of Karlsruhe starts phase 1 of the contest with its project “Zukunftsstadt Karlsruhe – SmartQuarterVision KA 2030+”. It is the objective to develop a smart urban vision for two reference quarters of Karlsruhe. This vision is to be based on a wide participation and acceptance of citizens and to be transferable to other districts. In the future, the “smart” Karlsruhe is to focus on strengths that are well-developed today already, such as information and communication technologies as well as technologies with a low consumption of resources. By using these technologies, consumption of resources shall be reduced and the quality of life of citizens and competitiveness of local industry increased.


Vision and Science

The project is accompanied scientifically by the European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), a joint research institution of Electri-cité de France and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). EIFER will develop methods and event concepts to combine the concep-tions and ideas of all parties involved - citizens, science, local poli-tics, industry, and administration - in a joint vision for the future. If necessary, EIFER will be advised by the KIT Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS). Together with representatives of the city of Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe CyberForum Service GmbH, which is specialized in the project support, EIFER and ITAS will form the Karlsruhe City of the Future team.


Focus on Mühlburg and Knielingen

Mühlburg and Knielingen are city districts that have many structural features in common with other districts of Karlsruhe and, hence, are excellently suited as focus regions for vision development. In both districts, a first basis of work has already been established. In early summer 2015, Knielingen started a participative urban district devel-opment process that will now be linked to the SmartQuarterVision KA 2030+ project. In Mühlburg, the project can use results obtained under the urban development program “Soziale Stadt” (social city).


In the first phase of the contest until March 31, 2016, the project team will develop a vision 2030+ for both reference quarters. The basis will be wishes and ideas of citizens and actors in the districts. At population-specific workshops conceived, executed and followed up by EIFER, citizen clubs, senior citizens, citizens with an immigration background, children, and adolescents as well as local businesses can discuss future development of their quarter from their perspective. These events will be accompanied by the district competition “Wer wird Visionär?” (Who is going to be a visionary?), in which citizens of all age groups will be encouraged to express their ideas, wishes, and proposals in the form of texts, photos, models or films. The results of the competition and workshops will then be used at the “vision workshops”, where all actors, supported by a professional moderator, will pool the wishes and visions. Finally, the Karlsruhe City of the Future team will develop a “district concept for the future” based on the results of all events in Mühlburg and Knielingen, which might then be transferred to other districts. Together with the documentation of the results, this concept will be presented to the Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe at a final public event.


Creative Consensus

The project is aimed at developing “smart” visions for two reference districts in Karlsruhe in a creative, collective, and fair process that is to ensure a maximum diversity of ideas as well as a maximum con-sensus. Ideas, wishes, and suggestions of various age groups and social backgrounds are to be considered. With the district visions developed, Karlsruhe will apply for phase 2 of the BMBF City of the Future contest, in which up to 20 of the 51 participants of phase 1 are to further develop their visions to concepts for implementation.


Irrespective of the further success in the contest, SmartQuarterVi-sion KA 2030+ will serve as a basis for dialog between the citizens, city administration, and science when planning future actions in Mühlburg and Knielingen and ensure that the needs of all actors will be considered. Moreover, findings obtained in the vision develop-ment process are to be transferred to other Karlsruhe districts. The vision development methods developed by EIFER and the experi-ence gained from cooperation of citizens, city administration, and science are to be incorporated in research and education at KIT. The results will be published on the central web page of the “City of Future” contest and, hence, be available to other interested cities and municipalities for future inter-municipality exchange.


More information on the project and contest:


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 – Cli-mate 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, 04.09.2015

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
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Nils Ehrenberg
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