Action 24: Making urban, rural and regional transformation sustainable
We want to jointly develop viable strategies for urban and rural areas to make our regions sustainable and fit for the future.
Where do we stand?
Cities, towns, villages and regions face many challenges. These include, for instance, land take, coastal protection and energy system transformation. The regulatory conditions for meeting these challenges must be created at Federal and Länder level, but concrete implementation will take place locally and regionally. The development initiated by sustainable concepts opens up new opportunities and regional value creation potential. The Innovation Platform City of the Future (IPZ) was set up in 2015 as a joint effort with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs to promote the exchange of research on sustainable urban development, implement joint initiatives and identify successful solutions. New research needs are constantly being formulated with the relevant urban actors and implemented in research projects. FONA sees itself as a partner for cities, towns, local governments and regions to support sustainable transformation. On the ground, we want to develop joint projects in a strong alliance of municipalities that will move Germany forward. We set the impetus for innovation in metropolitan regions and regional cities and support the regional economy, the development of social innovations and the resilience of local authorities.
What are the research needs?
Sustainable development of cities and regions requires integrated, holistic concepts and strategies. The ecology, economy and social concerns need to be reconciled more strongly than before. The aim is to provide local actors and decision-makers with new, scientifically sound solutions, options and instruments to make cities and municipalities fit for the future and strengthen regional value creation. Research is needed, among others, to exploit digitalisation potential more efficiently for adaptation to climate change. In addition, we must create and make greater use of opportunities for participation. There is also a need for new planning instruments and more intensive cooperation across administrative borders, for example to revitalise city centres, promote social and ecological urban development, provide sustainable, afford- able housing and make mobility affordable in the long term. In supraregional real-world laboratories (for example in metropolitan regions or regional cities), we will therefore expand development of technologies and knowledge for digitalisation and sustainability, adapt them for the regions, and test new products, production processes and business models.
Implementation steps and milestones
- In an ideas competition, innovative concepts developed together with citizens will be implemented by 2023, and sustainable before-and-after effects will be made visible. Our research funding and the urban development funding of the Federal Government and the Länder are designed to complement each other.
- We will provide targeted low-threshold incentives for activation at the local level to enable the needs-based, concrete application of innovative, data-based solutions that are geared towards the citizens’ needs.
- In order to create synergies, funding activities will be consolidated more strongly within the regions, but also on a supraregional level, and existing supraregional associations such as metropolitan regions and city regions will be involved. To achieve this, we are striving for close cooperation with the Länder concerned. The aim of the regional and supraregional real-world laboratories is to develop sustainable research and development strategies that address the entire value chain from research and (product) development to practical application.
- Starting in 2023, we will present results with a focus on transfer, implementation and perpetuation on issues of economic structural change in cities, energy system transformation at the municipal level, climate adaptation, sustainable infrastructure and quality of life in urban neighbourhoods, as well as social cohesion and migration.
- In order to revitalise city centres and promote new concepts for resilient cities, municipalities and regions adapted to climate change, we will make targeted use of the opportunities offered by digitalisation. To this end, we will provide new digital tools for urban planning adapted to climate change from 2021 onwards. We will also develop concepts for intermodal mobility and implement them in experimental spaces.
- By 2024, we will present contributions to climate adaptation and urban resilience strategies that have already been implemented and tested.
- The REGION.innovativ programme will provide targeted support to enable regional alliances, networks and clusters in structurally weak regions to work together on topics relevant to the future. From 2020, for example, we will promote inter-municipal cooperation in the areas of the circular economy and regional value creation.
- Within the MARE:N research programme, we are placing special emphasis on coastal regions. As a member of the German Coastal Engineering Research Council (KFKI), we constantly support the development of concepts for the sustainable protection of German coasts on the North and Baltic Seas in cooperation with local stakeholders.