01.04.2016 28.02.2023
Application Phase
Selection phase
Funding phase

Flagship initiative "City of the Future": research for climate-friendly, social-ecologically sound and viable cities

Cities set the course for sustainable development: three out of four people in Germany live in metropolitan areas, where infrastructure and economic power are concentrated. Climate change and local environmental impacts, demographic change, and the integration of different cultures pose imperatives for action. The funding measure “Implementation of the flagship initiative City of the Future" helps in meeting those challenges and provides innovative impulses for sustainable development through appropriate, practice-oriented, inter- and transdisciplinary research.

Specifically, the funding measure promotes projects supporting local actors to

• overcome risks of climate change and strengthen their resilience,
• contribute to climate protection goals,
• shape the quality of life and the environment in a socially fair manner,
• adapt mobility and infrastructure to the requirements of citizens and sustainability,
• prepare social and technological innovations, leading to a sustainable city.

The funding scheme is orientated towards learning processes between science and practice, and the experimental implementation of results. Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds joint projects undertaken by actors from research institutions, administration, politics, economy and/or civil society. The combination of practical testing supported by scientific knowledge facilitates capacity building and knowledge production. The objective is the generation of scientifically reliable and socially acceptable options for sustainable innovations in urban areas.

Thematic areas
The following thematic areas are the foci of the funding measure:

Climate resilience through action in city and region
The funding aims in this area are the development, testing, and evaluation of concrete options and actions for adapting to climate change. The projects consider the interface between climate adaptation, climate mitigation and/or other areas of sustainable development in order to utilize potential synergies and to avoid trade-offs.

Urban community and integration: strengthening socio-cultural quality in cities, reducing social-ecological inequalities
Funding in this area aims at contributing to a socially and ecologically equitable city of the future, to strengthen urban participation, and to highlight ways in which the successful integration of immigrants may be achieved in terms of the social, ecological, and economical aspects.

Urban mobility
Sustainable development of cities is strongly connected with the design of urban transport – both for passengers and goods. Funding is given to projects, investigating the demands of users concerning sustainable mobility infrastructures and services. Moreover, the development of climate-friendly transport concepts for different types of cities is supported.

Energy-efficient cities and quarters
The subject area "Energy-efficient cities and quarters" is covered by the funding initiative "solar construction / energy-efficient city".

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