Innovation Platform City of the Future

To bring in good ideas faster into everyday life in cities, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) started the innovation platform "City of the Future" (IPZ) together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

Globally, more than half, in Germany even three out of four people, live in cities. By 2050, over 70 percent of the world's population will be living in cities. Cities already consume up to 80 percent of the energy produced worldwide, generate around 80 percent of the global gross domestic product and are responsible for up to 70 percent of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, the high-level panel for the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states: "It is the cities where the fight for sustainable development is won or lost." The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will therefore mainly take place at the municipal level.

The challenge of sustainable urban development has already been taken up in the federal government's high-tech strategy. With it, the future project of the "CO2-neutral, climate-adapted and energy-efficient city" was defined in 2012 at the National Platform for the City of the Future. Over 100 representatives experts from municipalities, science, business and civil society spent two years there in an innovative agenda process - application-oriented, cross-departmental and transdisciplinary - advising on the most urgent research questions that need to be solved in order to promote the sustainable development of our cities. Their answers have been compiled in their Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda - FINA for short in German. The cities expect a relevant contribution from science to solve their problems.

The State Secretaries' Committee for Sustainability of the Federal Government has taken this into account. The committee decided to set up the Innovation Platform Future City (IPZ) as part of an inter-ministerial working group ("IMA City") under the leadership of the BMUB. Since mid-2016, the IMA City has been working on recommendations for research policy priorities that are linked to the FINA, research and innovation policy initiatives by departments, municipalities, science, business and civil society. The goal is to better coordinate projects in order to enable faster transfer to local practice. In 2017 the IMA city received the German Sustainability Award.

As part of the IMA City, the innovation platform Zukunftsstadt will record the results and continue to close the gap between knowledge and action and transfer research into local practice. The innovation platform will promote specific research projects and implement prioritized topics from the FINA. This should take place in constant dialogue with partners from municipalities, science, business and civil society. The aim of the IPZ is to develop an application-oriented and - where possible - cross-departmental and transdisciplinary research and innovation program and to develop new, jointly coordinated and integrated programs and initiatives across departments, based on or in addition to existing projects for the city of the future, while maintaining departmental responsibilities. In its flagship initiative City of the Future, the BMBF is contributing 150 million euros over the next five years. Other departments will also adjust their funding appropriately to the goals of the IPZ.

More information can be found at the webpage: https://www.innovationsplattform-zukunftsstadt.de/

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