We organize synthesis workshops that take place every two years, alternating with our Summer Schools. Participants from science, policy and practice bring together their latest insights and experiences on topical societal issues in a co-creative setting in order to identify the current state-of-the-art and derive new orientations for sustainability oriented research and policy.

Synthesis workshop 2021 "How citizens, municipalities and science jointly test and design future spaces"

21st September 2021, 9:00 - 18:00 pm

German Hygiene Museum Dresden

Transformation processes in cities require lasting and effective cooperation of actors from local governments and administrations, science, business and civil society. In order for these different actors to jointly test and shape the future, experimental and practice-oriented approaches such as living labs or real world laboratories are perceived as crucial parts of transdisciplinary research settings. But how can these new approaches help to initiate transformation processes? Which actors should work together to achieve this? And how can these processes be shaped in the long term?

These and other questions on collaborative urban development were the focus of our first synthesis workshop on 21 September 2021, dealing with the topic "How citizens, municipalities, and science jointly test and design future spaces". Representatives of the eight German cities of the future (Ger.: Zukunftsstädte) from Phase III of the nationwide competition of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and members of the network "Real world laboratories of sustainability” (Ger.: Reallabore der Nachhaltigkeit) were invited to reflect on experiences and perspectives.

Participants gave interesting keynote presentations and shared lessons learned from their own City of the Future experiments. The discussion focused on both the co-production of transformation knowledge in the context of experimental approaches and the question of how this can initiate and perpetuate transformation processes towards sustainable ways of living. This included challenges and opportunities of transdisciplinary cooperation between actors from the public administration, science and civil society and questions of continuation and perpetuation of the already implemented experiments.

The documentation of the discussion and results can be accessed here (document language: German).