Future City Lab – Reallabor for a Sustainable Mobility Culture (RNM 2014-2017)

How can we make mobility in the Stuttgart Region more sustainable? This is the leading question behind a joint research project of the Institute of Urban Planning and Design and the Institute of Landscape Ecology in cooperation with IZKT, ZIRIUS, ISV, INSPO and IAT.

 

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY CULTURE IN STUTTGART

Stuttgart is a city defined by cars. It is here that the first car was built. And it is here that the largest automotive industry cluster in Europe provides employment for more than 30 percent of the regional workforce. Like many other European cities, Stuttgart was rebuilt as a car-friendly city after the Second World War. Cars are therefore an important factor for the identity of the city.

At the same time, there is now broad consensus that we need to address the negative effects of vehicular transport – traffic jams, fine particle and CO2 emissions, land consumption and noise pollution – and to move towards a more sustainable concept for mobility in the Stuttgart region. But how can we set this process in motion? Which direction should it take? And, what role can local citizens play in actively shaping and enabling this process through social innovations?

The Future City Lab Stuttgart has made the cultural dimension of sustainable mobility its central theme. Here industry, city administration, businesses and citizens work together to jointly develop a culture of mobility that aims not only to reduce the consumption of resources but also to promote health and physical activity, to encourage social interaction and to cultivate a new quality of life and urban realm in the city and the region. The Realworld Laboratory for a Sustainable Mobility Culture was initiated with this in mind: together with a committed network of partners, the Realworld Laboratory aims to put ideas, visions and concrete projects for a good, sustainable culture of mobility into practice.

 

REALWORLD LABORATORIES FOR COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

HOW CAN THE CITY BECOME A SPACE FOR COOPERATIVE EXPERIMENTATION?

The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (MWK) recently began funding a new model of cooperation between science and society. These “Realworld Laboratories” make the city a space for cooperative experimentation. This comparatively new research format focuses not on researching and observing human patterns of behaviour but asks researchers to work together with local citizens to develop and initiate real transformation processes in order to derive relevant practical knowledge and concrete solutions for the broader challenges facing society in the future.

Our Realworld Laboratory for a Sustainable Mobility Culture is both a Futures Lab and a cooperative platform. It pools disparate knowledge and makes it available for wider discussion: both as a digital network on the web platform as well as through real-world cooperation between different initiatives and stakeholders.

Together, we address the question of how the needs and rights of every individual to mobility can be implemented in such a way that later generations can also benefit from a healthy, liveable and intact environment. Our focus lies not on technologies or strategies for optimising traffic and transport systems but on engendering a culture of mobility and activity that, in line with a broader understanding of prosperity, has the capacity to enhance our quality of life at a personal level and in the city as a whole.

 

FROM ACTION TO KNOWLEDGE: LEARNING FROM REALWORLD EXPERIMENTS

WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS CAN PROMOTE A SUSTAINABLE CULTURE OF MOBILITY?

Laboratories are for experiments. In a Realworld Laboratory, the experiments take place in an actual (spatial) environment to explore what effects new ideas can bring about. We then examine how these influence a range of ecological, technical and social boundary conditions. As such, the Realworld Laboratory for a Sustainable Mobility Culture invites the people of Stuttgart to tackle the challenges of urban mobility and try out new possible solutions in the form of Realworld Experiments.

In a multi-stage public participation process, local citizens worked together with students from the University of Stuttgart to develop a range of different Realworld Experiments. Following a competition, six projects were selected in 2016 for funding and ongoing monitoring and support.

Members of the public can follow the progress of the experiments and contribute to or play an active part in their development. Transformation workshops to evaluate the success of the Realworld Experiments and discuss the results will be open to everyone.

 

COOPERATION NETWORK, PARTNERS AND SOCIAL INNOVATORS

WHO’S ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTING TO A SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY CULTURE?

The Realworld Laboratory is a forum and network for new partnerships. In addition to researchers from the fields of transportation planning and technology management, architecture and urban planning, and sports sciences and sociology, student initiatives, cultural institutions, local businesses, associations and federations as well as social stakeholders from the city and region also play an active role in the research process. A particular focus of the Realworld Laboratory is the forging of new alliances between society, the market and the state to implement communal projects.

A special role is played by so-called “Transformation Pioneers”: people in society who are actively developing and implementing social innovations and innovative sustainable projects. Their actions have the capacity to change how we live on a day-to-day basis and serve as inspiration for others.

The aim of the Realworld Laboratory is to strengthen, promote and link up suitable projects and initiatives – and to jointly reflect on the experiences and results of the Realworld Experiments.

 

ACADEMIC PARTNERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF STUTTGART

Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology (ILPÖ) Prof. Antje Stokman | Institute of Urban Planning and Design (SI) Prof. Dr Astrid Ley | International Centre for Culture and Technology Research (IZKT) Dr Elke Uhl / Prof. Dr Helmut Bott | Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS) Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Ortwin Renn | Institute for Sports Science and Kinesiology (INSPO) Prof. Dr Wolfgang Schlicht | Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) Prof. Dr Wilhelm Bauer | Institute for Road and Transport Science, Chair for Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering (ISV) Prof. Dr Markus Friedrich

 

OFFICIAL COOPERATION PARTNERS IN STUTTGART AND THE REGION

City of Stuttgart | Greater Stuttgart Region | Stuttgart Region Higher Education and Economic Association | Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO | Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design | Crossing Borders Stuttgart e. V. | Greening Stuttgart University Group | Stuttgart City Museum | Theater Rampe

 

REALWORLD LABORATORY NETWORK PARTNERS (selection)

ADFC Cycling Club | Protestant Academy Bad Boll | Bürgerrikscha gemeinsam in Bewegung e. V. | Critical Mass Stuttgart | Electrify BW | emobil BW | eMobil S Quartiersgarage | Evangelical Church in Wurttemberg | Fahrgemeinschaft.de | Freies Lastenrad Stuttgart | Forum Hospitalviertel e. V. | HobbyHimmel | Esslingen University of Applied Sciences | Hyggelig-Bikes | IHK Chamber of Industry and Commerce Stuttgart | Baden-Württemberg Sustainability Youth Initiative | Marienhospital Stuttgart | Moovel GmbH | Movilization | NABU Gruppe Stuttgart e. V. | Naturfreunde Stuttgart | OK_Lab Stuttgart | PARK(ing) Day Stuttgart | Plattsalat West e. V. | Plusrad | RepairCafé Stuttgart | SSB | stadtmobil carsharing AG | SW E-Mobility | Treffpunkt 50+ | VHS Stuttgart Adult Education Centre | VVS Stuttgart Transport and Tariff Authority

 

For more information please visit www.r-n-m.net.