4. September 2023 | Press releases:

Climate crisis meets urbanisation Conference "Stadt der Zukunft #SdZ23" at TU Braunschweig

More than two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. Cities are places of longing and centres of innovation, at the same time drivers of resource consumption and climate change and particularly affected by the consequences. However, cities have immense potential to be places of sustainable change. In order to explore “research and actions for positive change” from different perspectives, Technische Universität Braunschweig’s core research area “Future City” invites you to the #SdZ23 conference on 11 and 12 October, with climate researcher Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the renowned Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

“Global warming is advancing and shrinking our living space. This is why we need to see cities in a whole new light and, above all, plan and rebuild them. Multifunctional and adapted to weather extremes, so that future generations will also be able to inhabit a liveable city,” emphasises Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. On 12 October, the climate researcher will first give a scientific talk on the current status of the climate crisis before discussing with students and young scientists the contribution of science to urban development, which is becoming increasingly urgent against the backdrop of the clash between the climate crisis and urbanisation.

Liveable, sustainable and fit for the future

Over twelve floors in Braunschweig’s Mühlenpfordt high-rise, the core research area is offering a diverse programme on both days centred around “research and actions for positive change” for the future city – and not just for experts and academics, but for anyone interested.

“With this first joint interdisciplinary conference of the core research area, we want to put urban development at the top of the scientific agenda for the future: It is in urban spaces that it will be decided whether climate goals will be achieved and it is in cities that people will feel in a special way if this does not succeed. It is important for us to create an interdisciplinary connection between urban narratives, urban modelling, urban experiences and urban design and thus show connections between research and actual intervention,” say the co-spokespersons of the core research area, Professor Vanessa Carlow and Professor Eckart Voigts.

From mobility to 3D printing in the building industry

Before the panel with Professor Schellnhuber, which will conclude the conference, eight sessions encourage interdisciplinary dialogue. For example, “Gute Wege?!” is dedicated to mobility spaces, especially urban streets. During the event, participants will take different perspectives: What are people’s experiences when they move through the city on foot, by wheelchair or by bicycle? In another session, participants will visit the Digital Building Fabrication Laboratory (DBFL), the large-scale 3D printer at TU Braunschweig. Scientists from the Collaborative Research Centre “Additive Manufacturing in Construction” (AMC) will offer insights into how additive manufacturing is revolutionising construction and opening up new freedom of form.

The concept of “Citiness” is the focus of “Stadtimagination / Stadtnarrative”. This panel will discuss how narratives and imagination pave, shape, accompany and image the paths to the future city. Other sessions will deal with the climate-friendly and caring city, the healthy city or living with water. The best concepts and ideas will receive an award in a competition on the productive city. The Lower Saxony Centre for Climate Research (ZKfN) will also introduce itself under the title “Wer sind wir – und wenn ja wie viele?” (Who are we—and if so, how many?).

Exhibitions and live music

In addition to the scientific discourse, a colourful accompanying programme is planned—with exhibitions, a stage programme, food trucks and live music. To start the conference in good shape, there will be a joint breakfast on 11 October. Other “activities” include the Danish Embassy’s touring exhibition “Liveable City”, which shows sustainable urban development based on 28 examples from Denmark. With the initiative “echt grün – eure Landwirte” (really green – your farmers), Landvolk Braunschweig presents how to farm responsibly, sustainably and with an eye to the future, and explains what seasonal and regional food really means.

With the geo-radar device of the geophysicists, visitors can take a look into the ground in front of the high-rise building in Mühlenpfordtstraße. At another stand, visitors can find out how alive our city waters are. The Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences invites you to a DataWalk with a companion app: people who have problems with spatial orientation can use it to create routes for special training.

The TUBS Players, an English theatre group at TU Braunschweig, show that their vision of a future city is international and full of diversity: In their “International-Sonnet-Rap”, a multilingual variant of Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”), they play with linguistic diversity. And what would a city be without music? Thanks to the support of the Institute for Music and Music Education, the stage offers a varied programme of different musical styles and bands from 5 pm onwards.

Conference #SdZ23

11 October, 9 am to 10 pm
12 October, 9 am to 3.30 pm
Mühlenpfordtstr. 23, 381016 Braunschweig

Participation in the conference is free of charge. For the sessions, PhD-SpeedDating and the closing panel, binding registration is requested via the website by 22 September 2023. Registration is not necessary for activities, project presentations, lectures or live music.
Programme and registration: https://sdz-konferenz.de/

About the core research area “Future City”

The conference #SdZ23 is organised by the core research area “Future City” at TU Braunschweig. As one of four thematic focal points, “Future City” has been investigating how cities can continue to meet the needs of their inhabitants in the face of the far-reaching challenges of a globalised world, advancing urbanisation, dwindling resources and climate change since 2015. In doing so, the researchers look beyond physical aspects and city boundaries and integrate historical, literary, philosophical, social and ecological themes.