In the summer semester 2014, the IZKT and the Stuttgart Institute of Sustainability e.V. (SIS) established the dialog initiative “Sustainable Living Environment”. This dialog initiative takes an interdisciplinary approach to the major challenges of the 21st century, transcending the boundaries of disciplines and specific industries. The series started with the panel discussion on Sustainable Energy. Good – and well?, which was opened by the mayor of the state capital Stuttgart.
Since the winter semester 2014/15, we have been hosting panel discussions with representatives from science, business, and interested parties; each semester at a different location in Stuttgart.
The goal of the initiative is to invigorate the knowledge transfer and dialog between urban society and the university and, most importantly, to contribute to the conversion of our living environment to sustainable structures.
Within the framework of trans- and interdisciplinary courses, the IZKT gives students of the University of Stuttgart the opportunity to take a look beyond their own field of study as well as analyze and find solutions to real problems in cooperation with experts from business and civil society. Current courses offered can be found here. Information about past courses can be found in the archive.
In January 2015, the University of Stuttgart started the research project “Future City_Lab Stuttgart: Reallabor for Sustainable Mobility Culture” (RNM), in which the IZKT was also involved. The Reallabor ("real world lab" or "living lab") was funded as part of the state program “Strengthening the Contribution of Science to Sustainable Development”. Its focus was on the cultural dimension of sustainable mobility. Science, administration, companies, and citizens were working together in order to develop a mobility culture that not only conserves resources, but also supports health and physical exercise, promotes social exchange, and creates a new quality of life in the city and the region. With this goal in mind, the Reallabor for Sustainable Mobility Culture, in cooperation with committed partners, developed thought-provoking ideas, created visions, and initiated concrete projects for a good and sustainable mobile life.
The project was supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg as part of the funding program “Learning and Teaching Science. WILLE (1st phase). The Stuttgart Change Labs support cross-faculty and cross-institutional projects at the University of Stuttgart that promote sustainable education and development at the university and in civil society, are committed to taking social responsibility in a reflective manner, and facilitate knowledge- and competence-based social engagement. At the beginning of every semester, they look for new project ideas within the framework of a call for tender. Selected projects will then be supported financially and during implementation. As part of an interdisciplinary project team, the IZKT was represented by a coordination unit at the university’s Faculties 9 and 10.
The CITY-SPACE-EDUCATION Reallabor ("real world lab" or "living lab") addressed the conversion and expansion of local school and educational landscapes in the spirit of the knowledge society as an opportunity for the sustainable development of existing urban neighborhoods. It was part of the “City Reallabor” funding line of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg:
As a result of the change from an industrial to a knowledge society, education is now one of the most important production factors in our economy. Companies increasingly compete for qualified personnel. Education institutions have become important location factors for cities and municipalities. This is not the only reason why there is a strong interest in advancing the upgrading of existing educational buildings by means of expansion and renovation. For the all-day operation of schools, stronger networking with associations as well as social and cultural institutions in the sense of local integration is of great importance. All in all, the implementation of inclusive learning and the integration of new teaching and learning formats will result in an increased need for conversion and redesign in existing school buildings.
Within the framework of the Reallabor, a guidebook was developed by and for all stakeholders in the school conversion process at the local level. Several municipalities of different sizes and populations were integrated into the research. The scientists studied the different types of school building and their spatial context according to pedagogical, architectural, and urban planning aspects.
Knowledge transfer project: From a Transit Zone to a Place to Live. Sustainable Quality Development in the Hospital Quarter. Energy - Mobility - Quality of Life (2018-2019)
In 2018, the IZKT initiated a knowledge transfer project funded by the University of Stuttgart: The establishment of a Stuttgart-based platform for the development of transdisciplinary projects gave new incentive to the link between science at the University of Stuttgart and the city of Stuttgart. Science projects for the city in a city of science were advanced, presented to the public, and put up for discussion.
The knowledge transfer project was started with a pilot project at the level of neighborhood development: “From a Transit Zone to a Place to Live. Sustainable Quality Development in the Hospital Quarter. Energy - Mobility - Quality of Life”. Here, the scientists explored how to improve the quality of life for residents in a Stuttgart neighborhood with special social, urban development, and infrastructure challenges. For this purpose, strategies were developed in a participatory process and validated by a real-life experiment. Exemplary conditions for the success of transdisciplinary student projects were identified and summarized in a guideline. On the basis of this guideline, an open, flexibly designed “toolbox” has since been available for other projects, especially for the new “Stuttgart Change Labs” teaching format that is being developed at the university.
The knowledge transfer project, which was initiated by the IZKT and funded by the University of Stuttgart, aims to reflect on the potential of research and teaching in the University of Stuttgart’s living labs, systematically process the generated knowledge on a methodological level, and make it accessible for permanent application. The “University of Stuttgart Living Lab Research & Open Science Portal”, which is yet to be established, is expected to contribute to the continuation of the Stuttgart living lab research. This knowledge platform is also intended to promote stronger links between science at the university, the city of Stuttgart, and civil-society partners in order to initiate new transformative projects.
Project partners: Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS), stuvus Department for Sustainability in cooperation with the “CampUS hoch i” living lab, the Green Office of the University of Stuttgart, the Office for Climate Protection of the city of Stuttgart, the Superblock Augustenstrasse initiative of the Verein Quartierswerkstatt Ausgustenstrasse e.V. (“the Urban-District Workshop Ausgustenstrasse Association”), and the Wanderbaumallee Stuttgart initiative.