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Research Project: „Well-Being Transformation Wuppertal (WTW)

May 2015 to Apr 2018

What do a sustainable economy, quality of life and urban transformation mean in cities such as Wuppertal, which are struggling with deep structural changes? How can impulses for more sustainability coming from the city’s civil society be described, structured and supported? How can quality of life be decoupled from material economic growth and resource consumption? The project WTW seeks comprehensive answers to these questions.

From climate protection concepts to target-group-specific renovation: Strategies, solutions and best-practise examples for dynamic communities (Sandy)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Energy refurbishment and modernization of the housing stock play a key role in municipal climate protection concepts. However, their practical realization encounters large problems. The diversity and motivations of homeowners and tenants, especially elderly people or people with migration background and those confronted with increasingly dynamic real estate markets in growing or shrinking regions have hardly been addressed. Therefore, the connected challenges remain unanswered and opportunities unseen. In the light of the above, a toolbox for municipalities with target group oriented measures, instruments and strategies will be developed, based on the analysis of specific cases in several case municipalities. The toolbox is designed to also take into account the various living situations of owners and tenants.

TransNIK Designing transitions for sustainable innovations – initiatives in the municipal fields of energy, water, construction and homes

May 2015 to Apr 2018

TransNIK aims to analyze the drivers for and the obstacles to the development and diffusion of innovative sustainable approaches in the three fields of activity and to identify key points for the transition to new solutions. The focus is on approaches that contribute to a more sustainable economy and in which innovative organizational, technical and social structures, production and utilization patters can emerge/become better established/and evolve.

SMEs and rural areas under demographic change – opportunities by social-environmental acting? (Regio TransKMU)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Hardly any trend in Germany is discussed as intensely as demographic change. Rural regions will be particularly affected. It intensifies the internal migration already taking place and may lead to negative impacts on regional social structures.  It also exacerbates the existing or expected lack of specialists, which especially affects small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and therefore the competitiveness of a region. The question emerges: which factors can increase the attractiveness of regions as a place to live and the attractiveness of SMEs as employer in a way that makes people want to stay. Given this context, the research project Regio TransKMU researches whether and how SMEs that act sustainably (in social and environmental terms) can shape rural areas and make them more attractive.

New opportunities for a sustainable food system through transformative enterprise models (nascent)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

In order to develop a sustainable food supply system, that enables food sovereignty and resilient food production on a regional level, the focus on local initiatives is increasing.

Initiatives with transformative potential are no longer exclusively situated in the sphere of either production or consumption, they are not only situated in either urban areas or the countryside, and are not only driven by economical success and/or limited by ecological demands. Instead these initiatives may diminish the impact of exogenous shocks and facilitate creative adaptation to changing environmental, socio-economic, and political conditions.

Mobile Living – Innovative Housing and Mobility Services

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The research project wants to initiate a knowledge brokerage process between joint housing initiatives and housing companies. Innovative ideas from joint housing and mobility concepts are going to be designed to be compatible and economically viable. Furthermore, the research project offers a knowledge pool containing promising ideas and concepts.

Governance model for socio-ecological transformation processes in practice: development and testing in three areas of application

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

Severe environmental problems seem to require a substantial and near-term shift towards greater sustainability in our production and consumption patterns. While many individual initiatives already exist in practice, comprehensive governance approaches targeted towards substantial transformations of whole socio-technical systems are lacking. In this respect, there is a great public need for systemically oriented and field-proven recommendations for forms of (more) successful governance of transformation processes.

The overall objective of the project is the development and testing of a heuristic, and the drafting of a manual planned as an E-Book to support practitioners in contributing to the initiation and in actively shaping socio-ecological transfor¬mation processes.

The Handprint A complementary measurement of positive sustainability impacts of products

Jun 2015 to May 2018

The Handprint is an innovative and holistic approach to facilitate the measurement, evaluation and communication of the ecological, economic and social sustainability impacts of products.

Commons-based Peer Production in Open Labs (COWERK)

Nov 2014 to Oct 2017

The project COWERK intends to examine the adoption of cooperative ways of organizing the economy by using the example of open-access labs. The project has the aim of analyzing the adoption of new technological methods in the context of decentralized and community-based production, and relating them to ways of sustainable development.