Transformative Urban Development on the Upper Rhine

What does the city of the future look like, and what contribution can science make to its sustainable transformation?

These were some of the questions that the so-called exploratory workshop “Transformative Cities” addressed in Freiburg on May 12 and 13, 2022. In this workshop, 30 researchers from different fields discussed what the sustainable transformation of cities could look like and what new research projects this would require.

Not only the sustainable urban development processes, but also the form of the workshop was intended to be transformative. This meant that the participants determined the topics of the working groups together, which led to an intense and productive exchange of ideas. At the end of the workshop, the researchers agreed on the next steps to establish new research projects.

Where do cities want to go? This was the question explored by the first working group, which pursued an integrative approach and is planning a follow-up workshop for fall 2022 to develop a concrete project outline. The second group discussed an urban observatory, which would make it possible to collect and analyze urban data. This group is also planning follow-up activities. The third group focused on urban food systems.

The University of Freiburg is supporting the project proposals of all three groups, also beyond the workshop. Researchers from the Eucor area are welcome to join the effort and can contact Sofia Ganter (, Eucor project manager at the University of Freiburg.

Exploratory Workshops on the European Campus

As part of their strategic plan, the five member universities of Eucor – The European Campus have defined four shared research focus areas for which they plan to utilize their joint strengths and pool their competencies. Sustainability and sustainable urban development is one of these four research focus areas. The form of the exploratory workshops offers researchers from all five universities the opportunity to network, discuss ideas, and develop joint research plans.

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