German Sustainability Award goes to HeatResilientCity

The HeatResilientCity project has won the German Sustainability Award for Research 2022. The transdisciplinary project, coordinated by the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), is researching how densely built-up urban districts and the people living there can be sustainably protected from summer heat. The award ceremony took place on the evening of 3 December in Düsseldorf and as an online event.

The HeatResilientCity project team is extremely pleased to have received the German Sustainability Award, as it highlights the importance of research into sustainable heat adaptation in urban neighbourhoods. The record summers of 2018 and 2019 have made it clear: prolonged heat waves will be one of the major challenges for urban development in the future. Since 2017, the project partners have been investigating how municipalities, the housing industry, but also the population can act and take precautions now.

Of particular importance to the HeatResilientCity project team is the exchange with residents in the two city districts studied in Erfurt and Dresden. The project mainly implements measures that they consider sensible. The aim is to increase the acceptance of necessary preventive measures against summer heat. Many measures have already been implemented in the neighbourhoods: In Dresden-Gorbitz, three buildings have been renovated to adapt to the heat. In Erfurt's Oststadt, 50 new climate-adapted trees and shrubs provide more shade and cooling. In addition, drinking water stations were set up in the project, a flowering meadow was planted, and tree sponsorships and irrigation initiatives were launched.

The involvement of the local population, the broad implementation of initial measures and the innovative studies in the project were also the deciding factors for an independent jury to nominate the HeatResilientCity project together with two other finalists for the German Sustainability Award for Research. In addition to HeatResilientCity, the projects "Green City of the Future" and "LoKlim - Local Competence Development for Climate Change Adaptation in Small and Medium-sized Municipalities and Districts" were in the final. A public online voting in October and November finally brought the decision. On 3 December, Professor Heidi Sinning from the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (ISP) received the award on behalf of the HeatResilientCity project team. Due to the current Corona situation, the award ceremony took place in Düsseldorf with a significantly reduced number of participants and was broadcast online for those interested.

Until January 2023, HeatResilientCity will focus on further education. The project team will train employees of administrations, the housing industry and the health sector on the topic of heat adaptation and enable them to implement adaptation measures. The project team will also develop suitable tools and decision-making aids for urban and open space planning, as well as for the individual actions of citizens.

In addition to the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), the project network includes: the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (ISP), the Institute for Hydrology and Meteorology of the Technische Universität Dresden, the Dresden University of Applied Sciences (HTW), the Environmental Office of the City of Dresden, the Environmental and Nature Conservation Office of the City of Erfurt as well as, in Phase I, the Eisenbahner-Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft Dresden and, in Phase II, the Office for Health and Prevention of the City of Dresden.

The German Sustainability Award for Research was presented for the tenth time. It is awarded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This year, the competition focused on adaptation to climate change and dealing with extreme weather events in cities and regions. The competition was looking for application-oriented projects that present solutions for adapting to climate change and thus meet the challenges of climate change through preventive action.

Website of the HeatResilientCity project

Information on the German Sustainability Award (in German)

Contact at the IOER
Dr.-Ing. Regine Ortlepp (Lead of the project consortium),
Dr. Janneke Westermann (Academic coordinator of the project consortium)

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.