Morgenstadt – CityInsights

morgenstadtIn march 2012 the German cabinet passed the national high-tech strategy 2020, framing the CO2-neutral and energy efficient and liveable city of the future as essential part of the upcoming nataional research agenda. The innovation network “Morgenstadt: City Insights” aims at synchronizing the interests of industry, cities and research within the field of the “city of the future” at an early stage. We connect systems innovations, business models for sustainable technologies and strategies for multidisciplinary project cooperation in order to shape the complex futures of sustainable cities together with our partners.

For the innovation network “Morgenstadt: City Insights”, 12 Fraunhofer Institutes have joined forces. Together with partners from industry and city administrations we develop a systematic insight into promising approaches and innovative strategies for a resource-efficient, intelligent and sustainable city.

The project aims at creating insights into currently ongoing transformation processes of chosen global cities. It uncovers success factors for the transition towards sustainable and trendsetting cities of the future. To reach this goal, the project focuses on the systemic interactions of technologies, processes, actors, services and business models in the relevant urban systems like energy/resources, mobility/logistics, manufacturing/logistics, construction/building, information/communications, safety/security and governance/organization.

Executive Summary

Cities provide the markets of tomorrow. Already today cities are the biggest entities of industrial and economic activity and the growth of urban populations is steadily increasing. By 2030 the number of people living in cities will rise to five billion, facing great challenges to infrastructure, economic development and life-quality induced by scarce resources, climate change and the mere number of people. Addressing the city of tomorrow and its markets therefore requires a new way of thinking for almost every industry sector. Conventional single-consumer-related products have to be replaced by integrated approaches forming whole urban systems: A new relationship of information, resources, products and users will lie at the heart of the innovation loop that cities will have to master within the next decades.

Fraunhofer develops solutions for future cities. Several institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization have been working on a wide range of urban solutions and products for many years. Now their expertise and profound competence will be brought together in a visionary collaborative research initiative Morgenstadt. The foundation for this multidisciplinary long term research initiative will be the joint research project Morgenstadt: City Insights. Here different Fraunhofer competences will join forces combining technology management for the most important technology- and organization-based urban systems with practical knowhow of industrial, political and further planning partners. The connected research on the most important sectors for the cities of tomorrow – mobility, energy, communications, security, buildings, resources and governance – will lay the foundation for creating smart and sustainable system innovations for future urban structures.

Establishing a starting point for urban systems innovations. Cities worldwide are already delivering early solutions for the pressing future challenges and by this create leading examples for best practices. In contrast to many other current research initiatives on cities, we do not focus on single products or single urban systems from the supply side; we take one step further by detecting the needs of the urban populations living in cities as aggregate of mutually intertwined urban systems. We invite industries, interested cities and NGO’s, and enterprises with an international or multinational focus, that aim at shaping urban markets of today and tomorrow, to join the project Morgenstadt: City Insights in order to learn from the best available
approaches today and form a sound starting point for future R&D.

Applied research and industry joining forces. In close collaboration with industry partners Fraunhofer will use its expertise to identify the most advanced concepts for integrated and sustainable urban systems on a global scale. In-depth analyses and onsite assessments in leading cities worldwide will reveal existing and hidden requirements for future urban innovations. A well-founded knowledge base will be created with comparable data and various inputs from the network representing the starting point for the systematic identification of requirements for innovative concepts, products and technologies. With applied research and industry joining forces in this initiative, for the first time a holistic approach will get off the ground for the fruition of Morgenstadt as visionary prototype for smart and sustainable cities of the future.

Further Information

Project duration

April 2012 – November 2013


Industry project


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