Adi Goldstein auf Unsplash25.02.2021
Science in Dialogue with the City
The transfer of knowledge between research and society carries the scientific work into the real world of the city's neighbourhoods. through experimental dialogue with the city's people and to initiate transformative science in the Brain City Berlin.
Urban Farming, new mobility concepts, innovative water management, Erlebnis-Campus: the projects under the StadtManufaktur Berlin umbrella are diverse. And everyone can get involved. The joint initiative of the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), the Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (Center for Technology and Society, ZTG), and the Einstein Center Digital Future officially launched in summer 2020. The special thing about the platform: it exclusively bundles projects from TU Berlin in an experimental participation network in order to bring research and urban society closer together on a project-specific basis in an "open laboratory situation" that will foster the exchange of experiences and ideas.
"Our aim is to provide scientific support to existing transformation processes in the city or to initiate processes through science and thus bring about positive change within the urban space," Professor Dr Gabriele Wendorf, Scientific Director of the ZTG, explains. The overriding objective of StadtManufaktur: to make the results of scientific research visible and take them "out onto the streets" in various projects. The target audience of the StadtManufaktur initiative are scientists and the city's residents, as well as stakeholders from the world of politics, business, government, and the arts. In short, Berlin civil society and science engaged in eye-level conversation.
The projects summarized on the digital platform under the StadtManufaktur umbrella cover four subject areas: "Climatic Resilience", "Energy Transition", "The Circular Economy" and "Transformation Knowledge". They see themselves as real-world laboratories, urban experimental spaces where ideas can be developed, tried out, implemented, and scientifically monitored. The scientists at TU Berlin are working closely with stakeholders in urban society, who in turn contribute their experiences and practical knowledge. Digital and analogue ways of participating are tightly interwoven.
“The involvement we are seeking will go a long way. External stakeholders will not only have a say in the projects, but will also help formulate research topics”, says Dr-Ing Anja Steglich, spokesperson for Urban Transformation and Transfer in the Presidium of TU Berlin and coordinator of StadtManufaktur Berlin. One of the real-life laboratories in Berlin that could set the course for sustainable change is the project„Neue Mobilität Berlin“ (NMB), which has been up and running since 2016. At the Mierendorff-INSEL in Charlottenburg and on Klausenerplatz, the mobility needs of residents are being explored in various sub-projects.
The aim is to jointly develop new solutions for sustainable, local mobility and to increase the quality of life in the neighbourhood. In a beach volleyball facility in Gleisdreieckpark, scientists and residents are jointly investigating how rain and shower water can be treated in a participatory and productive way. And with the “Haus der Statistik” (House of Satistics) on Alexanderplatz, TU Berlin is working on a project related to the “circular economy”. The common denominator for all StadtManufaktur projects: they are experimental and ideally located in different parts of the city. “We're trying to provide support to the best of our abilities. We also want to see how one can institutionalise, generalise, and publish the lessons and results thus gained”, Steglich says.
Addressing local actors and actively involving them in the process, however, requires a lot of sensitivity in Gabriele Wendorf's experience. “You have to proceed very cautiously and carefully consider the particular local interests in advance. When it comes to change processes in the city, it helps a lot to hold preliminary talks with district and regulatory authorities, with mobility and citizens' initiatives, and also with the local trades.
And it's important to look for 'allies'". On the Mierendorff-INSEL, for example, “New Mobility Berlin” was seeking volunteers to move their cars into a parking garage that they could use for free. The parking space that this freed up could then be used as part of the project to increase the quality of life in the neighbourhood. "With that we took the wind out of the sails of those who wanted to argue against us from the start", Wendorf says, adding: “This is a level of scientific work which may not be familiar to everyone and which definitely involves controversy. But it is very important, especially when it initiates change processes. In a way, the transformation projects are about learning how to 'experiment with the city'. And that affects everyone involved, including us scientist
A major advantage of this type of science transfer: it works both ways. It not only brings knowledge from the ivory tower into the city through the exchange and cooperation with citizens in real-world laboratories. It also creates fresh approaches and ideas that can provide external stimulus for further scientific work. "The exchange is by no means a one-way transfer", Steglich emphasises. “StadtManufaktur is listening to the city's people. It is offering a platform for experimental projects and processes from all areas of everyday urban life that seek proximity to science." In addition, the experience gained by the researchers at TU Berlin through their working in real-world laboratories can be passed on both in science and in practice.
In order to bring results to the rest of the world, Berlin's StadtManufaktur is also in intensive exchange nationwide with real-world laboratories in other cities. The first results already speak in favour of this approach of involving citizens in scientific projects in both analogue and digital ways. Anja Steglich: “The results are better, more conscious, more suitable, more crisis-proof. They are the answers to the challenges of our time."
For the scientists involved, abandoning the traditional path means rethinking. That's not always easy, as Gabriele Wendorf knows from personal experience: “We actually need transformation experts for the process. Many scientists today are taking on tasks in transfer processes that have never been promoted before. Selling it confidently is a new form of science that's not that easy. This work is just as excellent as what we understand as excellence in the elitist sense. A profound change is underway, all the way up to the topic of research funding." (vdo)
- Insights Photo: Christina Lüdtke (private source)InsightsFour universities, one network: The network “Science & Startups” groups the start-up services of the universities united in the Berlin University…→
Wide-ranging Support for University Start-ups
- Insights Photo: privateInsightsA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Anna Klippstein, professor of finance and Eliyahu Mätzschker, student at Touro College Berlin.→
The Pandemic and its Impact on the Capital Market
- Insights Credit: André BakkerInsightsA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Professor for International Business Administration at the SRH…→
Getting on Board with Digitality
- Insights Swen Hutter (Foto: David Ausserhofer), Gesine Höltmann (Foto: Martina Sander)InsightsA guest contribution by Gesine Höltmann, research assistant and Swen Hutter, Deputy Director at the Centre for Civil Society Research.→
Polarisation and Cohesion in the Corona Crisis: a Look at Civil Society
- Insights Foto: "Lucid Dream", Elena Kunau and Mariya YordanovaInsightsARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE is the name of an exhibition that can be seen from 8 to 12 September as part of Ars Electronica Garden…→
Interaction via Emotion
- Insights Credit: Peter Himsel/Campus Berlin-Buch GmbHInsightsThe Campus Berlin-Buch in the north of Brain City Berlin has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business and research centres for life sciences.→
A Vibrant Healthcare Network
- Insights Credit: Markus KrutzikInsightsDr. Markus Krutzik, Head of the Joint Lab Integrated Quantum Sensors (IQS), on the "Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft" (Science Meets Business") event…→
"I am Fascinated by the Possibilities of Quantum Sensors"
- Insights Foto: ESCP Business School BerlinInsightsWhat to do when distance is suddenly the order of the day? A guest contribution by Dr. René Mauer, Professor of Entrepreneurship und Innovation at…→
Using Whiteboards to Combat Digital Fatigue
- Insights Credit: Alexander Rentsch/HTW BerlinInsightsBrain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Florian Koch of HTW Berlin brings together science, business and civil society in his research.→
“Increasing Urbanisation also Creates Opportunities”
- Insights Credit: Rudolf GrillborzerInsightsGuest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr.-Ing. Onur Günlü, Technische Universität Berlin.→
Exploring the "ultimate limits"
- Insights Credt: Startup Incubator BerlinInsightsThe Startup Incubator Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law is particularly successful in supporting founder teams – as proved by the fact…→
“We Bring Ideas to Market”
- Insights Credit: Mimi Thian on UnsolashInsightsGuest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.→
“Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”
- Insights Susanne Plaumann (private)InsightsInterview with Brain City Ambassador Susanne Plaumann M.A., Central women's representative at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.→
“Careers are now easier to plan for women scientists”
- Insights Falk WeißInsightsThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
- Insights Foto: Olga Makarova privatInsightsBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
- Insights HIIGInsightsBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
- Insights HTW BerlinInsightsAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
- Insights dentalXr.aiInsightsdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
- Insights Anna Raysyan (private)InsightsBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
- Insights ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieInsightsMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
- Insights ©Matthias PicketInsightsDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
- Insights © Pocky Lee on UnsplashInsightsMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
- Insights © AW Creative on UnsplashInsightsJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
- Insights © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschInsightsTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
- Insights Franziska SattlerInsightsIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
- Insights Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensInsightsSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
- Insights ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPInsightsBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
- Insights © hj barraza/UnsplashInsightsOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
- Insights ©DexLeChemInsightsLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
- Insights ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipInsightsBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
- Insights ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykInsightsAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
- Insights ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comInsightsIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project…→
Exploring the future of learning
- Insights © Brain City BerlinInsightsResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
- Insights ©ESCP EUROPEInsights29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is…→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
- Insights Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeInsightsIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
- Insights ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeInsightsThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeInsightsTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBInsightsBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashInsightsSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtInsightsIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafInsightsBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinInsights660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018