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Drive toward a viable 'City of the Future'
Date:7/12/2012

The urbanization of the world continues to evolve not only in emerging nations, but in the industrialized world like Europe as well. Already more than half of all the earth's inhabitants live in cities; by 2030, it will be 60 percent. As densely populated sites of human cohabitation, cities are ecological and social tinder boxes. Experts believe that the need for urban space will double by 2050. Megacities also generate megaproblems: With an insatiable appetite, they consume energy, raw materials and space in addition to producing pollutants, wastewater streams and mountains of rubbish. The transportation system is overloaded, resulting in overcrowding, lack of parking and traffic jams.

On the other hand, modern metropolises are the pioneers of transformation: They play a key role in coping with the tremendous challenges of the 21st century, since they are constantly on the verge of major changes that affect the metropolis itself, as well as its surroundings.

A number of technological developments such as renewable energy production, energy storage, electromobility, plus-energy homes, as well as innovative information and communications platforms contribute to future progress. The core challenge is not only figuring out how to optimize these technologies, but also learning how to guide them to a holistic, systemic approach. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft can rapidly network disparate competencies, and reinforce them in a targeted manner. That's why it is taking on a key role in the forward-looking project: The CO2-neutral, energy-efficient and climate-adapted cities" defined by the German Federal Government.

In Germany, energy and resource consumption is also concentrated in the urban realm. Almost 75 percent of Germany's entire population lived in cities in 2011. The idea of focusing future research and innovation policies on ecologically retrofitting today's cities emerged from the "Industry-Science Research Alliance" that is heade
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Contact: Franz Miller
franz.miller@zv.fraunhofer.de
0049-891-205-1300
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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