Berlin in transition – a pioneer for a liveable urban future

Berlin as a pioneer for a liveable urban future


Large cities like Berlin are facing major challenges in the 21st century. Climate change, resource consumption, digitalization, migration as well as an ageing population require a profound change in society. By 2050, Berlin aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85 percent compared to 1990 levels. At the same time, some 330,000 more people will move to Berlin. The expectation is that the city will become older, more polarized in terms of social space, but also more digital and international.

But it is encouraging that Berlin, as a city in transition, is known for its proven ability to change. And Berlin is one of the most dynamic and greenest cities in Europe. These are excellent foundations for tackling the challenges at hand, but time is running short: the city is already feeling the social and environmental pressures arising from the city’s rapid growth and socio-demographic changes.

In the project “Knowledge. Transformation. Berlin.”, the Ecornet Berlin research partnership is taking a look at Berlin’s existing strengths and diversity, but also at the environmental and social challenges that exist. The goal is to enhance Berlin’s role as a pioneer in the development of innovative approaches for a liveable, cohesive, climate-neutral and resource-efficient urban society. To this end, the participating institutes are working on several projects in three subject areas.

Learn more about the topics of the research partnership:

Social climate transformation | Sustainable business management | Digitalization

How can the decarbonization of the electricity, heat and transport sectors be socially equitable? Berlin has set its sights on becoming climate neutral by 2050. This means that greenhouse gas-intensive sectors such as electricity, heat and transport must be decarbonized, i.e. free of carbon fuels. When it comes to the carbon footprint, the two most important action areas in the Berlin Energy and...
How can Berlin become a flagship for alternative business practices and circular economy models? Today’s climate and biodiversity crisis, but also the social problems, have been largely caused by our consumption habits, lifestyles and business practices in recent decades. What needs to change? And what role do large cities like Berlin play in this process? Through transdisciplinary social and...
Foto Festplatte
How can the course be set for a social and environmental digital transformation in Berlin? The megatrend of digitalization is changing the economy, society and politics and ultimately the entire planet. Despite long-standing knowledge about these transformative forces, the social and environmental impacts and mutual dependencies of new technologies and their political, economic and social...