Enabling Citizens to Participate in Climate Friendly City Development – Our Experiences From the Climathon 2020
24 hours, a lot of commitment for climate and fun, more than 500 participants all over Germany, including 36 students of spatial planning in five teams. The result?! Five great ideas for joint climate protection!
For the first time the 2020 Climathon took place on November 13th and 14th as a Germany-wide digital event in cooperation with all German branches of the international ImpactHub network. Acknowledged by the United Nations the network aims towards the implementation of the SDGs with the help of innovative business solutions. The ImpactHub Ruhr branch is located in Essen. The Germany event again was embedded in the global Climathon 2020 of the initiative Climate-Kic, taking place in 145 cities in 56 different countries with over 6500 participants, who developed more than 600 ideas for joint climate protection simultaneously over the weekend. Concrete “challenges” or tasks were formulated in advance in cooperation with municipal -, private – and research partners, including the CET of the TU Dortmund University, the Faculty of Computer Science of the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Spatial Planning (EPC, RIM and RAM), and worked on during the event. Our team’s topic for the 24 hours of brainstorming was: “Collective impact platform urban space – digital citizen participation for a CO2-neutral and heat-resistant city”. The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IDG) in Darmstadt provided the teams with the software “smarticipate“, which was developed as part of an EU research project, to draw inspiration from and optional creation of new applications.
Our conclusion of the event: We all learned a lot and were grateful for taking home a positive experience, which we would like to share at this point. Especially in spatial planning, there are many questions and problems of an interdisciplinary nature, which require interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration among various disciplines. Strengthening these competencies is the aim of the “Studium Fundamentale” course integrated in the Spatial Planning B.Sc. programme, as part of which the students participated in this year’s Climathon. Thus, the event was an opportunity to test and expand our expertise, skills and the corresponding “soft skills” under digital conditions. In addition to having gotten to know practical digital collaboration tools, we also learned about motivation – and moderation techniques and practiced interdisciplinary teamwork on current societal issues. Perhaps the most important experience with regard to climate protection was that even under time pressure but equipped with good energy, jointly we can develop great ideas and solutions for climate protection from the comfort of our homes and it is fun! In addition, we came to know that much more is possible with regard to digital teaching.