School Debate About Sustainable Urban Development
The German research agenda in 2015 focuses on the future of cities ("Wissenschaftsjahr Zukunftsstadt"). This topic is also reflected in the curricula of schools. On 20 January 2015, ninety 9-year-old schoolchildren from Potsdam came together to watch the movie "Der blaue Tiger" and then discuss sustainable urban development from their perspectives. Stephanie Wunder, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, was invited to talk with them about the challenges of urban development, sustainability, the participation of children, and other issues. The event was organized by FILMERNST and Vision Kino.
The discussion after the film was very lively as the movie not only inspired the fantasy of the kids but also fired their imagination in terms of visions for livable cities. In a reference to the film they were asked what they would demand from their major if they could influence their city more.
The answers were very diverse and included the demand for less cars and traffic, more plants and trees, less litter and larger football grounds – but of course they used the imagined opportunity to also ask for unlimited school holidays….
The Ecologic Institutes involvement in this event is part of the Ecologic Institutes engagement for environmental education. Furthermore, the Ecologic Institute is involved in a range of research projects that explore the future of sustainable and climate friendly city development. Exemplary projects are the EU FP7 project POCACITO (POst CArbon CItes of TOmorrow) and the further development of the German Municipal Directive for Climate Protection within the German Federal Environment Ministries National Climate Initiative.
The Ecologic Institute will also develop research proposals on urban governance and participation models, climate friendly urban development and resource efficiency in cities within the "Wissenschaftsjahr Zukunftsstadt" in 2015.