Evaluating the Contribution of Real-World-Laboratories on Citizen‘s Adaptation to Heat.

Master’s thesis by Laura Brings

Dr.-Ing., Universitätsprofessorin Agnes Förster Lehrstuhl für Planungstheorie und Stadtentwicklung

Juniorprofessor Jan Polívka Lehrstuhl für Städtebau und Entwerfen und Institut für Städtebau und europäische Urbanistik

Thesis Abstract

A rising heat stress was detectable in German cities within the last years. Therefore, cities as well as their citizens need to adapt to the new conditions by implementing concrete measures, introducing new governance structures and strengthen personal provision through information and sensibilisation. It is a task for society as a whole and involves various actors from different backgrounds and disciplines. With the development of new transdisciplinary and transformative approaches, research aims to tackle future complex challenges, such as adaptation to heat through experimenting in the real world. Real-world-laboratories (RWLs) as part of this research approach are recently being used in many projects. This work gives insights into how RWLs are used in research projects about heat adaptation and how they contribute to citizen’s adaptation to heat. It presents the results of a case study on three research projects, analysing inputs, outputs and outcomes and discusses the contribution of RWLs to heat adaptation from perspective of citizens, research and urban development. The analysed RWLs show great potential to include citizens in heat adaptation processes, foster understanding and acceptance for the topic as well as activating citizens to implement own measures. This is achieved by the projects through the inclusion of various actors within differing settings, the use of a variety of methods and a similar base in procedures. The produced outputs within the cases reach from physical and societal changes to changes in governance structures and the production of transferable products. The analysed RWLs show potential for urban development, especially within administrations but limits in regard to scientific and especially objective results.