Today, metropolitan areas are confronted with the consequences of climate change, lack of resources, demographic shifts in the population and other ecological, economical and social problems.
In today’s Europe, the majority of people live in urban regions. Cities and the surrounding areas are facing challenges of urbanisation such as environmental damage, social differences, or isolation. However, those challenges cannot simply be resolved by new technologies.
Sustainable development has to encompass holistic and fair solutions, and a responsible planning strategy. This includes not only the critical analysis of the consequences of the production of goods as well as of a global energy supply chain. Local interests, ie how to improve the quality of living for the people, or how to preserve resources for generations to come, have to be considered as well.
In December 2011, ITA, with the support of the Ministry of Science and Research, initiated a series of networking activities to foster the interdisciplinary research in the field of sustainable urban regions. Results included:
- The concept of a series of publications on the topic of utilisation of resources.
- In February 2012, experts of Austrian universities as well as non-academic research institutions were invited to evaluate future visions for metropolitan areas in two workshops. Those workshop settings were supposed to build the foundation for a successful communication between science, society and politics.
- The results of both workshops were discussed in the final workshop, which involved international experts from Germany and Switzerland.