The City under Global Demographic and Climate Challenges: an interdisciplinary assessment of impacts, needs, and strategies 


Europe has an aging infrastructure and an aging population. Demographers project that in the EU-25-States by 2050, 30% of the population will be over age 65. An aging workforce and population combined with higher energy prices, environmental concern, and technological changes are likely to transform living and working arrangements. Also by 2050, average temperatures are projected to rise by 1 to 2 K, and summers in Central Europe might exhibit prolonged dry periods (IPCC 2007). Combined, Europe can expect enhanced thermal stress and higher levels of particulate matter. The confluence of demographic change, an aging infrastructure, and global warming will overburden European cities. But how to adapt is a crucial question that can only optimally be answered within an interdisciplinary approach.

Our planned research:

(1) identifies the ways micro-climates in the city, health outcomes, and the urban environment are related,
(2) assesses the risks individuals face living and working in these conditions, and
(3) proposes new strategies based on cooperation from the fields of medicine, natural science, demography, sociology, history, civil engineering, and architecture for adapting the city for future needs. Organized into 3 clusters, CITY 2020+ will develop scenarios, options and tools for planning and developing sustainable future city structures.