Research project on life quality in city quarters in the context of mobility, city structure and energy turnaround.

U-Turn Graphic Copyright: © HumTec

In U-Turn, an integrated approach is applied to deal with the challenges for cities in the 21st century. The aim of the project is the development of a holistic concept for ethically responsible living in an urban environment based on the needs of the citizens including social conditions.
The project aims for a research design which combines mobility, energy supplies and the development of city quarters with questions of acceptance, communication, ethical-normative contexts, environmental compatibility and health issues in an aging society.

Along the lines of mobility, energy supply and the planning of city quarters, the requirements of people in an urban environment are identified, analyzed and conceptionally prepared for being put into practice.
Regarding mobility in cities of the future, multimodal citizens expect an interconnected mobility system that is easy to use. In U-Turn, the framework of a closely interconnected mobility network will be investigated, taking new modes of transport into account. The development of specific user profiles and their connection with offers will subsequently serve as a basis for the development of implementation options and applications for specific target groups.
Besides, the development of energy supply in Germany and its influence on the Urban Turn will be investigated. Therefore, a holistic approach is chosen in which economical, ecological and technical criteria as well as socio-economic factors will be taken into account. The aim is to develop possible future scenarios for Germany and the systematic presentation and analysis of the parameters for the scenario and how they depend on different influential factors.

The integration of information and communication technology into the planning of city quarters of the future is the most promising way of meeting the challenges of demographic change and the continuing urbanization.

The aim is to identify fields of application and the development of a plan of action for architecture and urban planning, in which an intelligent and interconnected system solution provides the background for an optimized and sustainable planning of city quarters that will be acceptable for dwellers.
Along the lines of the three main themes of urban development, cross-cutting themes are investigated in U-Turn. These will be explained in the following paragraphs, taking environmental issues and questions of acceptance as examples:

  1. Clean and non-polluted air is a vital condition for human well-being. U-Turn deals with the question of the interrelation of city quarter structure, air quality, future changes and the resulting consequences for urban planning.
  2. The acceptance of the citizens is decisive for the realization and the success of future housing, energy and mobility concepts. The aim is the empirically based identification and modeling of requirements and needs of citizens which are relevant for acceptance in a future living environment. Also, acceptance-relevant requirements on energy supply and energy management, as well as modes of transport will be investigated.

Project supervisor:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schneider
Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Physische Geographie und Klimatologie
RWTH Aachen University
Templergraben 55, 52056 Aachen
+49 241 80 96047

Prof. Dr. Martina Ziefle
Human-Computer Interaction Center
Lehrstuhl für Communication Science
RWTH Aachen University
Theaterplatz 14, 52062 Aachen
+49 241 80 25510

Project partners:

Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Jakobs, Institut für Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Rafaela Hillerbrand, TU Delft, TPM- Faculty of Technology, Policy & Managment, Department of Values, Technology & Innovation
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Institut für Biomedizinische Technologie, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Christine Roll, Historisches Institut, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Peter Russell, Lehrst. für Computergesteuertes Planen in der Architektur, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Armin Schnettler, Institut für Hochspannungstechnik, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Dirk Vallée, Institut für Stadtbauwesen und Stadtverkehr, RWTH Aachen

Associated partners:

Prof. Dr. Jan Borchers, Fachgruppe Informatik, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Marten F. Brunk, Lehrst. für Baubetrieb und Gebäudetechnik, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dott, Institut für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Carmella Pfaffenbach, Geographisches Institut, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Andreas Pfennig, TU Graz, Österreich
Prof. Dr. Klaus Selle, Lehrstuhl für Planungstheorie und Stadtentwicklung, RWTH Aachen