“Testing the City of the Future” – Project on climate neutral urban development in Görlitz is looking for participants

From autumn 2021, it will once again be possible to test living and working in Görlitz, the easternmost city in Germany, located directly at the Polish border. The project “Testing the City of the Future – A living and working experiment for a climate neutral city of Görlitz” focuses on a new aspect. The participants are to support Görlitz with their ideas and expertise on the path to more sustainability. To do this, they can try out the city as a place to live, work and live for three months.

[Translate to Englisch:] Collage mit Bildern von Görlitz

The city of Görlitz aims to become climate neutral by 2030. To achieve this goal, it is relying on the great commitment of the local people. At the same time, however, suggestions from outside would also help to quickly find more sustainable ways of living and working. This is where the project “Testing the City of the Future - A living and working experiment for a climate neutral city of Görlitz” comes in. The project enables interested people to stay in Görlitz for three months from autumn 2021 to March 2023. Flats are available free of charge and companies and research institutions act as hosts for a temporary work stay. In addition, various local initiatives provide work spaces, for example for artistic and creative work.

The participants can and should use their three-month stay in Görlitz to deal with the topics of climate neutrality and sustainable urban development as part of their work and to bring their knowledge to the city. Various working models are possible in cooperation with the local partners of the project: internships in companies, academic guest stays, start-up activities and even stays by freelance artists. “The project is aimed at people who are already professionally involved with the topics of climate neutrality and sustainable urban development, for example, who are researching climate neutrality, who are working on innovative technical solutions in companies, who have founded a start-up or are planning to do so, or who take up aspects of sustainable living in their cultural or artistic work,” explains Prof. Dr. Robert Knippschild from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation (IZS) in Görlitz, who heads the project. “We are offering this group of people the opportunity to live in Görlitz for three months free of charge and to contribute to the targeted transformation towards a climate neutral city in 2030 during this time.”

The project is intended to draw attention to Görlitz as a place to live and work, and at the same time to investigate the chances of attracting qualified workers who can help drive the sustainable development of the city. The trial stay of the potential newcomers will be scientifically accompanied by the IZS. The aim of the accompanying research is to determine which requirements cities like Görlitz have to fulfil in order to attract qualified workers. What makes them settle in certain places and specifically in Görlitz? What might prevent them from taking the step to Görlitz or to another small or medium-sized town? And what role does the change towards more sustainable ways of living and working in these cities play in these decisions?

Notes on the application

Applications can be submitted online via a form on the website. A first selection and information of suitable participants will take place in June/July 2021. Applications for the later project phase are still possible.

Information and application via online form

Contact for applicants

Sarah Hauck
Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalising Urban Transformation (IZS), Görlitz
phone: +49 (0)3581 79 24-790
e-mail: stadtderzukunftaufprobe[im]ioer.de

Scientific contact at the IZS
Prof. Dr. Robert Knippschild (project management), e-mail: R.Knippschild[im]ioer.de
Constanze Zöllter (project processing), e-mail: C.Zoellter[im]ioer.de

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The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)/Federal Institute for research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) as part of their "National Urban Development Policy".


The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), represented by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalising Urban Transformation (IZS), is implementing the project together with local institutions from business, science and civil society.

Overview of the project partners