The HeatResilientCity project team is extremely pleased to have received the German Sustainability Award, as it highlights the importance of research into sustainable heat adaptation in urban neighbourhoods. The record summers of 2018 and 2019 have made it clear: prolonged heat waves will be one of the major challenges for urban development in the future. Since 2017, the project partners have been investigating how municipalities, the housing industry, but also the population can act and take precautions now.
Of particular importance to the HeatResilientCity project team is the exchange with residents in the two city districts studied in Erfurt and Dresden. The project mainly implements measures that they consider sensible. The aim is to increase the acceptance of necessary preventive measures against summer heat. Many measures have already been implemented in the neighbourhoods: In Dresden-Gorbitz, three buildings have been renovated to adapt to the heat. In Erfurt's Oststadt, 50 new climate-adapted trees and shrubs provide more shade and cooling. In addition, drinking water stations were set up in the project, a flowering meadow was planted, and tree sponsorships and irrigation initiatives were launched.
The involvement of the local population, the broad implementation of initial measures and the innovative studies in the project were also the deciding factors for an independent jury to nominate the HeatResilientCity project together with two other finalists for the German Sustainability Award for Research. In addition to HeatResilientCity, the projects "Green City of the Future" and "LoKlim - Local Competence Development for Climate Change Adaptation in Small and Medium-sized Municipalities and Districts" were in the final. A public online voting in October and November finally brought the decision. On 3 December, Professor Heidi Sinning from the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (ISP) received the award on behalf of the HeatResilientCity project team. Due to the current Corona situation, the award ceremony took place in Düsseldorf with a significantly reduced number of participants and was broadcast online for those interested.
Until January 2023, HeatResilientCity will focus on further education. The project team will train employees of administrations, the housing industry and the health sector on the topic of heat adaptation and enable them to implement adaptation measures. The project team will also develop suitable tools and decision-making aids for urban and open space planning, as well as for the individual actions of citizens.