Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

City District 4.0: Early-stage participation of citizens for sustainable development in Baden-Württemberg (Stadt:quartier 4.0)

The Living Lab: City District 4.0 is a testing field for tools for visualisation and digital participation formats in the planning processes of Stuttgart and Herrenberg.

Project Funding

Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg

Project Duration

January 2016 to December 2018


Digitalisation of economy and society is one of the most comprehensive transformations in our time. Little is known about the impacts of digitalisation on our cities. Short-time innovation cycles of digital products and processes stand in sharp contrast to the persistence of cities and their infrastructure. Planning and decision-making is done on the basis of conventional and strictly regulated practices and tools which are no longer appropriate for the challenges of our times. New forms of planning need to be developed. The research project “Livingl: City district 4.0” addresses two innovation fields:

  • Digitalisation of planning and decision-making processes in increasingly complex situations under inclusion of all relevant actors
  • Digitalisation of urban space as a place to live and work in an increasingly digital society

Research Questions

  • How can we make sure that the results of informal planning processes (e.g. tools for visualisation, digital participation formats) are compatible with formal planning processes?
  • What is the role of citizens and their local expertise for planning the future?
  • Which tools can help to improve the connection between the generation of ideas and urban planning as well as the interaction between citizens and administration?


  • We investigate the potential of digital participation methods and visualisation tools for involving citizens in the planning process of city districts.
  • We will develop a planning guideline for cities and communities. This guideline will suggest specific digital tools and participation methods for the planning process.


The research project “Living Lab: City District 4.0” will be carried out over the course of three years. Our strategy includes collaboration between science and public. We will develop new methods for urban planning using innovative experiments and interventions in city districts. These methods will be tested in so-called “living labs”, which means that research will take place in real urban environments. The living labs are in Herrenberg and Stuttgart.

Contact Person and Staff

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