Fields of innovation

Urban Zero marks the world's first attempt to transform an urban neighborhood - Duisburg-Ruhrort - to a state of complete environmental neutrality in just a few years (by 2029), i.e. one that no longer pollutes the biosphere. The attempt is extremely ambitious. Significantly reducing the environmental impact and compensating for the remaining environmental impact is a conceptual, strategic, environmental, social and economic transformation task of a currently unique magnitude.

The particular innovation fields of the project are:

Holistic approach to sustainability

The further development of today's predominantly one-dimensional climate strategies towards a sustainable holistic approach including key impact categories (for biodiversity and human health) such as acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, summer smog, land consumption, water footprint and toxicity (and others) and with clear reference to the United Nations Decade Development Goal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Innovative participatory approach

The development and testing of innovative methods for participation and collaboration in the transformation process consider a wide array of stakeholder groups, including a significant representation from civil society and the business sector.

A Framework for Positive Structural Transformation

An environmentally neutral neighborhood serves as a unique model within an industrial area beset by numerous structural changes, exemplifying the challenges faced by many urban and industrial regions globally.

Adaptability of the solutions found

The adaptability of the identified methodological, technical, social, ecological, and economic solutions and concepts is applicable across various domains of social transformation.

Linking ecology and economy

Entrepreneurial driven initiatives offer remarkable opportunities by uniquely merging ecological transformation with economic value. They provide numerous insights, strategies, and techniques for sustainably restructuring our economic system and concurrently enhancing prosperity.

Accompanying scientific research

Comprehensive scientific research of superior quality that not only addresses, scrutinizes, and records the environmental aspects and topics of the project, but also gives special attention to socio-economic aspects and topics. This includes a particular emphasis on exploring the motivation, joy, and life contentment of the civil society undergoing the transformation.

Innovations in sustainable technologies

Innovations and disruptions in sustainable technology, systems integration of energy, the expansion of sustainable energies and energy sources.

New management and financing models

The development of innovative management and financing models for cost-intensive change processes, with special emphasis on the acquisition of private funds.