Among the key action areas of cities are their structural and spatial design and urban use of land. They are of particular importance for a sustainable development of both new and established cities and urban districts, as they have a decisive influence on the quality of life and the environment, on identity and distinctiveness, and on participation in local society. At the same time, there are inseparable interrelationships between the use and design of urban areas and other fields of action, such as resource and energy efficiency, climate resilience and the mobility and productivity of urban structures.
The research project addresses these effects and interactions in a network of municipal and research institutions, urban planners and developers, construction companies and manufacturers of construction materials. Its objectives include the holistic development, technological expansion and practical testing of the building physics potential of urban surfaces. Most settlement, traffic and, in particular, building surfaces have so far been designed to continuously fulfil individual purposes. However, they can offer a wider scope of design for urban districts and cities, thus providing a variety of options regarding functionality and adaptivity, quality and efficiency.
As a starting point, the project joins all aspects and actors for a structured and moderated interdisciplinary exchange. As the owners and users of urban surfaces come from all sectors of the urban society, the communication between the relevant stakeholders extends throughout the entire project. The identified urban challenges and demands are analyzed and translated into concrete requirements for the building physical characteristics of urban surfaces. The subsequent comparison of existing and new technologies serves to create a portfolio of innovative planning and design solutions which are focusing on a functional area management of urban materials, surfaces and building components. The development of integral processes and instruments for expert planning and municipal participation is directly linked to this approach. The proof of suitability of the development results and their scalable demonstration up to real-world laboratory scale is carried out with municipal partners.
As usable results, specific areas of (re-)action and validated scenarios for urban building physical development and design are available. The transfer of applicable knowledge addresses municipal decision-makers, actors, and all those involved in or affected by the development process, as well as training and further education with sustainable effects. The scientific and economic perspective of the project partners is technology-oriented and leads to new products, systems and planning tools for the building physical design of urban surfaces.