How can it be healthy to live, learn and work in Halle's inner city in the face of increasingly noticeable climate change? What measures are necessary and possible, especially for heat adaptation? These were the questions posed by participants at the Challenge Workshop of the Innovation Camp in Halle (Saale) on September 20, 2022.
Climate change challenge
Invited by the city, which was supported in organizing the participation format by the team from Univations and the University Medical Center Halle, committed people from science, business, politics, administration and civil society came together. The day's goal at the Central German Multimedia Center (MMZ): Identify challenges in Halle that are related to climate change and find possible solutions.
No easy task, said Alexandru Ene-Krueger from the Joint Research Center of the European Commission during the welcome, but one that can be worthwhile. The representative of the research center did not miss the kick-off of the second Innovation Camp in Halle.
Overcoming boundaries as a methodology
The event already took place in 2019 as part of the EU's Science meets Regions initiative and with Univations participation. At that time, the topic was healthcare in rural areas. What do both Innovation Camps have in common? The methodology. It is about overcoming the boundaries between disciplines and actors in order to develop scientifically based and effective solutions that can be shared by all.
The motivation at the MMZ was palpable, as the participants were able to agree in advance that climate change affects everyone and that action must be taken. There was a great need for discussion on the challenges relating to housing, the design of public spaces and commercial areas in Halle's city center, the use of buildings, and a solar and green roof exchange, as well as a wide range of ideas for solutions. The feedback after the workshop was positive, both from the participants and the organizers.
Networking at eye level
"Everyone got into good conversation," said Sabine Falk of the city's Climate Protection Service Center. "There were a lot of stakeholders there who have never come together like this before. That was very nice." From FSJ-ers to retired professors, she said, people worked really well at eye level and networked. "It's good that we took the time out of our day-to-day lives to do this."
Daniel Worch also chalked up the event as a success: "The Innovation Camp has proven to be a very suitable format for the second time after 2019," said the managing director of Univations GmbH. "We would like to thank the Joint Research Center of the European Commission for their support and all participants for their intensive participation in the working groups. Nothing more stands in the way of an exciting Solution Workshop in November."
Next step: Solution Workshop
In the next step, the results of the Challenge Workshop will be published on the Innovation Camp website. In the course of this, the people of Halle will have the chance to evaluate the solution approaches. To ensure that everything can be incorporated into the city's planning, the Solution Workshop on November 15, 2022, will focus on transforming the solution ideas into concrete measures. Sabine Falk is certain: "The Challenge Workshop was just the start. It's just getting started now."