Workshop 10. Towards Actionable Knowledge for Sustainable and Resilient Communities: Creating Innovative Solution-oriented Research Approaches for the Development of Strategies at the Urban Scale


All facilitators are affiliated with Leuphana University Lüneburg Faculty of Sustainability Institute of Ethics and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research, Lüneburg, Germany.
Beatrice John, Research Associate at the Professorship for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research

Annika Weiser,Research Associate at the Professorship for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research;  Daniel J. Lang, Professor for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research at the Faculty of Sustainability at Leuphana University of Lüneburg.


UIC Forum, Room H



Research on cities and urban spaces has recently increased the focus on their role as engines for transformation towards sustainability. Science policy documents, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), and other national science foundations call for international action taken towards inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable human settlements. They increase funding for interdisciplinary research, but also for research with actors and practitioners in participatory settings, aiming at results towards developing innovative solutions and engaging in living labs and experiments. This development also has implications for high quality research in Industrial Ecology. Interdisciplinary methods and studies such as those for the Urban Metabolism are an important basis to understand the complexity of built environment, infrastructure, water, sanitation and water systems. However, questions arise as to how such established approaches can be complemented in a way that builds on such system understanding and puts an emphasis on finding concrete and practically applicable sustainability solutions while likewise maintaining high quality research standards.


The workshop aims at sounding the chances of solution-oriented research that contributes to system-based analyses of the urban metabolism. Participants are expected to leave the workshop with hands-on approaches for their own research that incorporates elements of solution-orientation. Target group: The workshop addresses researchers from a broad range of issues relevant in the city context, who are experienced with or interested in conducting and developing research settings in close connection with established IE methods in more participatory fields.


The workshop is set up as an intense interdisciplinary exchange, comprised of interactive collaborative working sessions as well reflection and discussion. Focus is put on the participants’ own research work, sharing experiences and discussing what can be learnt from past successes and shortcomings. Participants will:


  • Learn about the principles of solution-oriented research based on the experiences in past and on-going research of the facilitators.Share experiences and develop ways to complement own research modes and find practical and concrete entry points to develop solution-orientation based on concrete examples from existing, past or on-going studies. (This may also include experiences made in collaborating with actors from industry for the collaboration with actors in an urban context.) Engage in a practical exercise in doing or applying problem analysis, future techniques (e.g. visioning), and strategy building. Reflect and discuss about risks and chances of generalizing and contextualizing data, and the changing role of scientists in these approaches.


Number of participants: 15