KWI – Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (Kulturwissenschaftliches Intitut Essen, KWI)

Project Climate Initiative Essen – Action in a new Climate Culture

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie , Prof. Dr. Patrizia Nanz

Joint project as part of the "Wettbewerb Energieeffiziente Stadt” (Energy-Efficient City competition).

Funded by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: 06/2011 - 05/2016

The project is one of the victorious competitive contributions within the scope of a competition of the German ministry for education and research (BMBF) named „Energy-Efficient City“. It pursues the aim to promote climate protection in Essen with a Bottom Up strategy, i.e. to realise a vivid climate culture by means of participatory initiatives in particular by private companies and civil society. If within ten years the carbon dioxide emissions are meant to decrease in Essen by 40%, this can be reached not only by technical innovations. One must succeed above all in carrying these new technologies into the mainstream of the society and in helping to broaden use. Therefore cultural patterns of the way we use energy and consume must be changed.

Starting points are to think over behaviour patterns like the high level of individual, motorised, fossil fuel-intensive mobility and to change it towards a more sustainable direction. This requires social movement what the network approach and the awareness campaigns of the Climate Initiative Essen should contribute to. In this respect social and political engagement is needed in favor of the necessary framework for effective climate protection, for example, in the housing sector. How such massive sociocultural change can be pushed in a city like Essen in short time, this tries to fathom the climate initiative in a mixture of a research and conversion project. The climate initiative indicates ways how private households and consumers together with the city administration, energy providers and transport services can act more effectively for the regional climate protection.

The project under the coordination of the City of Essen unites scientific partners and the municipal enterprises of the Essen public transport company (EVAG), the housing company Allbau and the public utilities (Stadtwerke Essen). On side of the sciences belong to the syndicate beside the KWI the Centre for Logistics and Traffic (ZLV) as well as the institute of town planning and town planning (ISS) of the university of Duisburg-Essen and the university Spin-off Transportation, Research and Consulting (TRC). The project will be running from 2011 to 2014.