Results of the first practical workshop of the junior research group CIMT

Our first practical workshop in summer 2020 focused on the question of how the evaluation of citizen contributions can be technically supported and what requirements practitioners have for a software solution designed to (partially) automate the evaluation.

More information can be found in the working paper:

Kick-Off Conference of Junior Research Groups in Bonn

On 9 & 10 March 2020 the kick-off conference of all junior research groups took place that are funded by the BMBF programme on Research for Sustainable Development (FONA). At the moment there are about 20 junior research group that receive funding and that reported during the two-day conference.

As part of the latest funding round of 2019 we presented our group in the form of a presentation and a poster.

For an overview of all junior research group see the BMBF website.

Urban Change Maker Group – Workshop in Berlin

Evolving our ideas in exchange with the research community in sustainable transport is essential for us – to view challenges from a new angle, get some inspiration and possibly identify some synergies. That´s why we are part of the Urban Change Maker group, a diverse group of PhD and Post-Doc researchers from all over the world that work on issues of sustainable transformation in cities. Focus is on research that enables a sustainable transition in practice, mainly on governance and stakeholder constellations as well as social justice.

The research group is affiliated with the Wuppertal Institute and the TU Berlin as well as various other research institutions and universities.

On March 6th, we met for a creative workshop to identify possible synergies and joint research topics. The workshop started with the researchers introducing their research interests, already starting discussions on possible synergies. This was further continued and concrete paper ideas were discussed, as well as possible topics for Master´s thesis at the affiliated universities.

For our research group, a possible synergy could be comparing our German cases with similar cases of public participation in one of the partner cities and elaborate differences and similarities. The initiated exchange will continue over the following years, in the form of regular workshops and a yearly summer school for the whole group, and more intense exchange for the work on joint research and paper topics. This exchange will help us to discuss and place the topic in a broader thematic and geographical context.

First advisory board meeting of the junior research group CIMT in Berlin

On 28 February 2020, the junior research group organized the first meeting of the advisory board. The meeting of the members from research and practice took place at the Berlin Social Science Center WZB.

Beiratstreffen am WZB Berlin
Advisory board meeting on 28 February

A central point of the event was the introduction and getting to know the members of the advisory board and the members of the junior research group. As group leader, assistant professor Tobias Escher presented the interdisciplinary research project in general. Laura Mark (urban planning), Katharina Huseljić (sociology) and Julia Romberg (computer science) then discussed the research projects of the individual disciplines in more detail. In the following discussion, a constructive exchange on the requirements of the single project parts and the overall project took place. At the end of the meeting, a joint decision was made in a feedback round to continue the exchange semi-annually to annually.

CIMT thanks all participants for a successful day!

Conference Future City 2019

On December 2nd and 3rd, 2019, the Conference Future City 2019 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research took place in Münster. The CIMT group – represented by Laura Mark and Katharina Huseljić – presented itself there with a poster.

The main goal of our group was to network with science and practice in order to facilitate future cooperation in the evaluation of participation procedures. In addition, there was a strong exchange with former and currently funded projects from social-ecological research. Among other things, the focus was on inter- and transdisciplinary work in junior research groups.

Additionally, there was room for disciplinary interaction and networking and workshops deepening knowledge in the differing research attempts. There was the opportunity to attend various workshops with and without disciplinary focuses. The members of the junior research group attended events on working with data at local municipality level and on the possibility of bottom up climate protection.

Transdisciplinary Research – Meeting FixMyCity and Liquid Democracy in Berlin

Transdisciplinarity as cooperation with practice is an enormously relevant aspect for our project. In order to incorporate the ideas and requirements of practice into the development of our concepts and procedures at an early stage, we went to Berlin on October 24th and 25th.

Once there, we first went to a meeting in the offices of FixMyCity, where Boris Hekele was waiting for us. After a short tour of the work spaces in the former Tempelhof Airport, the founder of FixMyCity told us about past and current experiences with participation in mobility transitions – mainly the improvement of cycle paths and cycle parking in various districts in Berlin. This gave us an insight into participation procedures currently running mainly online.

After a long walk across the Tempelhof field and thus the assessment of the impact of a previous participation procedure on the design of urban space, we finally arrived at the office of Liquid Democracy. We discussed the potentials of automated evaluation in participation procedures and possible deliberative potentials of these. The exchange was very helpful for us to identify needs in practice, as well as for the further conceptualization of the dissertations and the orientation of these towards problems in practice.

On Friday we had our first meeting with our mentor Dr. Oliver Lah and the Urban Change Maker Group, where we discussed our dissertation ideas in an international environment. The focus was again on the automated evaluation of participation contributions and the representativeness of procedures in the field of sustainable mobility. The feedback was very helpful for the further design of the dissertation projects.