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Blogs 17 mar 2023

A study tour to Heidelberg and Munich

Together with our Pioneers Aspelin Ramm, OBOS Eiendom and Sweco, our collaboration partner Resirqel and the Construction City Cluster, we went on a study tour to Heidelberg and Munich. The purpose of the tour was to learn from urban development projects regarding sustainability, circularity, innovative collaboration, and digitization. In addition, the trip brough new acquaintances, interesting discussions, and pleasant socialising.

Day 1: Circular City of Heidelberg

The study trip began in Heidelberg, famous for Germany’s oldest university and for winning the European Sustainable City Award twice and the UN’s Global Green City Award in 2015. First out was a guided tour through the Bahnstadt quarter, one of the biggest urban development projects in Germany. The tour ended at the Business Development Center Heidelberg where we met Carla Jung from the city administration. Carla presented the pilot project Circular City of Heidelberg referring to Heidelberg as a pioneer in applying the circular economy to urban development and urban construction. The first project phase focused on the Patrick Henry Village, the largest conversion site in Heidelberg that holds 325 buildings that will be refurbished or demolished for new estate. The target is 100% reuse of non-toxic materials. To succeed with urban planning and the goal of reuse, Heidelberg needed insight into materials and the masses of materials within the area. Our colleagues in Madaster Germany provided the Madaster platform to support Heidelberg’s urban mining ambitions. We presented the new functionality Area Register on the Madaster Platform and the tool Urban Mining Screener, that was developed by EPEA. These functionalities were used in the pilot project, and we were proud to share the results for our tour group. The Madaster platform gave insight into the masses, represented by the enormous repository of raw materials in the area, as well as the carbon footprint. We were excited to sharing this insight and discussing the opportunities with the Area Register as we are searching for a similar pilot project in Norway. The positive feedback from the group, supports our ambition to build a digital area register in Norway. After an interesting day, the cultural and socialising part of the program continued. In the night, we visited the Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg to learn about brewery and of course to taste beer. The following dinner and pleasant talks around the table rounded up a great day in Heidelberg.

Day 2: Munich Urban CoLab and the Olympic Park

On the following day, we took the train to Munich, the capital of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany. In this city, renowned as Germany’s «digital location number one», we visited the innovation hub Munich Urban CoLab. In this center startups, researchers and established businesses collaborate to solve sustainability challenges regarding future urban development through innovative smart technology and new products. We continued to the Olympic Park for a guided tour. It was inspiring to see how the architecture created for the Olympics in 1972, still feels modern and impressive. The sport arenas, parks and residential buildings were designed with regards to flexibility and durability, that are important aspects when it comes to circular design. The “grand finale” of the tour was a traditional Bavarian dinner at the historic Augustiner Keller from 1328. It was a perfect ending on a study tour where we had travelled from the past to the future – from Augustiner Keller’s historic ground to Heidelberg’s circular visions for the future. We really enjoyed the opportunity to share time, knowledge and experiences with our nice colleagues from the Construction City Cluster and the Madaster network. We are already looking forward to the next trip!

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