The Urban Turnaround is considered an essential pillar of the Great Transformation towards a world with a sustainable, post-fossil economy. In order to make important contributions to climate and resource protection and to transform people's lifestyles, also social innovations also need to be initiated. Ideas and concepts for this will be developed in a Urban Transformation Laboratory in Wuppertal. The project "UTL Arrenberg" is designed as a real-world laboratory in an urban context at the interface between science and society. In a collaborative process (co-creation), the project partners carried out real experiments (real-world interventions) are oriented towards the citizens´ lifestyles.
As a city in transition, Wuppertal already offers a growing scene of committed actors from culture, business, politics, and civil society. The project's first focuses is the Arrenberg district. The association "Aufbruch am Arrenberg e. V." (starting at Arrenberg) already has many active members, an Arrenberg app with a high number of calls per week and a neighbourhood office that’s open daily. On this basis, up to 200 citizens will be reached to conceptualise and establish a first citizens' panel in Arrenberg. In this context, the researchers do not see the panel as a classical form, i.e. a one-way street for the scientific community to survey the citizens, but as a structure that enables the mutual transfer of knowledge, participation, and civic-science interaction. Within the project, design formats will be developed that promote the latter. The practices of participation will change routines, generate ideas for transformation and be evaluated in a final co-creation workshop.