In public discourse, climate change is often viewed only from an ecological or economic perspective. Financially weaker households are rarely included in projects at the municipal level. However, the social dimension is an important prerequisite for effective climate protection. Within the TRANSCITY project, the researchers are therefore using socio-spatial inclusion as leverage to promote climate protection at the municipal level. For this purpose, they are designing a cross-quarter emissions trading system (Social Urban Emissions Trading Systems, SUETS) between the two quarters of Werden and Altenessen in the city of Essen. They represent very different socio-spatial structures and milieus.
The innovative SUETS approach is to be tested in the model city of Essen. The following research question is to be investigated: How can a socio-spatially inclusive approach be used as a lever for climate protection by generating new forms of urban public sphere and new forms of cooperation? In order to evaluate the socio-spatial impact of SUETS between different milieus (e.g. academic and working class households), the two Essen districts of Werden and Altenessen were selected by the project team. These districts were chosen because they differ quite clearly from each other in terms of their social structure (income, level of education, SGBII rate, proportion of foreigners, etc.). The aim is to sensitise the public to social imbalances with regard to climate protection issues and at the same time to initiate and establish dialogue between residents of the two districts.
Within the framework of the project, one of the core tasks of the Wuppertal Institute is to calculate the carbon and material footprint of the participating households in the districts of Werden and Altenessen and, based on this, to quantify the climate protection effects of possible climate protection measures. Furthermore, the project participants initiate a real-world laboratories process that activates the neighbourhood population and involves them in the design and implementation of SUETS as well as in transdisciplinary cooperation to identify climate protection projects that are considered relevant. The empowerment processes on site are organised by the municipalities and their intermediary partners such as the neighbourhood management.
The project participants expect that the project can contribute to sensitising the urban public for climate protection issues and that SUETS will have a positive effect on the progress of the municipal political climate discourse.