Sustainability Researchin and for Wuppertal

At first glance, Wuppertal with its 350,000 inhabitants is a typical post-industrial city, chronically broke, with above-average unemployment and many structural challenges. At second glance, however, a growing, diverse scene of committed actors from culture, business, politics, and civil society opens up in a charming topography and among numerous historic buildings.

The roots of this lively mixture go back to the time of (early) industrialisation, when citizens from the Wupper Valley (Valley is "tal" in German) were some of the first to make their mark on the "Great Transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. This represents the starting point for a new narrative: Having experienced and created great transformations before, Wuppertal has the potential to contribute to larger transformation towards sustainability and new models of well-being.

Mirke Station
Transformation in Wuppertal – Mirke Station. Photo: Olaf Joachimsmeier

Relations with the location have a long tradition at the Wuppertal Institute. Many joint projects and activities have been realised in close cooperation with the administration, local schools and companies. For example, the concept of "Economic Development 4.0" was further developed with the Economic Development Agency, a citizens' panel was tested as part of the "Urban Transformation Lab Arrenberg" and a "one-stop shop" for energy consulting and renovation of buildings was set up with the "ProRetro" project funded by the European Commission.


Here you find research activities in and for the city of Wuppertal.

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