Norbert used to manage a project called "Zukunftsstadt Dresden/FutureCity Dresden", designed to find the sustainable future city in a city competition with participation of the citizens. Inspired from his experiences Norbert and Jakob started to prototype an digital tool for transferring the Dresden experiences and to support participation processes. This prototype FutureCityProjects (FCP) was the foundation of our ClimateHackathon-Contribution:

We extended the prototype by a module, that forces project planners using FutureCityProjects to focus their project on climate-issues. Inspiring was also: To act at least a tiny bit towards a better world, nice team members and to work on a future for our grandchildren.

What it does

This tool helps citizens who are experts for local issues but not for politics or project planning, to create and plan (climate) project ideas for the local city development. This tool is directly connected to the local government and fundings, which helps the ideas to get implemented later.

The realized "module 1: project focus on climate change" asks the project planner about the project's contribution to: Avoiding CO2-emissions:

  • shrinking energy- and material-usage
  • using renewable energy sources instead of fossil sources
  • shrinking fossil mobility
  • vegetarian instead of meat
  • shifting financial streams from fossil to post-fossil investments

Adapting to changed climate:

  • prevent against extreme weather: heat, storm, flood, drought
  • strengthening of climate-change-resilient business modells
  • support of climate-change-relevant politics

collaboration, communication and empowerment to participation:

  • knowledge education: information and awareness
  • action education: qualification and empowerment for acting
  • initiating cooperation between people and organisations

If the Future(Climate)CityProjects platform is used for participation processes in cities, the resulting civic projects need to answer to that questions to make visible, where their project is heading to and to stimulate the project focus goes towards climate issues.

How we built it

FCP is based on PHP as client-server-solution with a rest-api and react-components on the client side. So we extended the existing REST API to accept additional data about climate impact and we extended the React Frontend with a page to ask about climate impacts. We also added new grafic elements to make it more nice to use it and to communicate more precise about the software.

And we developed ideas for at least 5 new modules with climate issues, that could be implemented.

Challenges we ran into

Jakob (software developer) and Norbert (product developer, project manager) know each other since years, Tina (usability and design) is new. How to work together over distance? (Even we live in the same city, we stay in distance because of the pandemic.) How to present our complex background and the new solution in a two minute video? How to produce this video?

And there was the challenge: what to do with our 4 extra module-ideas, we developed?

  • Module 2: project evaluation on climate change impacts
  • Module 3: the problems-to-projects-app
  • Module 4: climate-strategy-supporting projects
  • Module 5: measurable climate goals in every project

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The solution works and is a valuable extra to our software: there are tangible results. The new graphics are great and really make a difference for our communication. The working together was very well, even when we did not work in the same room. We did all on time without getting too nervous.

What we learned

How to set up and combine tools for video recording and cutting. (Norbert) How it is possible to explain something extensive and complex within 2 minutes. (Tina) How to adapt the existiting prototype to a new module fast. (Jakob) And we all were refreshing our english.

What's next for "From FutureCityProjects to FutureClimateCityProjects"

We are looking for cities and partners to get the prototype developed an and to set up participation processes. We are negotiating with the City of Dresden, but are looking for cities internationally too. We are coding and developing further and welcome partners with resources and connections to go on on that journey.

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