Project duration
01.05.2022 - 31.01.2025

Funding organization
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

Project sponsor
Project Management Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Project partners
Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences
Stadt Würzburg
Stadt Asperg
Drees & Sommer SE

In order to meet Germany's sustainability goals in urban areas, tools and processes must be used in municipalities and planning offices that take into account relevant dimensions such as energy, water, urban green, mobility, socio-economic factors and cost aspects, as well as interactions between all these dimensions throughout the entire urban planning process. Unfortunately, this is not always in line with common practice: for example, many of the aspects mentioned are often only taken into account when certain solutions are no longer feasible. CircularGreenSimCity brings together municipalities particularly affected by climate change and undergoing urban transformation with planning offices, certification agencies and the scientific community to first evaluate successful residential and commercial neighborhood development concepts. This will result in a picture of "optimal" neighborhood archetypes along the above dimensions, based on which existing models and methods for lifecycle-based assessment will be further developed and linked. The developed tools and processes are then applied to pilot residential and commercial districts in the partner municipalities and subjected to a continuous improvement process. The resulting guidelines for sustainable urban planning processes and related tools will be presented to the public towards the end of the project and will allow municipalities, project developers, engineering firms and energy suppliers to plan sustainable neighborhoods on a life-cycle basis. The project thus addresses three of the United Nations' 17 Sustainability Goals in particular: "Affordable and Clean Energy”, "Sustainable Cities and Communities" and "Responsible Consumption and Climate Action”. In the area of reducing the lifecycle emissions of residential buildings at city level, a saving of around 67% in CO2-equivalents can be achieved compared with the status quo. Scaled to Germany and by including non-residential buildings, this would mean that the approaches and tools developed in the project could enable savings of around 78 million tons of CO2-equivalents on a lifecycle basis. In addition, the project will enable the implementation of optimized (rain)water management and lower building cooling requirements through optimized use of urban greenery. With the involvement of all project participants, the first step is to define what characterizes optimal neighborhoods in 2045 along the dimensions of energy, urban green, water, mobility, costs and socio-economic factors. In addition to climate neutrality, the focus will be on climate change adaptation, future-oriented residential areas that take socio-economic aspects into account, a positive life-cycle-based energy and emissions balance of the residential buildings, and a multimodal transport concept. Based on an analysis of neighborhood projects that have already been implemented or are in the planning stage, especially by the project partners, the consortium will jointly identify neighborhoods that already have an innovative character along one or more of the above dimensions. In addition, workshops with project managers of the partners, municipalities and energy suppliers serve to reveal conflicting goals between dimensions and to define the cross-dimensional optima for urban districts with different characteristics. Based on these analyses, archetypes and indicators of an optimal urban neighborhood of the future will be developed, from which success models or methods for sustainable urban neighborhood development can be derived. In the context of further tool development, existing tools at TUM for carrying out life cycle analyses on urban quarters will be methodically expanded by including additional horizons (green infrastructure, building structures, etc.) and linked with the tools of HFT and Drees & Sommer. This results not only in more holistic considerations and evaluations of material and energy resource flows, but also in the possibility of quantitatively recording interactions between the consideration horizons in order to derive optimal solutions at the city neighborhood level.

Project team
Nico Ehlers, Chujun Zong, Farzan Banihashemi