Institute for Resource Management
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Water – sewage – energy – infrastructure – climate resilience – flexilibilty – BMBF – Platform City of the Future – Anhalt region - Flexitility [24.09.2019]

"Flexitility" project start: Making urban infrastructure fit for climate change

From heavy rain to heat waves: Climate change is already a challenge for urban supply and disposal infrastructures, such as the water and energy supply. With a kick-off in August, the project "Flexible Utility - With socio-technological flexibilisation for more climate resilience and efficiency in the urban infrastructure", or "Flexitility" for short, was launched. inter 3 coordinates the project. The project investigates how flexibility in the use of infrastructural systems can be used to reduce particularly high, short-term demand for services and to support climate-resilient urban development. Flexitility is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "Implementation of the Future City Flagship Initiative" and managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

On the one hand, it will be investigated to what extent the supply of infrastructural systems can technically be made more flexible. On the other hand, the focus also will be on consumers, i.e. households and businesses. What possibilities of a flexible consumer behaviour are there to "smoothen" demand, like to reduce consumption at peak times and to reduce the phases of low demand? What prevents consumers from adapting their current consumption patterns to existing infrastructure capacities?

Based on real conditions, Flexitility analyzes and experiments how the transformation of the supply and disposal system might look like. An important point here is the active participation of citizens as well as the involvement of cities and infrastructure managers, especially in the region of Anhalt. In this "living lab Anhalt", it is exemplarily tested how flexibilization can take place. From this, action knowledge can be deduced that can serve as a guide for science and politics in the future.

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