Einstein Center Climate Change (in planning)
In the two-year preparation phase, the focus is on construction, transport, mobility, and health. Projects initiated in 2021 will be continued, and new ones will be initiated to strengthen interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary climate research.
Einstein Centers enable top research associations in Berlin to establish cross-institutional research and teaching networks with a global platform. The Einstein Foundation Berlin is funding a two-year preparatory module (2022-2023) for the planned Einstein Center Climate Change and Public Policy of Human Settlements (ECCC).
The ECCC aims to harness the unique potential of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, its university landscape and the broad range of non-university institutes and actors, and to jointly develop concrete climate projects. Disciplines that normally do not overlap work together in the public policy space to set the course for the transformation needed in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The center strengthens transdisciplinary exchange by bringing together the fields of political science, economics, sociology, psychology, transport and urban planning, engineering – and even medicine, and art and design. The aim is to systematically approach and involve the range of stakeholders in order to enrich research and make it more inclusive through various participation processes, including co-design and co-production.
Artificial intelligence, big data and analytics will be increasingly applied and combined with systemic governance approaches involving policymakers, urban planners and citizens.
The ECCC takes a three-pronged approach, comprising i) governance issues, ii) transformation pathways, and iii) new technological and methodological tools.
Graphic from the ECCC application, translated (preparatory module)
Governance is about analyzing stakeholders, conflicts, institutions, and issues of legitimacy. A key question here is how to design institutions in a way that supports climate action. On transformation pathways, researchers will begin by looking at approaches in the transportation and building sectors. The goal is to identify effective mitigation and adaptation measures and corresponding decision-making processes. The third area on new tools is about developing innovative methodologies and technologies for decision-makers and planners that optimize the use of big data and artificial intelligence. All research will be specifically related to Berlin and Brandenburg, but the aim is also to provide findings, insights and tools that can be applied more generally and are equally useful for other cities and regions around the world.
The ECCC is based on a collaboration between Technische Universität Berlin, the Berlin University of the Arts, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the University of Potsdam and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Since the fall of 2021, the members of the Executive Board have coordinated the ongoing application process and are responsible for the establishment phase of the ECCC. They are:
- Prof. Dr. Felix Sebastian Creutzig, head of the Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport Working Group at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and professor at TU Berlin
- Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, head of the Chair of Economics of Climate Change at TU Berlin, and director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change
- Prof. Dr. med. Hanns-Christian Gunga, Head of the Space Medicine and Extreme Environments Working Group at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
- Prof. Timothée Ingen-Housz, professor of dramaturgy and the design of audiovisual communication, Berlin University of the Arts
- Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann, Chair of Politics, Public Administration and Organization, University of Potsdam
- Prof. Dr. Kai Nagel, head of the Chair of Transport Systems Planning and Transport Telematics, TU Berlin
- Dr. Oliver Opatz, Space Medicine and Extreme Environments Working Group, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
- Prof. Dr. Fabian Schuppert, Chair of Political Theory, University of Potsdam
A full proposal for the new Einstein Center is to be submitted to the Einstein Foundation Berlin by June 2023.
The collaboration also involves associated partners from the Berlin-Brandenburg region and leading international partner institutions, including the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. The ECCC is closely linked to the climate research and transfer network Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg.