Novel governance arrangements to enhance social innovation in energy transition in Mannheim
Working with residents to foster social innovation that leads the city towards a more sustainable energy future
City Lab research led by: the City of Mannheim and Fraunhofer ISI
With its 326,000 inhabitants who hold 170 nationalities, Mannheim is the economic and cultural centre of the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region – a dynamic region with 2.35 million inhabitants that sits at the corner of three federal German states (Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen).
Mannheim is a member of many international networks engaged in climate action and energy transition (ICLEI, Climate Alliance, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Global Parliament of Mayors). In 2018, Mannheim was one of the first cities worldwide to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on a local level through a broad participation process. The result of this process is the so-called “Mission Statement Mannheim 2030,” which has the goal, among others, to develop climate resilience and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
City Lab description
The Mannheim SONNET City Lab will focus on the Neckarstadt-West “quarter” (neighbourhood) and aims to harness local social innovation to speed up the energy transition.
The City Lab is currently being refined and developed using a design thinking process with academic partner Fraunhofer ISI and local stakeholders, including Mannheim’s climate action agency, quarter management group, the unit for economic development, Climathon local coordinator, and more.
Also involved is the city’s development company (MWSP Mannheim), which has accumulated extensive experience with citizen participation initiatives through the development of Mannheim’s brownstone areas – Turley, Franklin, and Spinelli.