The “Smart Regions” research area is part of BTU’s “Smart Regions and Heritage” research profile area. The aim of the research area is to examine the current demographic, economic, technological and cultural developments in cities and regions and the transformation processes that come out of them, in order to develop integrated global strategies for cities and regions to help solve urgent issues for the future. Interdisciplinary teams are working on intelligent strategies for a common, coordinated social, technical and green infrastructure to strengthen the link between densely populated cities and sparsely populated rural areas.

Spatial and cultural adaptation and opportunities for digitisation and efficiency orientation are examined in the context of development of cities and regions. For example, resource-saving concepts that may have an impact in the future on the intelligent expansion of transport infrastructure and mobility (such as shared local transport, e-mobility, etc.), on the development of housing and commercial and industrial sites (such as the housing market and commuter areas around cities, industry 4.0, online trade) or on water and energy supply. In research projects, the expansion of the recycling economy is examined, based on the assumption that climate protection and energy efficiency remain high profile issues and that current connected countryside areas and green spaces will be protected. Smart concepts are being developed to strengthen social infrastructure, building on the study of governance structures and the role of civil society.

Historical perspectives and experiences of regions, rural farming areas and urban-rural relationships are an important part of the research focus and form the basis for the strategic development on a scientific, political and economic level (link to the "Cultural Heritage" research area).

Methods and strategies for perspectives on, and repercussions for, the qualitative transformation of the structural and rural (farming) environment are being developed as part of our collaborative exchanges with other faculties such as Environmental Sciences or Media Studies and non-university institutes, such as the Leibniz IRS at Erkner and the Institute for a New Industrial Culture (INIK). Existing theoretical frameworks and stakeholders provide a reference space for analyses, concepts and solutions. The findings and solutions obtained from regional, locally networked projects (such as the “Lusatia field work” project) and from international research projects can be transferred to other regions undergoing similar structural changes. The collaborative partnerships we currently have with a number of local partners (such as the Innovationsregion Lausitz GmbH), and supra-regional and international partners are constantly being expanded.

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