Summer Semester 2021


Innovation & Space

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Innovations are the basis of our coexistence today and will also significantly influence our future reality of life. As an excellent university location, Aachen has the potential and the resources to position itself as a "model city and incubator for innovations" and thus actively help shape our future. The Rhenish mining area with its challenging transformation process wants to become "Innovation Valley" and a European model region. Against this background, the question of the emergence of innovation is of great importance for the future of the neighborhood, the city and the region.

Urban space plays a special role in the process of the emergence, maturation and transfer of innovations. This space is directly or indirectly exposed to transformation pressure through technical, social or business innovations. At the same time, it functions as a tangible illustration of historical innovation cycles. Space is not only shaped by innovations, but also holds a central position in their emergence and diffusion.

In many ways, the Corona pandemic has reinforced the need for new constellations of uses and the call for innovative and more radical concepts. The vacancy of retail and service spaces in city centers and town centers calls for a real "reinvention".

In the summer of 2021, the "Urban Planning Colloquium" series of events at the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University aims to stimulate discourse on the role of innovation and its spatial impact and interaction with urban space. The colloquium will discuss the following questions: How does innovation emerge? To what extent can innovation contribute to the reinvention of inner cities and town centers? What are the interrelations between technical and social innovations? How can innovations promote participation processes with the citizenry? Can innovations promote a qualitative leap in urban development and design?


How is innovation created?


Innovation and the reinvention of downtown and the region


Social innovation - with and through citizenship