Research Department: Dynamics of Communication, Knowledge and Spatial Development
Project Leader within IRS: Prof. Dr. Gabriela Christmann
Consortium: Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (Coordination) Fraunhofer Institut für Produktionsanlagen und Konstruktionstechnik TOP Heidenau
Funding Organization: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
Duration: 05/2015 - 08/2016
The BMBF research project made a contribution to the development of the town of Bischofswerda and the examination of innovation processes. The Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space IRS was responsible for one part of the project under the title “Scientific concept and support of the future workshop Bischofswerda and evaluation of the overall process”. Firstly, the IRS carried out an analysis generating information on the specific strengths, weaknesses and potentials of Bischofswerda. This analysis was based on official documents and media reports which were used to get acquainted with the development of the town and relevant discourses. Apart from that, the IRS carried out 20 interviews with key figures from the political, administrative, economic and socio-cultural sector. These interviews revealed the needs and problems of important municipal players as well as potential solutions, and also aimed at getting their support for the next steps of the project.
Based on this analysis, the IRS organised a “Future Workshop” with approximately 30 municipal key figures. This workshop aimed at identifying innovative ideas to address local challenges and to encourage the business location of Bischofswerda. As a result, four innovative ideas were identified and developed by working groups. These ideas focused on the development of new supply chains, the vitalization of an entrepreneurial culture as well as the socio-cultural development of the local civil society.
Information about the project was presented to the public by an exhibition. The results of the analysis and the identified innovative ideas were illustrated on several posters. Finally, the IRS carried out an evaluation of the overall process, analysed supporting and preventing factors and drew conclusions for the political practice.
The evaluation made clear that regular exceptional events and discussions have a positive impact on urban development. They support an ongoing development of ideas and projects and increase prospects for their successful implementation. Research in the town of Bischofswerda also pointed out that players from the political, administrative, and economic sectors as well as civil society are key figures that need to be involved into the process of urban development. Their participation is crucial for the continuation of processes initialized and supported by external players, and creates the basis for active citizens contributing to the development of attractive municipalities.