ESOF online session on the future development of European cities

Translated from German, original article at:


The “European Science Open Forum (ESOF)”, one of the largest European conferences on science and politics, took place in Trieste/Italy in early September. The DHBW Stuttgart was represented with an online panel discussion on the topic of “Smart EcoDigital Cities and Regions – Challenges and solutions for a sustainable future”.

The discussion focused on current and future challenges that European cities and regions face due to the antagonisms of their ecological, economic and social responsibility. Dr. Judith Rommel from the DHBW Stuttgart, who chaired the online session in Trieste, explains: “Our aim was to promote transnational and interdisciplinary exchange between scientists, companies, cities and regional economic development agencies. Especially, those players who are important for sustainable innovations in societies were represented”.

The discussion therefore sought approaches to solutions that would enable both the health protection of the population and the introduction of new technologies. Different approaches from individual European states were presented.

Caroline Küpfer (City of Herrenberg, Germany) provided examples of how a city can implement climate protection with smart technologies: Based on IoT, a parking guidance system is used to help reduce traffic and sensors are used for automatic irrigation of plants in the city. Cancer researcher Prof. Wilhelm Mosgöller (Medical University of Vienna) was enthusiastic about the exemplary way in which Herrenberg deals with the risks posed by radio technologies, where in some municipal facilities WLAN can be switched off and switched on when needed. He is convinced that “people in Smart Cities and through 5G will be exposed to much stronger electromagnetic fields. The effects of these fields on human health are not really understood”.

The session was also attended by representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Serbia, the Stuttgart Media University and the regional economic development agency of Gorenjska in Slovenia. From the point of view of the panellists, proactive research on the health effects of wireless technology, the planning of recreation zones without radio/ wireless technologies in cities and, above all, the development of innovations together with all citizens are important for the future.


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