Current technological and social developments are leading to greater digitization and connectivity in all areas of life. The world is changing through visionary and radical evolutions, enriching our coexistence. Despite these rapid developments, in our current life situation the basic framework has not yet been sufficiently created. For this reason, we have set ourselves the objective of initiating cross-industry communication and accelerating joint developments in the areas of connected mobility, the realization of new work forms in connected ecosystems and the qualification of experts for professions of the future.
The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region’s application for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032 is the central guideline for our work. A German application must focus on ecological and economic sustainability for the people, be calculable for the cities, the state and the federal government, and plan for the sensible subsequent use of sports facilities and other infrastructure. At the same time, this large-scale event should serve as an engine for topics such as connected mobility and digitization and advance to a model region for technological and infrastructural innovations. The potential of over 300,000 students, a well-educated population, established corporations and start-ups forms the foundation for the unique vision of METROPOLITAN CITIES: the creation of an innovation and mobility region. We promote the collaboration of people through interconnectivity and mobility, innovation through access to education and knowledge as well as sustainability through new infrastructure concepts. This will turn the region into an innovation platform and a model for development strategies in the digitally connected economy. To implement this vision, economically and ecologically sustainable mobility concepts need to be designed and implemented. The digital interconnectivity of people and companies will boost communities and digital ecosystems.
Digitization and connectivity have no borders, therefor neither municipalities, nor counties or companies can develop isolated solutions. However, when we break with territorial thinking, start in thinking as “us” instead of “me” and act as a European player, we will have the historic opportunity to address the major issues of the future – and export hits in particular – as “first movers” and transfer them to other regions. We can develop smart technologies that sustainably improve people’s quality of life. With the Olympic idea, the METROPOLITAN CITIES initiative will become a vehicle for interconnectivity and mobilization. Collaborative action of the “Metropolitan Cities” with its ten million inhabitants serves as an accelerator for the process of joint growth and convergence.
In a series of interactive lectures and discussions, you will discover which ideas are already reality in the region today, which visions are being developed and who can be your future partners. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Aachen on 16th and 17th of July 2019 and continuing the event-series with you, developing a roadmap for the realization of numerous future concepts up to the Olympic Games in 2032 and presenting their implementation successes.
Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh
Director of RWTH Aachen Campus GmbH
Founder and Director of Rhein Ruhr City GmbH