International Symposium: Urban Systems – Global Challenges – Digital Tools

Research & Science Society & HLRS
International Symposium: Urban Systems – Global Challenges – Digital Tools


Large-scale digitalization throughout different sectors of society and the economy serves as one of the major disruptive technological trends of our time. In addition to the digital transformation, we must better understand and shape technology’s role in our personal and working lives. Indeed, how these digital transformations impact cities and urban life is still not well-understood. Technological advancements have enabled ever-shorter innovation and production cycles, but these increasingly rapid cycles complicate long-established, slower-moving processes related to urban infrastructure and city planning.

In many cases, planning and decision-making processes are carried out by the use of conventional, strongly regulated procedures and tools that struggle to keep pace with complex problems currently facing society, stemming from high-speed change in economy and society. Digital tools and methods offer great potential for the efficient, needs-based, goal-oriented development and the planning of sustainable habitats by taking into account all relevant stakeholders.

During the two-day international symposium URBAN SYSTEMS / GLOBAL CHALLENGES / DIGITAL TOOLS, digital tools and formats, as well as their applications, will be presented in the symposium’s morning sessions. During the afternoon workshops, enthusiast have the possibility to try out these tools to help solve mock scenarios.


The symposium is aimed at the shapers and planners of the digital city of tomorrow as well as to the interested public

  • City administrations
  • Architects, urban designers and planners
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Citizen participation managers
  • Enterprises
  • Communications agencies
  • Interested citizens


Lectures on topics related to digital methods and tools in urban planning, citizen participation and simulation. During the afternoons: Workshops “Planning the digital future”, “Digital Twin in Virtual Reality” and “Space Syntax in VR”. A detailed program of the lectures and workshops can be found here

DAY 1:

Welcome Speech: Prof. Dr. Michael M. Resch (director of the HLRS, representative of BW-HPC)
Keynote: Steffen Braun (Fraunhofer IAO Head of Urban Systems Engineering Research Unit) Reallabor Stadt:Quartiere 4.0: Digital Transformation and Participation in Planning: Results and Outlook
Lectures given by: Dr.-Ing. Julian Petrin (Urbanista), Dr. Peter Zeile (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT), Tobias Schiller (IBA 2027 Stadtredgion Stuttgart)

Workshop 1: Reallabor Stadt:Quartiere 4.0: Frank Ulmer (director of Kommunikationsbüro Ulmer), Anna Deckert (Kommunikationsbüro Ulmer), Mike Letzgus (Fraunhofer IAO, Smart Urban Environments), Andreas Beulich (University of Stuttgart, Institute of Urban Planning and Design), Fabian Dembski (HLRS, Visualization Department / bwHPC-S5 Center of Excellence for GSS)

Workshop 2: Thomas Obst (HLRS, Visualization Department) and Dr. Uwe Wössner (HLRS, head of Visualization Department)

Public lecture (t.b.a.)

Social event / dinner

DAY 2 :

Keynote: Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Yamu (University of Groningen, Urban Planning and Design, director CASUS)

Lectures given by: Michael Gienger (HLRS, head of Service Management and Business Processes; HiDALGO), t.b.a. (City of Stuttgart, Luftreinhaltung und Klimaschutz), Ulrich Gommel (EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG), Günter Wenzel (Fraunhofer IAO, head of Virtual Environments), Prof. Dr. Zoltán Horváth (University of Györ, head of Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, HiDALGO)

Workshop: Prof. Dr. Dr. Claudia Yamu, Fabian Dembski and Dr. Uwe Wössner



May 28: Lectures and workshops will be held in German
May 29: Lectures and workshops will be held in English



Participation is free of charge; registration is required (limited attendance!)


Travel Information and accommodation

We encourage the use of public transportation. For further information, please see our “How to find us” page

Local Organizers

Local Organizers

Fabian Dembski (HLRS), Mike Letzgus (Fraunhofer IAO),
Frank Ulmer (Kommunikationsbüro Ulmer),