Urban Heat Shift


In Germany around about one third of the energy is used to produce room heating and hot water, mainly through the use of fossil fuels. In order to let the “Energiewende” or energy transition be successful, new approaches have to be found. The overarching objective of the project is to develop solutions for a socio-ecological transformation of the energy infrastructure in urban areas using the example of the city of Berlin and using real laboratories. The project focuses on heat supply from renewable sources. According to the guiding concept of an "Urban Heat Shift", the future urban heat supply must be environmentally and socially compatible, intelligently networked with other infrastructures and resiliently designed. Resilience describes the ability of a system to maintain its services even under stress and turbulence (security of supply).

The project pursues a transdisciplinary approach that takes into account political decision-makers and key stakeholders involved in the process. Based on the results obtained, recommendations will be formulated that can be transferred to other cities. The central objectives of the project are:

- Integrated assessment of various system options for grid-bound heat supply, combining socio-ecological, institutional-economic aspects, resilience and vulnerability, taking into account coupling options between electricity, heat and gas infrastructure.

- Recommendations of suitable framework conditions and planning instruments for a resilient transformation of energy infrastructures

- Development of tools for the design of participation opportunities

- Establishment of a participation process including suitable and new formats as well as recommendations for a governance structure for the transformation process.

- Development of suitable evaluation methods, guidelines and tools for other cities as well as concrete recommendations for Berlin



Federal Ministry for Education and Research


Project Duration:

1st of June 2016 - 31st of May 2019


Coordination and Management:

Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW), Berlin



Land Berlin, vertreten durch Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt Berlin
Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet Wirtschafts- und Infrastrukturpolitik
Universität Bremen, Fachgebiet Resiliente Energiesysteme


  • Dunkelberg, E., Deisböck, A., Hirschl, B., Mitzinger, T., Röder, J., Salecki, S., Thier, P., Wassermann, T. (2020). Keimzellen für eine Quartierswärmeversorgung: Abwasserwärmenutzung durch Gebäude einer städtischen Wohnungsbaugesellschaft in einem Berliner Bestandsquartier. Urbane Wärmewende Arbeitsbericht Nr. 1. PDF
  • Dunkelberg, E., Deisböck, A., Herrmann, B., Hirschl, B., Mitzinger, T., Röder, J., Salecki, S., Thier, P., Wassermann, T. (2020). Fernwärme klimaneutral transformieren: Eine Bewertung der Handlungsoptionen am Beispiel Berlin Nord-Neukölln. Schriftenreihe des IÖW, 218/20. PDF


Tino Mitzinger | E-Mail | +49 (0) 421 / 218-64899
Johannes Röder |  E-Mail| +49 (0) 421 / 218-64889
Pablo Thier | E-Mail | +49 (0) 421 / 218-64895

Universität Bremen
Sustainability Research Center
Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 7
28359 Bremen


Further Information: