Resource management as part of sustainable urban district development.
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Rising urban populations, limited natural resources (following the German Federal Environmental Agency, natural resources are resources that are part of nature. They include renewable and non-renewable primary raw materials, physical spaces (surface areas), environmental media (water, soil, air), flowing resources (e.g., geothermal, wind, tidal and solar energy) and biodiversity. It is irrelevant here whether the resources serve as sources for producing products or as sinks for absorbing emissions (water, soil, air)) and climate change require a new approach to urban planning. Recently, international, European and national programmes, concepts and framework documents have been created to promote the implementation of measures for more sustainability, resource efficiency and climate resilience in urban districts. In the funding measure of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s “Resource-Efficient Urban Districts for the Future-RES:Z”, twelve funded research project networks are dedicated to understanding the impacts that urban districts have on the resources of land, water and material flows, as well as the resulting impacts on urban green spaces and energy issues. By considering the different resources involved, it is shown that the optimisation of their use cannot take place independently of each other. This may even lead to conflicting goals. Use conflicts can be recognised at an early stage and measures can be tailored to the specific neighbourhood context when applying an integrated approach that provides a common view on all of the aforementioned resources. Special attention is paid to solutions which create numerous benefits i.e., multifunctionality. The RES:Z funding measure utilises living labs for the research on and implementation of solutions. This lays the foundation for a sustainable transformation of urban districts and the basis for further research.