Mannheim – where citizens are empowered to experiment and innovate

About methods and spaces for social innovation


Publication date

October 6, 2021

Until now, 2.5 million households living in the city of Mannheim and in neighbouring municipalities are getting power from the coal-fired power plant Grosskraftwerk Mannheim. This doesn’t prevent this former industrial city from implementing its Climate Action Plan 2030, putting important climate adaptation measures in place or providing funding to local stakeholders’ own efficiency actions. More than that: through its City Lab, Mannheim practices people-centred policy-making and aims for a just transition.

Climate-neutrality is the city’s goal and that is also why Mannheim recently created a City Lab, where residents can get involved in the decision-making process. The city believes in social innovation and tests new organizational governance and participation processes. The methods and spaces used to bring local stakeholders together and to imagine ways to make the city fit for 2050 are diverse. They include amongst others:

Local Green Deal Mannheim – this is the formal document that specifies the concrete local implementation along the eight thematic action areas for the European Green Deal with the involvement of the local community

Mannheim’s Climate Action Agency is key in pushing the energy transition and in creating contact points for the citizens. By providing advice, the Agency helps citizens finding their way through funding options or guides them in decisions around energy and climate matters.

KliMAthon – Gamification of Climate Action – The City of Mannheim and the Climate Action Agency together with the Worldwatchers start-up developed the KliMAthon, an app-based six-week CO2 challenge in which residents can playfully reduce their personal CO2 footprint.

Mobile Green Room® in Neckarstadt-West – set up from May till August 2021, this room provided a stage for local organizations and associations.

If you want to know more about Mannheim’s urban thinkers and doers and the way they advance the energy transition – even in Covid times: Read the whole article by Sabrina Hoffmann and Viktoria Reith and originally published for mPower