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Energy and Planning – Energy Neutral Dortmund

The exit from the use of nuclear and fossil-fuel energy and transition towards their replacement with renewable energy („Energiewende“) is currently a central theme in Germany. To support the transition, renewable energy projects are needed at the country, state, region and community level. One interesting approach is the “energy neutral” community where all the demanded energy is produced from renewable sources by the community itself, and individuals can transform their role from energy consumer at a cost to energy producer at a profit. The energy neutral approach is more frequently being aspired towards by communities in Germany and the approach has been embraced in south Germany through the economically supported program “100 extensive energy neutral communities” in Bavaria.

In the framework of the Energy and Planning – Energy Neutral Dortmund studio, 15 American students from the Michigan State University (MSU) Urban Planning Program will be visiting the TU Dortmund Faculty of Spatial Planning for one week in May of 2017 to participate in a workshop with German students who are able to choose the workshop as an elective within their B.Sc course of study. The workshop will focus on, but is not limited to, the use of Brownfields as locations for renewable energy production, building on the longstanding tradition of brownfields research between TU Dortmund and MSU where post-industrialism is a current issue, on the aspect of energy efficiency as a means to reduce consumption, decentralized production and economic schemes for community ownership. The four day workshop is conducted in small mixed groups with students from both MSU and TU Dortmund where different quarters of Dortmund will be developed via planning and design alternatives into energy neutral quarters. A jury of German and American scientists, professors and professional planners will evaluate the proposals.

The course in Dortmund includes:

  • Visits and guided tours in Dortmund concerning Brownfields and Energy production
  • Short lectures from Experts and members of the faculty about renewable energy with focus on the Ruhr area
  • A four day Workshop for German and U.S.American Students

We expect the students from TU Dortmund University to participate as much as possible between their other courses. There is a compulsory attendance on Friday, 26.05.2017, for the final presentations.


If you are interested, please contact Christina Haubaum or Bryce Lawren