TAURUS – Transatlantic progress in urban resilience research

The Sustainability Center Freiburg is part of a campaign launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. "City of Tomorrow" reaches out internationally to find answers to pressing urban challenges no nation could give on its own. In 2017 and 2018, ten top-ranking research networks specializing in smart city solutions will be touring the world to forge international bonds with strong partners engaged in urban development.

The Sustainability Center is one of these networks. Its campaign TAURUS aims at increasing the visibility of planning and process management solutions for urban resilience developed in Freiburg in the US.

Target region: Our target region is the northeast megalopolis with a special focus on the three cities Boston, MA, New York City, NY and Washington, D.C. We chose that region for two reasons. First, it is the most heavily urbanized region in the United States and has been on the forefront of urbanization worldwide. Second, it suffers from a variety of different threats and has experienced catastrophic events both man-made – like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing – as well as natural disasters – like Superstorm Sandy. Thus, there is a need for sophisticated solutions to improve urban resilience.

Main objective: The main objective of TAURUS is to increase the visibility of planning and process management solutions for urban resilience, developed at the Sustainability Center Freiburg, in the target region described above. TAURUS will address two different target groups. First, end-users ranging from urban planning and management authorities to operators of critical infrastructure. Second, the scientific community in the northeast dealing with resilience research. This community is mainly represented by our network partners. We want to establish long-term partnerships with both the end-user as well as the scientific communities. In order to do so, the TAURUS team will organize a technology roadshow in the fall of 2017. This technology roadshow will consist of expert briefings for end-users, including virtual demonstrations of our resilience management tools, and scientific seminars for the academic partners. TAURUS will serve as a basis for initiating student and expert exchange programmes between the U.S. academic partners and the University of Freiburg.

Expertise and experience: The TAURUS team has extensive experience when it comes to the development of solutions for urban resilience. Those solutions offer substantial improvements compared to standardized tools for risk management, e.g. concerning the management of unexpected events, the increasing complexity of socio-technical systems or the phenomenon of cascading effects. Currently, our solutions are applied in several cities, by infrastructure operators and in industrial parks. Two examples of that are an interactive web application for decision support that allows for the integration of key stakeholders in urban resilience management and an expert software tool that can be used to assess and manage different threat scenarios from the terror domain. On the scientific side, Fraunhofer EMI was able to realize several internationally recognized conceptual publications on resilience and Resilience Engineering in the last years.

Network partners


German partners