How the Generation Z Wants to Make Urban Outdoor Greener

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How can we make our constantly growing urban environment more liveable and sustainable? Generation Z presented solutions at OutDoor by ISPO at Next Entrepreneurs - ISPO.com shows the ideas. 

Wie sieht die lebenswerte Stadt der Zukunft aus? Auf der OutDoor by ISPO 2019 haben Schülerinnen und Schüler Konzepte ausgearbeitet.
What does the city of the future look like? At OutDoor by ISPO 2019, students worked out concepts.

Next Entrepreneurs connected the outdoor and X-industry directly with the creators of tomorrow, the Generation Z, on the OutDoor by ISPO. Four industry partners asked 35 students their most important question about the future. Partner xStarters started with Urban Outdoor and asked: How can we make our cities more liveable and environmentally friendly?

Two teams of students worked on this question for three days. By their side stood experienced mentors, not interfering with the ideas and solution development, but with helpful tools and methodologies from the start-up world to work out the final concept. ISPO.com was also invited at the presentation of the results to the top-class jury.

Solution 1: Urban Cleaning Robots

The increasing littering of cities is a very serious problem that many experts are dealing with.

The pupils present Stui as a possible solution. A robot vehicle that cleans our streets independently. Why not, the students ask, for our gardens and houses there are already cleaning staff in robot form. "Stui is personified, so that he becomes like a kind of pet for the city dwellers and perhaps doesn't seem quite so strange," explain the kids.

The Basics: Stui measures approx. 2m in length and 1.5m in width, so he can also drive comfortably on sidewalks. Equipped with gripper arm, camera and minibot, the battery-operated robot with solar power cells on the roof takes care of any kind of daily street cleaning. Unlike the good old cleaning vehicles, it does not have to avoid obstacles on a large scale: it has a small external bot that cleans edges and higher surfaces at the same time. The robot can gather data on how much garbage it has collected. Stui also empties the public rubbish bins, which are currently mostly overflowing.

Wie werden Städte umweltfreundlicher? Generation Z präsentiert Lösungen.
How can cities become more eco-friendly? Generation Z presents solutions.
Image credit:
Hauke Seyfarth

How Generation Z Keeps Urban Outdoor Sustainably Clean

But how can be prevented, that the presence of such robots invites people to even more littering? The pupils' solution: Each city district gets a robot. The district in which the robot demonstrably collects the smallest amount of waste is rewarded: The city finances a project of its choice.

That creates a positive competition and a community spirit in the otherwise so anonymous urban environment. "The action of each individual thus has a direct impact on the big picture," explain the students. The desired projects of the districts are determined in advance by district elections.

An additional app could show the user the nearest garbage can and gives tips on how not to produce garbage in the first place.


Solution 2: Generation Z Greening Urban Outdoor Vertically

"We don't want a grey cityscape, a grey future. On the contrary, we also want the next generation to have a future that is worth living, environmentally friendly and sustainable. We connect nature with the city - we are Vertical Greens", the students introduce their presentation at OutDoor by ISPO.

The students' impulse: greener cities through vertical, modular window greening. Two movable sliding elements are fixed above the windows with the help of a rail - and can be slid to the left and right of the window, such as shutters or sliding gates. Integrated into these rails, horizontal flower boxes are installed like shelves. In order to work on the flower boxes, the single shelves can be pulled in front of the window - it is now easy to garden, harvest and look at. For a clear view, the elements are moved next to the window sides. Simple and beautiful, above all green and individual - a little garden in front of every window.

Consulting, selection, ordering and assembly should be managed from a single source. Logistically sustainable - and of course only recycled materials are used for the modular system.

Die Jury v.l.n.r.: Stephan Grabmeier (Leiter strategische Partnerschaften Next Entrepreneurs), Ingmar Behrens (Managing Director GCSC), Antje v. Dewitz (Geschäftsführerin Vaude), Moana Keiper (Projektleiterin xStarters), Holger Feist (Chief Strategy Officer Messe München)
Jury from left to right: Stephan Grabmeier (Head of Strategic Partnerships Next Entrepreneurs), Ingmar Behrens (Managing Director GCSC), Antje v. Dewitz (Managing Director Vaude), Moana Keiper (Project Manager xStarters), Holger Feist (Chief Strategy Offi
Image credit:
Hauke Seyfarth

At the end the pupils Tim and David send a courageous appeal: "Together we can move a lot. Help us...

  • ... to cool the city with plants
  • ... to bind CO2
  • ... to green the city in the long term
  • ...to give insects and animals a new home.
  • ... to recycle plastic
  • ... to promote the expression of one's own personality
  • ... to sustainably increase the quality of life
  • ... to save nature to save the future."

Generation Z is clearly demanding more sustainability and environmental protection. Holger Feist, member of the jury and Chief Strategy Officer of the Messe München: "The sense of responsibility, vision and creativity of Generation Z is impressive. The students think very granularly and accurately about the ravages of time. The presentations of ideas are impressively innovative. Just great! I would have liked to have ordered some of the vertical greens."