In the early years, the IBA had to listen and get acquainted with Heidelberg. All districts, and their educational and scientific institutions, were visited on city walks in the series »IBA_ LOCAL–See Heidelberg differently«. The spatial potential and problems became clear during the walks and in discussions with local and visiting experts.
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At the same time, the IBA initiated a debate between local actors and internationally renowned speakers at its annual IBA_LAB conference. The »IBA_LABoratories« aim to deepen aspects of the theme »Wissen|schafft|Stadt« (knowledge-based urbanism). Local representatives from science, education, planning, administration and business have continually been debating with international speakers and the citizens of Heidelberg. Innovative examples from Germany and abroad provided impetus for this.
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Furthermore, the »IBA_ SUMMITs« event takes place every two years in order to submit local findings to international discussion. At these conferences, leading figures from science and politics, mostly from places comparable to Heidelberg, have discussed how municipalities and their universities can devise a common urban development vision to meet the requirements of knowledge-based cities in the 21st century.
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The progress of the IBA process was documented at the midterm presentation in 2018. In 2022, the IBA will finally take stock; all projects in the city will be on display for the final presentation. They will provide exemplary answers to inquiries about knowledge-based urbanism and will thus be a tried-and-tested model for urban transformation into a knowledge-based society — also beyond Heidelberg.


In the course of IBA_Academy students from from Germany and abroad spend a week in Heidelberg tackling innovative, fresh and bold visions for the city. The first Workshop took place in March 2014.
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