The IMMER Lab aims to increase resilience at the local level regarding mobility and energy issues through foresight activities based on narratives. Mobility and energy will be strongly impacted by disruptive events such as heat waves or major crises, for instance. At the local level, municipalities are the key players most directly in contact with the populations affected by risks and disasters.

Key Features

Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, such as the European Parliament, and has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries. Kehl is located on the German riverbank opposite Strasbourg. The two cities are linked to each other by numerous physical and intangible connections. The physical connections consist of several bridges (dedicated respectively to cars, trains, tramways, bikes, and pedestrians) and technical infrastructures, such as significant optical fibre nodes with data centres benefiting from their proximity and (in the near future) cross-border urban heat networks. The intangible connections include economic relations between companies as well as political and socio-cultural exchanges. Additionally, two major fluvial ports face each other. In this respect, the Rhine River serves as both a physical, institutional, and cultural obstacle as well as a potential resource for addressing challenges related to local resilience by providing a rich variety of perceptions and ideas. The IMMER foresight platform is led by a cooperation between two institutions: the Strasbourg foresight association APR and the Kehl University of applied science.

Main Challenges

Municipalities are often less or not well prepared to crisis situations due to a lack of personal and financial resources but also due to insufficient anticipation capacities. This appears particularly accurate when it comes to vital issues such as mobility infrastructures and resources like energy (production, storage and distribution).

The IMMER Lab aims to increase the resilience of both cities with respect to mobility and energy issues by strengthening their cooperation. This will be achieved by setting up a co-creation platform using narratives for foresight activities. This will include:

- investigating the factors supporting or hampering the use of narrative-based foresight by local organizations (municipalities, economic actors, etc.).

- better understanding in how far the context of a border between two EU countries may influence the performance of such resilience-related foresight.


This lab will explore two main methodological approaches. Firstly, it will leverage science-fiction narratives as a valuable tool for fostering cooperation and overcoming the challenges associated with anticipating the future amidst institutional and cultural barriers. These narratives facilitate stronger engagement from local populations and civil society actors due to their accessibility and communicative power compared to traditional statistical methods. Moreover, they provide a coherent systemic framework.

Secondly, the lab will propose the collaborative creation of a "portolan chart", inspired by a device used in the past by sailors when approaching a port. This chart serves as a dynamic roadmap for a community of stakeholders, continuously evolving through the addition of new insights regarding navigation hazards, recommended routes, and changes in the represented reality. This approach aims to assist local stakeholders in internally reframing suggested solutions, thereby enhancing their transformative capacity—their readiness to embrace new approaches.