Mayor Dr. Ulf Kämpfer: Crises will be our constant presence in the next decades and we have to be prepared for that.

The city of Kiel was hit hard by the corona crisis. For pandemic reasons, there were several months-long lockdowns in Germany, which were very detrimental to the economy, the cultural scene, education but also social contacts. Our city administration has sought and found many pragmatic and sometimes unconventional solutions to the problems that have arisen in order to help the people of Kiel during this difficult time. As short-term measures, we have, among other things, turned many small screws. For example, we waived the levying of charges or relaxed conditions for restaurants so that they could offer their customers better outdoor gastronomy. In addition, we set up a Corona Fund of 1 million euros to combat the consequences of the pandemic. We called this project "Kiel hilft Kiel" (Kiel helps Kiel). This fund was for example used to realise open-air concerts with a hygiene concept, to support the digitalisation of local businesses, to set up a structure for a local delivery service or to finance PR for reopenings and new formats. But all these things were just a "drop in the ocean" compared to the immense damage people had to endure due to the pandemic.
But we have also learned from this crisis that in the future we don't just want to react, but rather act much more. We want to become a resilient city. This is a long road, so we need a long-term strategy to develop resilience in Kiel. We want to develop our city into a smart city and continue to expand digital infrastructures. We want to act in a more environmentally friendly way and thus contribute to stopping climate change. We plan to become carbon-neutral latest by 2050.
We are working hard towards these goals, even before the pandemic. We are in constant exchange with the scientific community and are working together with our universities on the further development of our city. In terms of the environment, one of the goals we have set ourselves in the administration is to become the first Zero Waste City. But we also know that we cannot fight the crises of the future alone. That is why we are also working internationally with our city partners and our friends in the UBC to ensure that the Baltic Sea region becomes a sustainable megaregion.