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Work, Technology and ParticipationThe Sky is the Limit: Future use of urban airspace


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The Sky is the Limit - Future use of urban airspace


Project description

The project Sky Limits explores the potential as well as challenges of the future use of urban airspace by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), so called drones. It focuses on the use of UAV technology in the logistics sector (parcel delivery) but also includes passenger transport. Even though technological development has progressed in great leaps, there is a lack of public debate about the use of drones. Recognising this, Sky Limits plans to involve a range of diverse stakeholders coming from academia, politics or businesses as well as the general public. The project aims to identify different perspectives on the topic and to invite stakeholders and members of the general public to engage in a debate on the issue. This will create the basis for a public dialogue directed towards developing concrete recommendations for politics and planning.

The project has three phases, each characterized by a different set of goals and tasks. The first phase is mainly concerned with a thorough literature review concentrating on the current status quo of urban airspace use by UAVs. The focus of this analysis is the systematic identification of use cases as well as risks of UAV technology. As part of the first phase, Sky Limits plans to build a network of stakeholders and experts, who will be invited to contribute their expertise in a stakeholder workshop and in separate expert interviews. Focus groups as well as a representative survey ensure that public opinion is also included in the background analysis.

The second phase is characterized by active participation of experts as well as members of the general public. A Co-Design Workshop brings together stakeholders, experts and the general public and facilitates the creation of concrete recommendations for the future use of urban airspace.

The final phase of the project concentrates on a synthesis of all results of the analysis as well as the participative formats of the second phase condensing them in a final publication.

The separate phases of the explorative project all contribute to initiating a public as well as academic dialogue on the topic of new technologies in urban airspace. Sky Limits is a project by Technische Universität Berlin and Wissenschaft im Dialog. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


  • TU Berlin, Institut für Berufliche Bildung und Arbeitslehre, FG Arbeitslehre/Technik und Partizipation (Cluster Mobilitätsforschung)
  • Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD)

Responsible Staff


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Program: Innovations- und Technikanalyse (ITA)

Project Duration

01/2019 - 12/2020

Project Website


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