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Smart City Berlin

Berlin is responding to the environmental, social, economic and cultural challenges of a growing metropolis with modern smart city solutions.

Worldwide, cities are developing smart city strategies to respond to demographic and structural changes in an environmentally and citizen-friendly manner. Increased demand for housing as well as growing demands on urban infrastructure, power supply and waste disposal systems are just some of the challenges that cities have to face in order to ensure their future viability.

Integrating digital information and communication technologies (ICT) as well as taking into account sustainability and the common good can contribute significantly to resolving these issues. New ICT technologies increase the efficiency of systems and reduce the consumption of resources.

In order to preserve its attractiveness and quality of life, Berlin started developing, testing and implementing innovative solutions early on. An important prerequisite is that actors from public administration, business and science work closely together.

Berlin is smart:

  • The networking of public administration, business and science provides an excellent environment for the development of smart technologies.
  • Berlin has room for ideas: Berlin's future places (Berliner Zukunftsorte) provide technology and knowledge-oriented companies with attractive spaces that are centrally located, have excellent infrastructure and feature close links between science and industry.
  • With more than 150 companies, academic and research institutions, the Smart City Berlin Network is committed to the future city of Berlin and involved in the smart city strategy of the state of Berlin.
  • Spin-offs from institutions of higher education as well as the highly technology-oriented start-up community in Berlin represent a high potential for innovation.
  • Numerous conferences and trade shows taking place in Berlin address Smart City topics. Berlin presents itself in numerous formats with its innovative eco-system.

The Smart City Strategy Berlin has existed since 2015, a political-strategic innovation approach, which, together with the citizens of the city, is expanding Berlin’s future viability for the common good.

In 2021/22, the Smart City Berlin begins a new phase: Supported by the model project “Berlin worth living smart”, Berlin is developing a new Smart City strategy in a transparent process that is open to everyone – and is developing five concrete implementation projects. Project starts are planned for January 2022:

Smart City Squares:
Hardenbergplatz in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, as a typical station forecourt with high use, is being redesigned smartly and flexibly – that is, depending on the event, day, weather and season – for all forms of mobility.

Data Governance & Data-driven Management:
Together with the Einstein Center for Digital Future and Siemens AG Data-Governance, the Smart City model project is developing exemplary concepts for pilot areas that integrate municipal and private sector interests and processes in a way that is oriented towards the common good.

Participatory Budgeting and Smart Participation:
In the context of the participation process, interests tend to be distorted by the low levels of participation. Reallaborzentrum StadtManufaktur, BBBlockchain, CityLAB and the mobile CityLAB should help to reach more people with activating, digitally-supported participation. The pilot district is Treptow-Köpenick.

Smart Water – Modeling and Governance:
The effects of extreme weather events are obvious, but difficult for decision-makers and the public to understand. The measure models the effects of spatial heterogeneity and homogeneity on the water cycle and develops a participatory digital wall panel. Berlin selects representative locations for this.

Data in everyday life and crisis – Kiezbox 2.0:
Local data on the climate, air quality, etc. is generally obtained during regular operation. In the event of a crisis (e.g., power failure), for example, solar or battery-operated hotspots can form an emergency WLAN, which informs the local population. The effectiveness of such measures should first be tested in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district.

Smart City Strategy – example projects

Berlin is already focusing on innovative solutions in the following areas of urban development:

Smart Administration and Urban Society

The citizen participation platform enables Berliners to participate in the participation processes in the State of Berlin. Since 2018, innovation and participation have been thought of together in the CityLAB Berlin. Administration and urban society work together here on solutions for the digital Berlin of tomorrow.

Smart Living

In the coming years, a new, smart residential area in wooden construction will be built on the site of the former Tegel Airport: the Schumacher Quartier will be Berlin’s reference project for climate-adapted and water-sensitive urban development. Cross-industry and cross-manufacturer solutions for intelligent buildings and home networking are being developed in the smart Future Living Berlin district.

Smart Economy

Smart Berlin offers many opportunities to accelerate cooperation between research institutions, universities, and companies. Successful innovation can best be achieved at a cross-sectoral level, especially at the interfaces of ICT, energy technology, health, and transport/ mobility. Targeted funding policy is intended to bring together sectors and companies that usually do not work together, but that benefit from cooperation. This creates a smart link between different domains. Examples include: Network Smart City BerlinInfraLab, UnternehmensNetzwerk Motzener Straße e.V., Unternehmensnetzwerk Moabit e. V., BerChain, VRBB (Virtual Reality Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.)

Smart Mobility

The capital region is a test market for various mobility solutions, such as sharing services, mobility as a service, and autonomous driving. Here new and innovative solutions for the mobility of the future are developed and tested, from operational mobility management for Berlin companies and institutions to projects for automated and networked driving such as Shuttles&Co. to Micro-Hubs in districts as well as mobility hubs and the Jelbi app. The Berlin Agency for electromobility eMO supports the piloting and dissemination of sustainable mobility solutions and the ramp-up of electromobility.

Smart Infrastructures

A “Micro Smart Grid” has been developed at the future location EUREF Campus in Berlin, which implements the exemplary interaction of different energy producers and consumers with a high proportion of renewable energy. In the “Smart Business District” project, BSR, Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin Water Utilities) and BVG identify the joint use of company infrastructures, in order to optimize building and floor space requirements and to make optimal use of existing resources. The aim is to build a climate-friendly infrastructure using synergies, which result from the proximity of company locations. For Berlin TXL, the city is planning a CO2 neutral district with a low-exergy network, which is operated at temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius and achieves significantly fewer losses than classic district heating. Via a decentralized energy marketplace, consumers can additionally feed waste heat from buildings, waste water, server rooms or industrial plants into the network’s pipe system and receive remuneration for this.

Public Safety

The Berlin fire department is a pioneer in researching and testing new technologies, from the electrically-operated fire engine and auxiliary vehicle “eLHF” to the first aid app Katretter, and to the development of an interactive training platform for emergency services. The capital fire department is dedicated to and thus creates the basis for public safety in Berlin and is a role model for fire departments throughout the country.

Your contact

Beate Albert

Beate Albert

Smart City Unit
Berlin Partner for Business and Technology
Logo des Portals Smart City Berlin
Berliner Zukunftsorte