Illustration: BMI/Video "Smart City Charta"

Recommendations for the Development of a Smart City

“Data Strategy for Urban Development towards the Common Good” – that is the name of the guidelines and recommendations that the Federal Ministry of the Interior has compiled together with representatives from science, business, administration and civil society. The aim is to develop transparent, data protection compliant Smart Cities and municipalities.

Climate change, resource scarcity, demographic change, species extinction and pandemics – cities and municipalities are facing pressing global challenges. Digitalisation can support sustainable future development and to integrate ecological, social and economic dimensions. All stakeholders should be involved as far as possible and numerous aspects should be taken into account on the path to a “Smart City”.

But how can the necessary data be handled in concrete terms? How can access and usage be arranged? And how is data literacy built up? The "Nationale Dialogplattform Smart Cities“ of the Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, BMI) has developed some guidelines and recommendations for pressing questions like these. The paper “Datenstrategien für die gemeinwohlorientierte Stadtentwicklung” (Data Strategy for Urban Development towards the Common Good) was presented at the beginning of May on the Federal Congress for National Urban Development Policy. The document is the result of an 18-month-process, in which representatives of Federal, state and local government, social and municipal organisations as well as science and civic society participated.

The guidelines specify the recently relaunched „Smart City Charter“ and are a further part of the strategy process for the development of Smart Cities in Germany. The aim: To initiate a strategic and public good-oriented handling of data in cities, municipalities and regions on the basis of open data and standards and thus to advance innovations and planning processes openly and transparently.

The Smart City Charter is at the same time the basis for the federal initiative „Model Projects Smart Cities“, within which the development process of the Berlin Smart City Strategy is currently also being promoted.


7 Guidelines for Data Strategy in Urban Development  

In addition to value-oriented handling of data, the guidelines and recommendations of the national dialogue platform Smart Cities are also highlighting the access and the use of data and show how data use for urban development can be made transparent, participatory and co-creative. They are each accompanied by examples of best practice:

  • Build up and develop data literacy
  • Handle data in a value-oriented way
  • Create access to data
  • Create municipal value through data, strengthen public service and enable municipal business models
  • Create added value with data co-operation for community-oriented urban development
  • Establish transparency, enable participation and co-creation

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