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Frame of Reference: Digital Justice in Smart Cities

How can we understand and operationalise the many dimensions of digital justice in smart cities? The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) illuminates these questions in its frame of reference.

When it comes to improving the network of (municipal) infrastructures, digital public services take centre stage in municipal activities. Data increasingly provide the foundation for evidence-based planning activities, improved urban management and the careful use of resources; at the same time, they open up new accessibility and participation opportunities.  But how can we shape digitisation and the development of smart cities in a way that ensures they are just, accessible and oriented towards the common good? Municipalities increasingly find themselves “confronted” with questions like these.

The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) has therefore taken a closer look at the systematisation of municipal approaches and developed an analytical framework for digital justice in smart cities – along with an evaluation methodology. This document ties into the comprehensive smart city research at the BBSR – and into the Smart City Charta and its guidelines. The authors identified four dimensions of justice and described corresponding examples of municipal fields of activity and approaches. Initial experiences gathered in the Smart Cities Model Projects (SCMP), funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI), have been incorporated into the treatment, as have a number of scientific publications.

"Digital Justice in Smart Cities. A Frame of Reference for Municipal Digitisation Strategies" (Order the free print edition or download the PDF – German only)