Illustration: 123comics

The Digital Berlin City Committee: 70 Berliners Take Part

With members selected randomly from among Berlin’s residents, the committee will develop content for the new Berlin Smart City Strategy until spring 2022 – cooperating with the Berlin administration and supported by experts. In addition, every Berliner can contribute their ideas to the process at mein.berlin.de.

Berlin pupil Arwa Altumi is taking part to “talk about the actual problems we face in our spheres of life, to enter them into politics and find solutions for them together”, while Wolfgang Wannemacher thinks that “complaining about politics and the administration is all fine and good, but its better to help change things if you get the chance.” Arwa Altumi and Wolfgang Wannemacher are just two of the 70 Berliners who have been selected to be part of the new Digital Berlin City Committee. In collaboration with the Berlin administration, experts and the public, they have been tasked with – and are willing to – develop concrete content for Berlin’s new Smart City Strategy. 3,000 residents were contacted via the register of residents; a group of people that represents the diversity of the capital was selected from among the respondents.

7 meetings planned in total

The new committee met for the first time at the Rote Rathaus on 20 November, adhering to the current 2-G-Plus regulations that require persons to be either vaccinated against or have recovered from Covid-19 and to have taken an additional rapid test. Christian Rickerts, Secretary of State in the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, and Karen Lassmann, Smart City Model Project Head in the Senate Chancellery, welcomed the participants. Together, they discussed the role digitisation should play to create a Berlin worth living in. Afterwards, the members of the city committee came together in small groups to talk about smart city terms and define the way the committee will work in future. Secretary of State Christian Rickerts was delighted with the successful kick-off. “The participating Berliners have great ideas and contribute a diverse range of experience that will help use digitisation to create a sustainable Berlin worth living in.”

Six more committee meetings have been planned, which will take place online. Collaborating closely with experts, the Digital Berlin City Committee will develop ideas for concrete content and quantifiable measures for the smart city strategy and will also provide input on interim results and matters relating to the digital strategy. The results of the meetings will be further developed in cooperation with the Berlin administration and incorporated into the overall process. 

Interested parties can contribute their own ideas to the process by 7 January 2022. To do so, simply visit mein.berlin.de
 

Multi-stage participation process

Involving urban society in the process is at the core of the concept to develop the new Berlin Smart City Strategy, which the state of Berlin will work on until autumn 2022 as part of the Smart Cities Model Projects programme funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and KfW Bank. 

The strategic framework was developed during the first stage and passed by the Berlin Senate on 3 August 2021. The document contains central ideals, principles and overarching objectives – known as future perspectives – for the Smart City Berlin. Representatives from a number of fields were involved in the development of the strategic framework, including from administration and politics; science; business; organised urban society; and residents from seldom-heard groups (people with disabilities; people who have experienced migration; people who have experienced discrimination; children and youths; and homeless people). 

The process that has now commenced will develop the actual strategy on the basis of the strategic framework. From January 2022 until the end of 2026, Berlin will also implement five concrete smart city pilot projects – which will also be financed with model project funds. The CityLAB Berlin at Berlin technology foundation TSB is coordinating the multi-stage strategy process on behalf of the Berlin Senate Chancellery. 

Additional information