Introducing Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin

A collage shows figures and objects reflecting the use of technology new and old: People are using smartwatches, smartphones and video conferencing.

By viewing the video, you agree that your data will be transmitted to YouTube. For more information see data protection.

Format: video/youtube

A short introduction video in German. English subtitles can be chosen on YouTube.

How do we see transformation?

Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin considers urban development and digitalization in tandem. We are convinced that above all, transformation should bring people together and align their interests in order to collectively implement specific projects. The climate crisis, changes in transportation, lively neighborhoods and a good quality of life require cooperation and new ways of thinking! The strategy of Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin offers not only the vision of a smart Berlin and the goals needed to get there but also a process that unites the capital's diverse perspectives and strengths while also jointly testing new tools. We make the administration an “enabler”, approaching urban development and digitalization in tandem while working on digital transformation together with the entire city.

How should that work?

Berlin has striven to be a smart city for a while already but still lags behind in many areas. Yet the city has a wealth of knowledge, committed actors and promising projects. What is missing is a central guidance of the numerous ideas: administrative departments are siloed, and bureaucracy gets in the way of change instead of supporting it. In the strategy of Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin, new tools are being tested and further developed to overcome these difficulties. Just as with the strategy's development, we see its implementation as a process that can only work with broad participation.

A collage shows figures and objects reflecting the use of technology new and old: People are using smartwatches, smartphones and video conferencing.

The strategy: where we are headed

To ready Berlin for the future, we need a plan, relevant players and the right tools. Digital transformation has the potential to offer great added value for residents, city administrations and businesses. Digitalization and technology create social benefits and strengthen the democratic commonwealth. We use the term “smart” to describe the way challenges are addressed - creatively, openly, expediently and with participation.

The handbook: how we support the implementation of projects

Berlin is starting to become more citizen-friendly and sustainable. How can this be implemented? This handbook (in German) provides a structure for setting up and implementing projects, as well as methods for achieving goals – together across boundaries of authority, together with players in urban society. The handbook (in German)

The (City of Berlin’s) Theses on the Digital Conversion of Berlin (Version 2.0)

Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin consists of the strategy document and the digital handbook to help with implementation. Through concrete measures and projects, the intention to transform Berlin in a sustainable way is put into practice.

We are guided by the following theses:

  1. The digital conversion of Berlin is a process, not just crudely implementing new technology without thinking about it.
  2. This process needs to be decided together. That means open communication and transparency. (We're working hard at it!)
  3. Digital conversion needs to be done in a way that is ecological, economical, socially sustainable, resilient and collaborative, always serving the common good. (We're having an open discussion on what that means)
  4. The foundation: a dialogue with various players from civil society, science, administration, Berlin locals, economy and politics. (You're welcome to join)
  5. Everyone needs to understand the problems surrounding each respective topic. That's the only way to determine collective goals, actions and responsibilities.
  6. In order to implement plans, the resources, responsibilities (+ the political mandate to change) and competences must be clear.
  7. It's about collectively putting tools to the test, allowing better solutions to emerge.
  8. No one can predict the future! Learning from mistakes is the most important virtue of transformation.

Who or what is behind Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin

  • A person in protective clothing sits on a pipe and welds it. Cables are coming out of the pipe.

    The Fusion of Digitalstrategie and Smart City Strategie

    Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin is a fusion of Berlin's Digitalstrategie and its Smart City Strategie. The Smart City Strategie provides the vision for Berlin to consider urban development and digitalisation jointly, the Digitalstrategie provides the competence to implement. Find out more

  • The illustration shows three persons, sitting in an automatic car, while they drink coffee or sleep.

    The GD:B Team

    The team behind the Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin strategy is made up of employees from city administration; the central coordination and management is carried out by the Senate Chancellery. We are supported by experts in digital transformation, participation and communication. Get to know us

Basic preparation work leading towards the GD:B strategy

  • A worker with a toolbox is replacing a chip, bending over an opening in the floor where the circuit board is located.

    Digital Strategy Green Paper

    The digital strategy green paper (in German) analyses the initial situation for the digital transformation of Berlin. It identifies needs and defines fields of action. Green Paper (in German)

  • A teacher stands in front of a smartboard and scratches their head. Their students are running out of the classroom.

    Strategic framework for the development of a new smart city strategy for Berlin

    The strategic framework has been the preliminary foundation for the development of the Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin strategy, the result of a multifaceted process of participation. It includes the compass of values for a smart city and principles of good practice for the implementation of smart city projects. Strategic Framework (in German)