Here is an initial collection of terms from the GD:B strategy which are defined here for ease of understanding. This list is not final. We are happy to include other terms: feel free to provide suggestions.


Processes are defined as agile if they are adaptable, flexible and proactive. They involve short learning cycles and are repeatedly adapted during the course of the process.


Individuals and organizations actively engaged in the smart city.

Arena of Ideas

The Arena of Ideas offers all actors within the urban community the opportunity to contribute ideas, challenges and solutions, to discuss them and to refine them further based on the strategy. They can be submitted, qualified and further developed on an online platform.

Operating model

Private operation of infrastructure facilities, often in the form of an enterprise that is jointly managed by a private company and a public corporation. Widespread in the municipal sector, e.g. waste disposal.

Cities Coalition for Digital Rights

Launched at the end of 2018, this initiative is based on the principle that all rights apply equally online and must be protected. Now involving more than 50 cities worldwide, Berlin has been part of the initiative since March 2019.


In the context of digitalization, this refers to a graphic presentation of information and data in a clear, easily comprehensible way.

Data science

Data science deals with the generation of knowledge from large amounts of data. It is an interdisciplinary science that has to do with both the processing and preparation of data and its use to gain knowledge.

Digital gender gap

According to the D21 Digital Index 2018/2019[53], women achieve a lower level of digitalization than men across all sociodemographic characteristics. They are more likely to belong to the group of digital outsiders and tend to be underrepresented in the group of digital pioneers. This imbalance is known as the digital gender gap.

Digital transformation

This term describes the transformation of the city with the support of digital technologies used for the common good and to promote sustainability, resilience and cooperation. In the digital transformation, digitalization and urban development are conceptually combined.

Success factors

The success factors of the Values Compass were developed in the course of the participation process for the creation of the Smart City Strategy. They all contribute to the long-term benefits for the city:

  • Functionality and responsibilities
  • Adaptive regulation
  • Sharing of tools
  • Visibility in the urban space
  • Sustainable use of resources
  • Co-determination in decisions and implementation
  • Creativity and diversity
  • Knowledge exchange and further development


The term enabler is used in connection with GD:B. The point here is that the administration’s main role is to enable the digital transformation in line with the Values Compass. It is to function as an actor in its own right in connection with measures, remove existing (legal) hurdles, and provide tools and exchange formats that are currently lacking so that other actors from the urban community can advance implementation.


Exploration describes the examination, investigation, or testing of a problem or issue. It is a key basis for the development of measures.

Specialized procedure

A specialized IT procedure – also called an IT process or specialized procedure – is an IT application that is developed specifically for the administration. It maps official processes within an administration either holistically or in significant parts with ICT support. Users can be both employees of the administration and citizens or companies.

Gender budgeting

This term calls for gender-sensitive budgeting. Gender equality is included as a goal in the preparation of the budget and is taken into account in the equitable distribution of financial resources.

Gender mainstreaming

This term refers to a strategy designed to promote gender equality. It is based on the assumption that women, men, and non-binary people have different prerequisites and therefore need to be strategically supported in different ways in the interests of equality.

Git repository

Git is free software for the distributed version management of files. It allows parallel and decentralized work on files, such as codes, which are stored and shared in so-called Git repositories.


Governance describes agreements and rules on how different actors in administration, politics and the urban community make decisions together, implement them and steer processes.

Field of action

A field of action within the GD:B strategy defines the focus of activities pursued by a measure. In contrast to many specialist strategies, no specific goals are named here, as GD:B ties in with existing specialist goals and supports their implementation through measures, tools and new processes.

Humble government

Humble government is a concept for the long-term development of policy. It is based on the assumption that political decisions should always be scrutinized and adapted to new developments and the impact of measures.


Information and communication technology is a collective term for technology used for the digital processing of data and information. It therefore includes hardware, digital terminals, servers and software.

Impact indicators

Impact indicators measure the effect of a measure on the achievement of clearly defined, urban and global goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Interoperable ecosystem

IT systems that are interoperable are independent systems that can communicate and interact with each other. For this reason, an IT ecosystem that is to be interoperable requires the same standards, e.g. in the use of file formats.


Information technology is dedicated to the electronic processing of data and the hardware and software used for this purpose.


An iterative approach is a step-by-step approach to a solution. This can also mean that interim outcomes are discarded precisely when they do not prove to be useful solutions.

Kanban system

The Kanban system is a system for managing joint project work and joint project management. In most cases, a so-called Kanban board is used: this provides a transparent overview of tasks for team members, helping them to collect outstanding assignments and showing which team member is currently working on which task, and which work stages have already been completed.

Critical infrastructures

Critical infrastructures (CRITIS) are infrastructures that are essential for maintaining important societal functions of health, safety, and the economic and social well-being of the population – e.g. water, food, health, energy, transportation, ICT, media, insurance, administration.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the automated replication of intelligent behavior, mostly based on big data analysis and machine learning.

Learning strategy

GD:B is designed as a learning strategy that is developed on an ongoing basis and whose effectiveness is reviewed annually. The content of the strategy is continuously updated and new measures are added at regular intervals.


A Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) is a network protocol that enables low-power transmissions of Internet-of-Things application information.

Action Team

An Action Team can be formed from various actors and implement measures independently. Action Teams can consist of individual organizations but are usually made of representatives of the administration, business, academia, and civil society. They pursue a common goal in the implementation of a measure.

Online Access Act

OZG for short: this was passed by the German Bundestag in 2017. It aims to make administrative online services accessible or more easily accessible across the board.


Open-by-default is the principle according to which data is made available as open data by default. Failure to provide data in this case requires a specific justification and should be the exception.

Open data

Open data is the publicly available provision of data sets, usually in the form of raw data for use, in particular for reuse and redistribution. Personal data and data otherwise subject to protection (e.g. security-relevant data, trade and business secrets) are excluded from this. Linked open data refers to open, structured information that is linked to other data sets and external, commonly recognized objects.

Open source

This term refers to software whose source code is open. This means that it is publicly viewable and can be modified and used by others, so it can also be edited jointly.

Outcome indicators

Outcome indicators measure the medium-term impact of the results of a measure.

Output indicators

Output indicators describe the quantitative results of a measure at the end of the project.

Process indicators

Process indicators transparently show which phase of the process model a measure is currently in and which interim outcomes have been achieved in the phases already completed.

Sponge city

The sponge city is a concept of urban development that envisages absorbing, storing and harnessing the rainwater that accumulates in cities rather than simply draining it away. The aim is to achieve more efficient use of water as well as better flood protection.

Service design

Service design is a collection of methods for designing services in a user- centered way.

Smart (city)

In Berlin’s interpretation, smart does not merely mean “digital”. Berlin’s definition of a smart city aims to address how future challenges can be solved in a creative, open, purposeful and participatory way. In this connection, digital technologies are seen as an important tool in bringing about the sustainable, community-oriented transformation of the city, but not as an end in themselves.

Urban community

In the context of the Smart City Strategy, this term refers to the diverse groups that characterize Berlin society. It includes the administration and policymakers, business actors, organized civil society, academic actors, silent groups and Berlin residents.

Silent groups

These include Berlin residents who are rarely or hardly heard in participation processes: people with disabilities, people who have experienced displacement, people who have experienced discrimination, children and young people, and the homeless.

Transformational issues

These aim to bring people together and align their interests so that they can then work together to tackle specific projects. Issues such as the climate crisis, the transportation turnaround, vibrant neighborhoods and good quality of living require a cooperative and innovative mindset. They are the transformational issues to which a smart city is to provide answers.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into force in 2016 and provide an overarching framework for sustainable development for countries and cities worldwide. Their period of validity lasts 15 years, ending in 2030. The goals are often abbreviated as SDGs.

Urban foresight

Foresight in urban planning means that actors of the urban community investigate probable and alternative future scenarios of the coming 5 – 30 years in order to support current decision-making processes in an anticipatory manner.

Use case

A use case is a practical instance of a concept or theoretical model.


UX stands for user experience, UI for user interface. User Experience Design describes the development of a design of a user’s interactions with an application. The user interface is the visible image of an application that users can see.

Values Compass

The Values Compass of the GD:B strategy consists of four guiding principles and eight success factors which seek to provide direction for the success of projects.


In this urban development concept, the focus is on ensuring that everyday routes can be covered in 15 minutes. The idea is that these journeys are covered on foot or using a sustainable means of transport such as a bicycle or local public transport. Everyday routes include travel to work, shopping, nurseries, schools, medical facilities, parks, cultural and sports facilities.