The development of a smart city requires the cooperation of different actors. For this reason, measures taken under the Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin strategy must be geared to the needs of the urban community, respond to current challenges and be created with the involvement of the city’s diverse actors. Nevertheless, clearly defined responsibilities and process stages are necessary in order for the state government to be able to manage smart urban development strategically and transparently. Flexible and rapid interaction for a functioning and capable city is supported by governance structures that regulate decision-making processes in the areas of smart city and digital transformation.

The Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin strategy proposes a decision and implementation model for the development and implementation of measures. This includes three key elements:

  • A governance model which sets out the roles, competencies and tasks of the actors involved. Coordination and steering of the overall process is based on this structure, with the inclusion of various perspectives from the urban community [38] – Berlin residents, policymakers the administration, business, academia and civil society. This also determines how measures are prioritized, selected and finally evaluated. The governance model mainly takes effect within the administration.
  • An implementation model that enables measures in line with the strategy to be planned, tested and realized according to uniform principles. This includes a process before the start of the project (preliminary process), in which the problem is analyzed with the involvement of the relevant internal and external actors and synergies are clearly identified. As a result, this process gives rise to requirements and a project plan for the solution: this is subsequently mandated by political bodies, establishing an Action Team and a budget (see Chapter Implementation).
  • A system of impact measurement that can be used to verify that the measures are achieving the desired effects. This defines key performance indicators for each measure and for the learning strategy so that new measures can be proposed, existing ones can be evaluated, and the strategy can be adjusted according to the annual learning cycle (see Chapter Impact Measurement).
The graphic shows the three pillars governance model, implementation model and impact measurement.

The three key elements of governance

The GD:B strategy is cyclical at various levels: Governance structures ensure that the strategy itself is evaluated at regular intervals and adapted to changing needs and lessons learned. Individual measures are prototypically implemented, tested and refined. Based on targeted knowledge transfer and feedback loops, a continuous learning process is triggered from which the administration and the urban community benefit to an equal extent.

The governance model

  • Drei Personen sitzen oder stehen um einen Tisch herum und lachen. Auf dem Tisch stehen verschiedene Computer. Im Hintergrund ist das Ende eine papierrolle zu sehen, auf der das Bild eines Monitores abgebildet ist.

    Governance actors

    Governance of the GD:B strategy involves a range of actors, both inside and outside the administration, working together at different levels. This involves centralized steering and decentralized implementation of the strategy. More

  • Treppe aus geometrischen Würfeln mit Luftblasen darin.

    Decision-making levels

    In the course of implementing the strategy, decisions have to be made at several points that determine whether and how the process will continue. For this reason, GD:B governance sets out the ways in which decisions are made at different levels, each of which includes specific roles, competencies and tasks: More

  • Die Illustration zeigt ein Schiff, auf dem Personen auf dem Dach sitzen.

    The path from governance of strategy development to governance of strategy implementation

    The levels of governance have to be operationalized on the administrative side. This requires a structure that helps the CDO/StS D take effective action in a cross-sectional role so as to implement the GD:B strategy. The bodies described form part of this implementation governance. More

... governance with the example of the Smart Water measure

The Smart Water Action Team organizes implementation of the measure independently (Governance Level 1 – Measures) and receives support from the Support Team. The Action Team consists of: Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (coordination), Technologiestiftung Berlin, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Protection and Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing. The mandate and funding are provided to the Action Team by the CDO/StS D (Governance Level 2 – Selection). The outcomes and experience derived from the implementation process and collaboration are incorporated in the evaluation of the learning strategy. To this end, the Action Team reports regularly to the Gemeinsam Digital Unit (Governance Level 3 – Learning Strategy).

  • References

    [38] The definition of the urban community follows the quadruple helix approach (business, academia, civil society, policymakers and administration), expanding this to include all citizens, including a targeted approach to so-called silent groups. See: Schütz, F. et al. (2019). Co-shaping the Future in Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems: Uncovering Public Preferences toward Participatory Research and Innovation. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation. Volume 5, 2, pp. 128-146.

Strategy Chapters

You can find these and other contents in the Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin strategy paper.

Download it here: strategy Gemeinsam Digital Berlin

Click here for the annex: annex to the strategy