Inclusive shaping of urban life

In many sections of the urban community, there is a desire to get proactively involved in urban processes and help shape them. The activities of GD:B support collaboration between different actors inside and outside the administration with regard to effective measures and the gearing of processes towards people. All policies must be reviewed to determine whether sections of the population are being excluded so as to ensure this does not occur.

The strategy makes a contribution to ensuring public participation processes enjoy central status. Appropriate participation approaches are tested and jointly developed across topics and departments, making the development of Berlin a task of the urban community. Future generations are taken into consideration and their future is integrated into current processes. Participation takes place at all levels – local, urban, regional – thereby opening up new spaces for cooperation.

Field of action: Consolidate participatory governance and participation formats

Only together with the city’s residents can a Berlin be created that is geared towards their needs. To this end, inclusive, outreach-oriented and, as far as possible, dialog-oriented and gender-sensitive formats of participation – workshops, surveys, public events taking into account a mix of media and different languages, etc. – must enable all Berlin residents to contribute ideas and participate in their implementation. The methods and venue are chosen to suit the theme, occasion and target group, and are supported by additional specialist staff and in close cooperation with organized civil society. Participatory governance ensures that residents are involved in important decisions and that different interests are taken into account.

Field of action: Ensure transparency in the development of the city and its processes

Transparent and verifiable action on the part of all actors in the urban community and systems strengthens trust in policymakers and the administration, facilitates collaborative work and enables joint learning and participation. Berlin will develop clear information offerings for this purpose. The algorithms and technical systems used must also be transparent and comprehensible in their mode of operation and as free as possible from any potential for discrimination. Finally, networking opportunities such as conferences and meet-ups are to promote dialog between different actors.

Field of action: Develop urban services with low barriers and in line with needs

Berlin residents have differing backgrounds and capabilities. Digital Berlin offerings must take their diverse needs into account and include underrepresented groups at an early stage in developing and implementing processes – e.g. women, children, senior citizens, people with a limited knowledge of German, and people with disabilities. To this end, these groups – and women in particular – must be actively represented in digitalization-related bodies so that they can help shape decisions about processes and the design of IT. Public information services must reflect the range of diversity in the urban community in text and images: they must be formulated in a gender-appropriate manner, written in easily understandable language and in sign language, and made available in multiple languages. Digital offerings must be provided in the analog space, such as the 68 public libraries. At the same time, the right to analog life must not be curtailed: all services must also be accessible by analog means.

Field of action: Strengthen digital citizens’ rights and comply with data privacy regulations

In the spirit of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights [31], citizens’ rights that apply offline must also be protected online. For example, residents must be able to find out at any time the purpose for which their data is stored and used by public authorities. The authorities are to set up clear, simple processes for data privacy compliance so as to facilitate the development of applications that are compliant with data protection requirements.

  • References

    Please see glossary for explanations for terms marked with an asterisk*.

    [31] Cities Coalition for Digital Rights (2022).

Strategy Chapters

  • Why Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin?

  • Values Compass: How do we shape Berlin as a digital city?

  • Fields of Action: What does the city need?

  • Measures: How can we realise Berlin as a digital city?

  • Governance: How do we work together?

  • Implementation: What tools do we need?

  • Impact measurement: How do we stay on track?

  • Overview of strategy