Future opportunities for all

GD:B helps ensure that all Berlin residents can acquire the skills they need to participate in the transformation of their local environment. They should be able to share knowledge and get actively involved in shaping the city so as to ensure that digitalization and the smart city are inclusive. One key concern here is to close the digital gender gap*. This can also be supported by learning concepts in schools, universities and other educational institutions that are jointly developed as prototypes. The networking of different forms of learning and knowledge offers enormous potential in terms of viewing complex problems holistically and formulating interdisciplinary approaches to solutions. At the same time, the smart city offers a wealth of options for enabling people to learn at numerous different places in the urban space using technology. Nonetheless, analog, low-threshold, and barrier-free offerings must continue to be provided so as to guarantee participation opportunities for groups that do not have digital access.

Field of action: Build the necessary capacity for change

Berlin needs a culture of open learning and shared experimentation at all levels so as to be able to address urgent challenges and be prepared for crises. In public administration, the development of methodological and technical skills, e.g. relating to agile methods and data science*, is being driven forward so as to improve independent action while at the same time facilitating impact-oriented collaboration with external actors. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to expand the recruitment of IT specialists. In Berlin, a wide range of educational and networking opportunities enable all residents to operate on a self-determined basis within the digital sphere, to develop their knowledge, and to contribute this knowledge to shaping urban life. These efforts build on existing offerings such as the media literacy centers [28]. These new skills are to empower the urban community to address change together.

Field of action: Advance and increase the appeal of meeting and learning places

Meeting and learning places support the urban community in acquiring new skills, networking and shaping Berlin together. Local actors are supported in the development of inclusive services. The aim is to build on existing meeting and learning places – from institutionalized centers such as schools and universities to public libraries, adult education centers and other learning venues as well as freely accessible places such as neighborhood labs and digital workshops. This involves tapping into people’s existing day-to-day routines and developing existing publicly accessible spaces. The offerings must be accessible and inviting for all Berlin residents [29] and ensure that digital participation is guaranteed according to the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights* [30]. At the same time, digitalization offers the opportunity for universities to expand programs dedicated to lifelong learning and cooperation with urban and civil society, as well as living labs and citizen science.

Field of action: Provide impetus for livable urban development

Smart city approaches must provide impetus for livable and sustainable urban development. Measures under the GD:B strategy help swiftly try out processes under simplified conditions and bring about change to structural processes in urban development in the long term. In this connection, digital tools for visualizing future solutions can help make better-informed decisions. Here , particular emphasis is placed on inclusive, gender-equitable development, while projects are designed so that they can be experienced at first hand by residents in public spaces so as to enable them to get actively involved and provide feedback.

Field of action: Engage in learning together with other smart cities

GD:B actors network with other smart cities at national and international level to learn from each other. Existing networks and appropriate new exchange formats enable the knowledge transfer that is fundamentally necessary for the design of livable, sustainable and community-oriented smart cities. Here, Berlin acts as a powerful voice to influence the international smart city debate while at the same time adapting and scaling any successful models on a local basis in project-related collaborations, developing solutions jointly with other cities.

  • References

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

    [28] Jugendnetz Berlin (2022). Die 12 Medienkompetenzzentren Berlins. Available online: https://jugendnetz.berlin/jn/00_Medienkompetenzzentren

    [29] In accordance with the State Anti-Discrimination Act (LADG), discrimination is prohibited here in connection with action under public law based on gender, ethnic origin, racist or anti-Semitic attribution, religion and ideology, disability, chronic illness, age, language, sexual and gender identity and social status. See: Senatsverwaltung für Justiz, Viefalt und Antidiskriminierung (2022). Das Berliner Antidiskriminierungsgesetz (LADG). Available online: https://www.berlin.de/sen/lads/recht/ladg. Likewise, the Berlin Accessible Information and Communication Technology Act (BIKTG Bln) applies here, see: Berliner Vorschriften- und Rechtsprechungsdatenbank (2019). Gesetz über die barrierefreie Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik Berlin (Barrierefreie-IKT-Gesetz Berlin - BIKTG Bln). Available online: https://gesetze.berlin.de/bsbe/document/jlr-BIKTGBErahmen

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

Strategy Chapters