The implementation of concrete measures breathes life into the strategy Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin, advancing the digital transformation and services of general interest, and promoting a cultural change in the administration. The measures bring the smart city to life, helping people gain a better understanding of processes and realizing the transformation on a step-by-step basis. The strategy provides a methodological framework while at the same time ensuring that individual measures can take effect together and learn from each other. Within the Berlin administration, GD:B promotes joint working across departments and levels. Likewise, the strategy promotes cooperation between the Berlin administration and the urban community, as has already been tested in initial measures. In this way, an integrated ecosystem can gradually emerge from projects that are currently still isolated.

The extensive participation processes during the development of the strategy demonstrated clearly how many actors are already working with digital means today to make Berlin more sustainable, resilient, cooperative, and community-oriented. Not only was it possible to identify numerous ideas and projects that were already in action, but the need for central coordination and control also became apparent. For this reason, the strategy contains three types of measure. They differ in terms of the actors responsible for their implementation:

Different types of measures

  • An illustration shows a wild boar darting to the left with the receiver of a corded telephone in its mouth. He is followed by two piglets. A flying watering can with electronic sensors pours out a gush of liquid.

    Central measures

    are the responsibility of the CDO/StS D. These aim to lay the foundations in technical, procedural and organizational terms to support different actors in the city – Berlin residents, the administration, business, academia and civil society – in the implementation of their respective projects. These measures are additionally based on the preliminary work done on the Digital Strategy, which was commenced after the merger of the two strategy programs. Central measures

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    Decentralized measures

    are the responsibility of actors in the Berlin administration – Senate and district administrations, subordinate authorities. They fall into different specialist areas, fulfill several specific specialized objectives, contribute to the fields of action of the GD:B strategy through their implementation, and are based on the strategy’s Values Compass. Other actors of the urban community can be participants of a decentralized measure. Decentralised measures

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    Network measures

    are the responsibility of actors in the urban community outside the administration, in this case primarily the business community, academia and civil society. The administration can be a participant in a network measure. These measures also contribute to the fields of action and are based on the Values Compass. Cooperation with the administration is generally a good idea so as to ensure continuity and scaling. Network measures

The selection of measures presented here is not final. In the course of the participation processes and based on the needs of the urban community, initial measures were identified as a foundation on which to test and rehearse the GD:B governance and implementation model. The measures presented here were selected because responsibilities have already been defined for them and resources have been made available. You can find an overview of all current measures here.

The graphic shows the names of the five pilot measures around a map of Berlin.

Pilot measures

The measures Participatory Budgeting and Smart Participation, Data & Smart City Governance Based on the Example of Air Quality Management, Kiezbox 2.0 – Data in Everyday Life and Crisis, Smart Space Hardenbergplatz, and Smart Water – Climate-Friendly Water and Urban Green Space Management are being financed as pilot measures under the Smart City Berlin model project using funds from the Model Projects Smart Cities (MPSC) funding program run by the German Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building. At the same time, the strategy develops a structured, participatory process so as to be able to continuously receive and evaluate new proposals for measures and decide on their implementation.

Pilot measures under the Smart City Berlin model project

  • Participatory Budgeting and Smart Participation

    In the context of participatory processes, interests tend to be distorted by a low level of non-representative participation. A variety of digitally supported participation methods are being tested in Treptow-Köpenick in order to increase participation in the district’s long-standing neighborhood fund. More

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    Data & Smart City Governance Based on the Example of Air Quality Management

    The starting point for the measure is the question of how municipalities and technology companies can cooperate on an equal footing on the topic of data use and processing in a way that is oriented towards the common good. The measure aims to balance conflicting interests in the collection and use of data, focusing in particular on their technological, organizational, and legal or normative dimensions. More

  • A red box, inside which hangs a battery, stands out of a tiled floor. On top of the box lies a hammer, which is attached.

    Kiezbox 2.0 – Data in Everyday Life and Crisis

    Crisis-proof local communications infrastructure is essential for the resilience of an increasingly digitalized city and supports disaster management on a needs-oriented basis. In the event of a crisis (e.g. A power outage), Kiezbox 2.0 provides solar-powered or battery-powered hotspots for public wi-fi where employees of emergency services and critical infrastructure companies or citizens can log on with their smartphones to communicate and identify any urgent need for action. More

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    Smart Water – Climate-Friendly Water and Urban Green Space Management

    Integrating blue-green infrastructure and other planning aspects (street planning) can significantly mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and add additional qualities to the city. Smart Water aims to use agile rainwater management planning to enable climate-smart urban planning that specifically mitigates water pollution, heat islands, and flooding hotspots. More

  • giraffe whose black fur parts contain zeros and ones. Three people each ride different electric scooters up the giraffe's neck.

    Smart Space Hardenbergplatz

    Hardenbergplatz in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is a typical station square with a high density of usage. It is to be made smart and flexible for all forms of mobility, i.e. geared towards the specific event, day, weather and season. In order to make spaces like Hardenbergplatz more responsive to future needs, innovative, community-oriented operating models are needed. More

Development of new measures

Once the GD:B strategy has been adopted, the first measures will be implemented by the end of 2023. As a learning strategy, it also defines a procedure for developing new measures for Berlin on a participatory basis and incorporating these into the GD:B strategy. An online platform provides the framework for this. As an Arena of Ideas, the aim is to enable ideas, challenges and solutions to be submitted which can in turn be qualified and further developed.

The Arena of Ideas offers all actors within the urban community the opportunity to contribute ideas, discuss them and refine them further based on the strategy. It creates visibility for the diversity of ideas generated within Berlin’s urban community and provides a common platform for Smart City Berlin actors. Actors can take responsibility for the ideas they bring to the table and are networked with each other according to their skills and expertise. This allows similar ideas to be merged and worked on jointly in consortia. The Arena of Ideas also enables people to raise challenges within the urban community so as to be able to develop solutions collaboratively. Proposals can come from all interested stakeholders, whether civil society, startups and SMEs, or research institutions.

The Arena of Ideas forms the basis for feeding new measures into the strategy implementation process. Ideas developed and solutions proposed are qualified in such a way that they become part of the GD:B strategy as measures. Measures are selected taking into account the criteria developed based on the Values Compass (see Chapter 5: Governance and Annex). Measures can also be developed from within the Berlin Senate and district administrations. For this reason, numerous measures in the area of administrative digitalization are listed in the Online Access Act (OZG) [36] and the Berlin E-Government Act [37]. These can be implemented as part of the GD:B strategy.

An illustration of several people in conversation. Some are connected via video, others are sitting on benches. In the background is a fax machine on fire.

The Arena of Ideas: Jointly developing and refining new measures

Would you like to get involved in the further development of measures? The Arena of Ideas helps players in urban society to develop ideas into measures. The Arena is where you can network with potential cooperation partners and share your ideas. Get involved now (in German)

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