More and more cities around the world are grappling with the vision of the so-called Smart City. There is a wide range of approaches and thematic areas being discussed, developed and tested. German cities are also increasingly developing their own smart city approaches and are finding ways to apply them to their respective situations, some of them in a practical way, others more conceptually. Each city has its own special focuses.
However, this process is still at an early stage: in Germany, some major cities have already begun practically dealing with the Smart City topic, while interest in the topic is clearly increasing in other cities. The majority of the cities already active in the field are still in a phase of seeking and testing. A model for the German Smart City has not yet been developed. A systematic overview of current activities related to the Smart City in German municipalities is also lacking.
The aim of the project was thus to develop a differentiated overview and an assessment of the current situation in the planning and implementation of Smart City approaches in German cities. This is grounded in an understanding of the Smart City as a city that uses networked information and communication technologies (ICT) to enable ecologically and economically sustainable urban development, be it transport/mobility, infrastructure, housing and building management, energy supply, public security or other areas of urban life. The focus was on the implementation of Smart City approaches in practice, whether by conceptual principles, pilot implementation projects, or a combination of both.
In addition to a comprehensive inventory of currently visible Smart City activities, deeper analyses were carried out using case studies. Sustainability, the inclusion of (networked) information and communication technologies (ICT), the practical relevance, and the degree of implementation of the approaches under investigation play a particular role in the selection, analysis and assessment of the various Smart City approaches. The project has also investigated the form in which practical grappling with the Smart City concept is organised in the individual municipalities, which actions cooperate with each other and how, and which goals they pursue.
The compact presentation of the case studies is intended to show the range of current Smart City practice in Germany and to identify models of innovative approaches, both within the various subject areas and more generally. The comparative analysis of these examples will be used to identify notable features (similarities, differences, trends) and to make projections for the further development of the Smart City process in Germany. A workshop with municipal actors and experts in the Smart City field will provide further important insights.