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Crowdboost re:publica: A digital strategy for Berlin

© re:publica Berlin

What could a digital strategy for Berlin look like? On May 25, together with the Senate Department for Economic Affairs and Energy and (inter)national experts, we collected visions, methods, technologies and best practices for Berlin's digital strategy. 

After the welcoming speech by Dr. Michael Mischke, officer of the Senate Department for Economy, Energy and Operations Berlin, Aik van Eemeren started with impressions and insights of the implementation of the digital strategy in Amsterdam. Van Eemeren is head of public tech for the city of Amsterdam and explained that for Amsterdam, the focus was on creating open, democratic and sustainable digital public spaces, "Urban planning is coming out of an era of financially driven value creation. We wanted to move towards open technology and an open design process where public values and citizens are at the center," explained the Dutchman. This new way of urban planning was then implemented with citizen participation and the support of data-driven design. Paul Manwaring, founder of the City Innovation Exchange Lab Amsterdam, also emphasized the importance of privacy in planning and how the Responsible Sensing Toolkit came about: "This is about the difference between monitoring and service: How can we collect insights while protecting digital rights of citizens? As an urban innovator, when I think about using sensors to collect data, I need a simple online toolkit to guide me on how to use technology ethically."

The city of Hamburg has already implemented its digital strategy. Matthias Wieckmann, Head of Digital Strategies at the Office for IT and Digitization Hamburg, briefly provided insights into Hamburg's solution, a combination of top-down and bottom-up methods: "For us, digitizing means that we have to cooperate: with citizens, companies and startups and universities, but also with associations, societies, foundations and other cities and countries to end up with a strategy that makes sense for everyone." 

In addition to the input from other experts, the nearly 60 participants then took up the collected information in the breakout sessions and worked together to develop further impulses for the development and implementation of the Berlin digital strategy. The strategy will be in the participation phase for the next two years and is open to all citizens of Berlin. More info //here.