About the Event
From a technocentric towards a collaborative, value-based and human centred understanding.
As global society continues to become increasingly digitalized, the ‘smart’ cities in which we live in are beginning to follow suit. Yet, over the last years, what we understand as a Smart City has evolved beyond a definition focusing on tech-solutionism and the digitalisation of city infrastructure alone. Increasingly, it has become clear that the development of Smart Cities must ensure inclusivity, safety, resiliency, and sustainability in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Berlin Declaration, recently signed by all EU Member States, stresses that digital transformation must be driven collaboratively and with full respect to the fundamental rights and shared European values. The development of Smart Cities should follow the same path, moving away from a techno-centric understanding of smart cities toward one that is value-based and human centric. To successfully accomplish this, there must be dialogue and inclusion amongst all stakeholders.
Berlin is now taking the first step in such an inclusive dialogue. We are pleased to announce that the Berlin State Chancellery, Technologiestiftung Berlin, and the Hertie School’s Centre for Digital Governance have organized an online and international symposium on the 23rd and 24th of March, 2021. This first step is important for the City of Berlin and its path towards developing a new Smart City strategy.
The symposium will take stock of the current state-of-the-art research and knowledge on Smart Cities, and their future, by engaging in discussion with renowned Smart City academics and practitioners. The event will provide a forum for those interested in Smart Cities to listen, learn, present, and discuss cutting-edge knowledge, research, strategies, and success stories. The conference will have four workshops with the themes: citizen centricity, business- government collaboration, data governance, and administrative capacity in the Smart City context. In each workshop participants will hear from a panel of experts on the topic, and then be able to participate in a comprehensive discussion. The insights gained from this symposium will be incorporated into Berlin’s smart city strategy.
The CityLAB is an experimental laboratory for the city of the future. Here, representatives from government, civil society, academia and start-ups collaboratively develop new ideas for how to both ensure and enhance the livability of Berlin as a city. The CityLAB combines elements of a digital workshop, a co-working space and event space into a single location where participation and innovation are jointly pursued. We see digitalization as an opportunity to re-think existing processes, dismantle social barriers and create new forms of civic participation.
The CityLAB is not a single, finalized concept. Rather, it's a dynamic experiment intended to be continuously developed and re-imagined.