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10 years SMART CITY Forum - 28. Expert Discussion in Berlin

It was a special expert meeting in Berlin.

                               Not only the high density of politicians and experts and the great location at EPAM SYSTEMS at Kurfürstendamm made the SMART CITY Forum expert talk something special, it was also the 10th anniversary and the honor of the 500th member of the SMART CITY Forum, Mr. Michael Prange from Kiel University of Applied Sciences, as well as interesting and entertaining lectures and intensive networking.


After Prof. Dr. Dr. e.h. Lutz Heuser as founder and speaker of the SMART CITY Forum welcomed the participants of the 28th Forum and thanked the co-organizers EPAM SYSTEMS and Berlin Partner for the organization, the presentations and greetings started immediately.

                               The icebreaker was made by Ana-Maria Trăsnea, Plenipotentiary of the State of Berlin to the Federal Government and State Secretary for Engagement, Democracy Promotion and International Affairs with the greetings of the City of Berlin followed by a short welcome of the host, Peter Kürpick, Senior Vice President, Head of Germany and CTO - EPAM Systems GmbH.


                               Karen Laßmann, Head of the Smart City Unit, then delved more deeply into the topic of Smart City and Smart Region. Ms. Laßmann addressed the necessary transformation of a city in the context of its digitization. She presented three central elements for the implementation of the strategy in Berlin - cross-departmental and cross-level work, support for measures and a prototypical approach. The implementation will be carried out via five formats and is intended to be "Centrally Controlled - Decentrally Implemented".

This presentation was seamlessly followed by the subsequent contribution of Jürgen Besler from infrest, who, together with Rolf Mienkus from the Insel-Projekt Berlin, gave a workshop report on the redesign of Hardenbergplatz in Berlin as a "Smart Space".

                               Peter Siebert from the Digital Agency Brandenburg reported on how these rather urban smart city projects can also be implemented in the rural areas of Brandenburg.

After an important networking coffee break, Lutz Heuser reported on news from the SMART CITY Forum DIN Specs and WGs.

Tobias Miethander then reported on the activities and benefits of the Mobility Data Space. This is a platform on which mobility data can be shared securely and transparently while safeguarding ownership rights.


                               Thomas Fehling (former mayor of Bad Hersfeld and Smart City Ambassador), who has been active in the SMART CITY Forum for many years, called for participation in the newly founded Light Pollution WG of the Smart City Forum. It aims to support communities, regions and companies in the efficient use of light through concrete blueprints. The relevance of the topic could hardly be greater at the current time. Topics such as energy saving in public spaces, measures to achieve climate neutrality, protection of flora and fauna, and the DarkSky Initiative are important components of the future cooperation of the participants in the WG here. The responsible ministries from Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia have already agreed to cooperate, and Fehling motivated those present to do likewise. 


                               Christian Scholz then reported on the experiences from the SMART REGION HUB project, which was initiated in Bad Hersfeld and funded by the Hessian Ministry for Digital Strategy and Development. The SMART REGION HUB consists of three parts and is intended to give mayors and responsible persons from local authorities the opportunity to obtain concrete information about Smart City / Smart Region projects in an exhibition in the wortreich Bad Hersfeld, to acquire necessary, additional specialist knowledge by means of a workshop and to allow citizens to enter into dialog with the responsible persons about Smart City / Smart Region topics by means of a mobile SMART REGION HUB.

Marco Brunzel subsequently explained with his contribution on "Digitize instead of Electrify", the platform-based, public service networks as the key to shaping the digital transformation in Germany.


                                It was not easy, but the SMART CITY Forum managed to get Minister Klara.

Geywitz, Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction invited to speak (thanks to Renate Mitterhuber and Peter Wichert).

Minister Geywitz welcomed the attendees, congratulated on 10 years of SMART CITY Forum and underlined the necessity of such exchange opportunities on current Smart City / Smart Region topics.

In her welcoming address, Geywitz took a closer look at the 73 model projects and communities supported by the German government with €820 million. These are 73 different projects with different experiences and results, which are to be transferred to other communities for further use.

 Here, Minister Geywitz also emphasized the different requirements for cities and regions. For example, the 49€ helps the citizens of a city - but in the countryside, a project is more in demand where a village shuttle can be booked using an app.

The goal should be to make rural areas more attractive to younger people again in the long-term, since there is an extreme shortage of housing in cities and 1.7 million vacant apartments in rural areas.

                               The minister reported on other projects in which a digital twin is to be created in order to be able to control urban development more precisely and better, or traffic flows are forecast in order to be able to predict, for example, in winter when and where the road will have to be gritted at a certain time.

As a conclusion, Minister Geywitz mentioned the goal of making communities and regions more efficient through digitalization and supported the creation of standards such as a DIN SPEC, as they have already been developed several times by members of the SMART CITY Forum and DIN. Here, however, it was still up in the air what the correct pronunciation was - DIN "SPECK" or "SPEC".

Mrs. Minister Geywitz regretted not being able to participate further in the expert discussion, wished further a good course.

                               It was nice that in the meantime also further prominent personalities like the former governing mayor of Berlin, Michael Mueller as well as the former Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries (member of the SCF for many years) had come to the expert discussion.

Clean Open Source was the central theme of the panel and offers of collaboration in the spirit of the Open Source community were made by the panelists on behalf of the network.

Clear structures, such as an open source program office, economic operation also and especially for communities that do not have the capacities themselves, and legally secure participation in the open source community were central topics of the discussion. Participants in the exciting panel were:

                               Renate Mitterhuber, Head of Division Smart Cities
Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Construction
Peter Kürpick, EPAM Systems
Ulrich Ahle, CEO - FIWARE
Alexander Britz, Head of Public Sector - Microsoft
Lutz Heuser, Speaker of the SMART CITY Forum.


After the lunch break, Sascha Maské reported from his wealth of experience as managing director of three companies coming from the building technology sector, about his experiences with smart technology in and on buildings and the possible improvement of energy generation in this area through PV systems on the roof or on the facade.

In his subsequent presentation, Ralf Gerbershagen provided information on the use of street lights as carriers for 5G antenna technology and other smart street furniture.

                               Finally, Christian Anschütz informed about the certificate program CRISIS, where Smart City Resilience Officers or Open Datea City Officers are to be trained.

Traditionally, the expert discussion ended with a "Tour de Table", where information worth knowing was still exchanged.

The host EPAM SYSTEMS invited all participants to a final get-together, which was used intensively and by many attendees.

| We would like to express our sincere thanks to EPAM Systems and Berlin Partner for the organization as well as the provision of the premises and catering.

If you want to participate in the Smart City Forum, go to the website: