The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Smarter cities – better life?

Cover: IzR 1/2017

Editor: BBSR Series: Informationen zur Raumentwicklung (IzR) Issue: 1/2017 Published: April 2017 ISSN: 0303-2493 Language: German / English

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After a comprehensive relaunch of the specialist journal "Informationen zur Raumentwicklung" (IzR), the first new issue is devoted to the theme "smart cities".

The IzR has had a facelift: from now on the "green issue" is published in a fresh form and with a clear structure with the usual high scientific standard. With a mix of statements, interviews, infographics and more extensive analyses, the newly designed IzR will consider current questions of building, urban and spatial research in a more varied form. The first issue after the relaunch deals with the theme "smart cities".

In order to become "smart" – i.e. intelligent -, many cities are upgrading their technical and digital infrastructure. There is no lack of challenges that they intend to tackle with this: climate change, transportation, supply and disposal, housing and social integration are only some catchwords. Large German cities such as Munich, Hamburg, Cologne or Berlin are positioning themselves as smart cities as well.

However, not only digitalisation, new technologies and data are important. In order to solve complex problems in the cities, varied knowledge and experience are necessary, occasionally also emotion and especially exchange and networking. For this reason many European smart city approaches attach value to exchange and participation – occasionally also beyond departmental boundaries.

Even in smart cities people and not technology should be in the foreground. In the end every city will only be as intelligent as its citizens and its policy-makers.

So how does a city become a smart city that really improves the life of its citizens? Which role do social participation and cooperation play? What about data protection? And which chances, risks and tasks do German cities have that intend to become smarter? In the IzR issue "Smarter cities – better life?" scientists, practitioners and planners consider these and many other questions.

The authors explain what they understand by the term "smart city". They analyse terms such as "civic hacking" or "digital literacy" and discuss questions regarding mobility and transportation. Representatives from Leipzig, Oldenburg and Cologne present their smart city concepts and venture a look into the future.

Most articles are in German.

Stephan Günthner,
Daniel Regnery, Friederike Vogel

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