Beyond elitism and technological imperatives, Berlin’s digital strategy needs to align with city dwellers’ and residents’ priorities. Kiez Lab is an inclusive, participative format exploring how this is to be achieved.
Berlin’s digital policy is entering the next round: the city received 11 million euros in Smart City funding from the Ministry of the Interior, the Green Paper on the Berlin digitalization strategy is published, and the 2015 Smart City strategy is also to be revised. Calls for “participation” are omnipresent. Urban society should be involved in the digital transformation, human-friendly and oriented towards the common good, with online participation processes, focus groups, and citizen dialogues.
But the grand promises of participation brought rather sobering results in the past. Therefore, the question arises again: What does a successful participation process in the hybrid city look like? How can the complex new digital technologies and their effects on city life be communicated and made open for discussion in general?
In the online ideation workshop, we jointly develop inclusive formats and ways of taking part in the Smart City transformation. To this end, we first receive inputs on successful municipal participation processes in digital and physical space.
Afterwards, concrete tools and procedures are discussed with participants on how the path to the digital city of Berlin can be better aligned to people’s needs. The results of the ideation workshop are documented by the Digital City Alliance Berlin and carried into the political process.