Kiez Lab @ Berlin Science Week

Kiez Lab looks at Berlin’s digital future through the eyes of city dwellers and residents, exploring new ways to align digital objectives with citizens’ needs.

Lecture & Workshop
Kiez Lab
Participation in the Digital City
15.00-17.30, 3 November 2020

@ Berlin Science Week


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.

Green Paper
Digitalization Strategy

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.


Dr. Benjamin Seibel, Leiter CityLAB Berlin
Moritz Ritter, Liquid Democracy e.V. 
Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi, Hybrid Space Lab

Participation Tools and Procedures

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.


The Smart City does not have to be an elite project! The Digital City Alliance Berlin, CityLAB Berlin, the Weizenbaum Institute, and the Einstein Center Digital Future welcome participants to a joint discussion on what political participation in the digital city can look like.

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