New edition of the Smart City Charter

A smart city in the sense of integrated and sustainable urban development aims to use the opportunities of digitalisation in a forward-looking and targeted manner and to counter the risks strategically. The Smart City Charter of the National Dialogue Platform Smart Cities, drawn up in 2017, provides orientation for this. With this as a basis, the Smart Cities model projects are setting out to shape digitisation.  

Building on scientific expertise from the research cluster Smart Cities at the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) on governance, big data, digital divide and local economics, the Dialogue Platform Smart Cities elaborated guidelines for sustainable and integrated urban development in five national and two international workshops between July 2016 and May 2017. It also developed concrete recommendations for action for all stakeholder groups involved on how to walk the path to this goal both intelligently and sustainably. 

The Charter is the result of a broad dialogue process involving representatives of the Federal Government, the Länder, the municipalities and the municipal umbrella associations. In addition, various scientific, economic, social and professional organisations were represented. 

In order to flesh out and further develop the Smart City Charter guidelines, the Dialogue Platform Smart Cities adopted the ‘Data Strategies for urban development in the public interest’ (LINK) in 2021, continuing its work to accompany the digital transformation for and with municipalities. The Smart City Charter remains the basis and guidance for this work. In this way, we ensure that municipalities remain able to act and develop their power to shape the future. 

Today, even more than in 2017, we face a number of pressing global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity, migration, demographic change and also pandemics. Given that digital technologies are increasingly offering new opportunities to find concrete solutions to these challenges in municipalities, the Charter has not lost any of its relevance and validity and is now re-published in an edited and graphically revised version