Karlsruhe becomes Pioneer City of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance

G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance

Karlsruhe is one of the most digital cities in Germany. The World Economic Forum has now recognized this commitment to a smart and networked city and selected Karlsruhe as one of 36 cities across 22 countries to become the Pioneer City of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance.

It was only last year that Karlsruhe was awarded the 2nd place in the Bitkom e.V. Smart City Award. The digital association analysed 81 major German cities in the categories administration, IT and communication, energy and environment, mobility and society, and came to a clear result: As a networked city, Karlsruhe is right at the forefront of digitalization. Not least thanks to a large network and an extensive expertise from the local digital industry. In 2020 Karlsruhe was even awarded the first place in the “Digital Administration” category of the Smart City Award.

In line with the claim of a Smart City, Karlsruhe offers its citizens, for example, a Digital Citizens‘ Office in the town hall on the market square. The city’s services can be used digitally at various self-service terminals in compliance with the highest data protection standards. The project “digital @ KA” also aims to make everyday life easier for the citizens: In the near future, city and other useful products and services are to be combined in one application as part of a multifunctional app. The necessary network is provided by Stadtwerke Karlsruhe with LoRaWan and the public KA-WLAN, which can be used for encrypted surfing via KA-WLAN after one registration.

Smart City Karlsruhe Stadtgarten
KA-WLAN is a free internet service for Karlsruhe that is available in numerous public spaces.

An overview of the current Smart City projects in the city of Karlsruhe can be viewed here.

Karlsruhe: From the Smart City to the Pioneer City of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance.

Smart City Karlsruhe

In an urbanized world, sustainable development and economic growth depend heavily on the successful management of urban growth. Problems in energy, transportation, healthcare and education need to be solved. Smart solutions and the right technology are required for this, especially in the big cities of the world. For this reason, the G20 have taken up the topic of Smart City and founded the “Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance” in 2019.

The alliance is about solving problems in the fields of energy, transport, healthcare and education through the use of new technologies. In order to reach this goal it unites municipal, regional and national governments, private-sector partners and cities’ residents around a shared set of principles for the responsible use of smart city technologies. Furthermore ethical guidelines in particular are of great importance in this context, because they are necessary in order to minimize the concerns of citizens with regard to the collection of data which is necessary in a networked city.

“Global Smart Cities Alliance will advance how technology is used in public places and promote core principles including transparency, privacy and security.”

And this works best together with municipal lighthouse projects from all around the globe. Karlsruhe is the only German city which was selected as “Pioneer City” of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. 35 other cities can also look forward to the award, including Barcelona, Belfast, Bilbao, Istanbul, London, Manila, Mexico City and San Jose.

Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of Karlsruhe, said “The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance offers a unique opportunity to develop common ethical standards, foster digital sovereignty and therefore create and build a new resilient ‘trust infrastructure for cities and citizens’, as trust is going to become one of the most important and most vulnerable resources of our future.”

Kick-off at Smart City Expo 

The World Economic Forum used the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) taking place from November 17th to 18th to announce that 36 cities across 22 countries have agreed to pioneer a new roadmap for safely adopting new technology as part of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance.

Usually the convention takes place once a year in Barcelona and representatives from business, municipalities and science come together to develop the city of the future. Due to the current situation however, the congress took place purely virtually for the first time ever.

SmartCity Live 2020

If you are interested you can watch several sessions from the Smart City Expo online at smartcityexpo.com. From digitalization trends in Africa, to the importance of 5G and artificial intelligence for smart city development, to new mobility solutions in the urban environment – anyone interested in the city of the future will get their money’s worth here.