Baden-Württemberg is once again prominently represented in the annual Smart City Index published by the business association Bitkom e.V. Three cities – Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Freiburg im Breisgau – once again made it into the top ten. Karlsruhe moved up two places to become the third smartest city in Germany behind Hamburg and Cologne.
The ranking of the Smart City Index is based on five categories: Administration, IT Infrastructure, Energy/Environment, Mobility and Society. A wide range of digital offerings are evaluated using a variety of parameters. The respective city index value results from the total value of the five subject areas and thus provides a detailed picture of the level of digitalization in major German cities.
Digital@KA lighthouse project
The work of the Office for Information Technology and Digitization is a key factor in the top ranking. The first IT office in a major German city was launched in 2017 to improve internal administrative processes. Since then, the department has been continuously expanded by office manager Markus Losert. The next municipal lighthouse project is the release of the new multifunctional Karlsruhe.app: your city in an app. In the project with the working title “digital@KA”, the city, together with partners from business and science, realized a mobile platform for Karlsruhe citizens where existing and new digital citizen services can be accessed in a bundled manner. For example, the app can be used to order tickets for the zoo and search for the nearest streetcar to the city center.
Karlsruhe is a pioneering city in the global alliance of smart cities
But the regional center on the Rhine is now also causing a sensation internationally. In November, Karlsruhe was the only German city to be named a pioneer city in the World Economic Forum’s “G20 Global Smart City Alliance“. The exchange with the 35 other cities, such as Milan, Melbourne and Belfast, aims to develop ethical standards for the use of digital technologies in administration, business and public life. “This offers a unique opportunity to jointly promote digital sovereignty and create a trust infrastructure for cities,” emphasized Karlsruhe’s Lord Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup. Inclusion in the group of pioneering cities clearly shows that Karlsruhe is now also recognized internationally as a digital location.
The future of large cities: Karlsruhe is part of the Smart City Expo Word Congress in Barcelona
Emission-free mobility, energy-efficient houses or the security of handling personal data in a digitalized administration: the future of modern cities is on the agenda at this year’s Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, where Karlsruhe is also taking part. From November 16 to 18, 2021, future challenges in the design of sustainable and innovative cities will be discussed in the Spanish metropolis. 374 exhibitors will present their latest developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, education and urban planning, while 400 speakers will provide insights into the current state of research. Now in its tenth year, the specialist conference is a hybrid event with 10,000 expected participants.