Living in Karlsruhe

Digitalization in action

Digital change can only succeed if it is thought of holistically. To achieve this, it is important that digitalization is perceived by society as an opportunity that improves everyone’s lives.

This is precisely the approach that Karlsruhe takes: making digitialization tangible for its citizens.

For example, everyone in the fan-shaped city is familiar with the EVA shuttles, three autonomous minibuses that operate in the Weiherfeld-Dammerstock district. They are part of the Test Area for Autonomous Driving Baden-Württemberg – a living lab for mobility concepts that provides insights into the individual and public transportation of the future. As part of the state’s digitalization strategy, the Ministry of Science will, in future, fund the “Artificial Intelligence” Living Lab at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), while the Karlsruhe Real Lab for Sustainable Climate Protection (KARLA) will focus on the climate and conduct research into solutions on site.

Meanwhile, the “Robotic Artificial Intelligence” real-world laboratory at KIT makes artificial intelligence tangible for people through a variety of experiments and different real-life situations, from day care centers to schools, museums, libraries and hospitals.

In other areas, the focus is also on people. Subscribing to the concept of open government, the city of Karlsruhe has set itself the goal of making government and public administrative actions more transparent and comprehensible. The participation portal actively involves citizens in projects and decisions. Anyone who discovers problems within the city, such as potholes or broken street lamps, can use KA-Feedback to report problems easily via a smartphone app.

Meanwhile, easy access to administrative services is provided not only by the digital citizens’ office of the city of Karlsruhe, but also by the digital@KA project. Fitting the requirements of a smart city, the innovative multifunctional app combines municipal citizen services as well as services from the areas of business, science, culture and mobility. For example, anyone who wants to visit a museum can use the app to not only find out about opening hours, but also buy an entry ticket directly and book suitable mobility services (public transport, bike or car sharing) – all conveniently in one app with just one login.

Surprisingly different

Karlsruhe lives and breathes digitalization – but it also has a lot to offer offline. For example, the region is one of the sunniest in Germany, with a large proportion of green space thanks to beautifully landscaped parks and grounds that invite visitors to relax and linger. Local recreation areas such as Alsace, the Palatinate Forest or the Black Forest are in the immediate vicinity of the fan-shaped city – and can also be reached quickly, conveniently and, above all, in a climate-friendly manner by public transport.

Speaking of climate-friendly: in summer, up to 200,000 cyclists take to the road in Karlsruhe every month. No wonder, because thanks to regular investments in cycling, Karlsruhe was once again named Germany’s most bike-friendly city in 2020. So you can easily leave your car behind and explore Karlsruhe’s numerous green spaces and the region’s unique natural and cultural landscape with zero emissions. If you don’t want to completely forego digital support, the augmented history app “Stadtgeist Karlsruhe” allows you to take a virtual journey through time on your own smartphone at various locations.

Whether it’s art, architecture, leisure, water sports or nightlife – with its numerous leisure and sports activities and a remarkable cultural scene, Karlsruhe offers its citizens and visitors a wide range of opportunities to enjoy life in a completely analogue way. There’s a good reason why Karlsruhe was named “Germany’s most liveable city” in 2015.