Rapid urbanization and the digitalization of our living spaces are accelerating technological change. Dortmund takes advantage of the opportunities this offers: As a smart city, it wants to offer its citizens a high quality of life and environment as well as future viability.
The city of Dortmund was once characterized by the coal, beer and steel industries – today it is a center of medium-sized businesses and services. Due to the rapid growth resulting from its strongindustrial foundations, Dortmund developed into one of the largest cities in Germany in the first ten years after the Second World War. Especially the last two decades illustrate the individual changeability of the city.
In recent years, Dortmund has developed into a leading technology and research metropolis. Numerous internationally renowned research institutions from a wide variety of scientific fields are located here.
As one of the largest IT university locations in Germany, Dortmund also attracts young people in particular. This makes the city particularly appealing to the start-up scene, making it an attractive business location alongside the local industrial and service sectors.
The concept of the Smart City and the master plan Science 2.0 play a decisive role in the digital progress of the city of Dortmund, because the people in the city benefit from the innovative impulses. Being named European Capital of Innovation 2021 speaks for itself: Dortmund was the first German city to win the European Commission’s iCapital Award – European Capital of Innovation competition. The submitted innovation model “Innovation Next Door – Future from the Neighborhood” focuses on social, sustainable and technology-oriented projects – always with a view to involving the urban society and the vision of a city of neighbors.
The Smart City Team of the City of Dortmund consists of various employees with different areas of expertise in order to provide impetus for the development as Smart City both within and outside the city administration. The team is located in the Chief Information/Innovation Office (CIIO) of the City of Dortmund in the Department for Mayoral and Council’s Affairs.
By implementing the overarching smart city strategy DOS 2030, Dortmund and Schwerte want to offer their citizens new and innovative digital solutions and communication channels – going beyond the digitalization of administrative services. In doing so, they are relying on an integrated approach that incorporates the central urban policy goals of both cities and places citizens even more strongly than before at the center of their actions.
You can download the intermunicipal smart city strategy here:
Experience from the application phase as a Smart Cities pilot project showed that joint projects and coordinated fields of action between structurally different municipalities represent a particular challenge. With the funding approval and the jointly developed strategy, the cities of Dortmund and Schwerte have taken up this challenge. The strategy is intended to create a model for networking between major cities as regional centers and their neighboring cities to form a smart region. In order to implement this, the common idea of a smart region was captured in the vision:
“We are only smart together. As a smart region, we connect all actors and technologies via an intelligent process, independent of city boundaries, in order to offer our citizens the best service, to guarantee a high quality of life and environment, and to strengthen the business locations of Dortmund and Schwerte. Together we are close to the citizens, social, sustainable, transparent, livable and resilient.”
The fields of action of the Smart City Strategy lay the foundation for further development into a smart and livable city. The focus is on twelve fields of action, including their measures:
Data & Platforms…
… offer the possibility to control information and data flows efficiently and purposefully beyond city boundaries. The development of user-friendly data platforms promotes networking between citizens, the city administration and other actors.
Living together & Participating…
… focuses on strengthening the neighborhood and the interests of the people living here.
Trends, Research & Development…
… focuses on a stronger exchange of research institutions with the urban society in order to test and develop technological trends in a user-centered way.
Security and Trust…
…includes security in public space as well as cybersecurity.
Space and Infrastructure…
…addresses how new infrastructure can be set up as quickly as possible and at the same time in harmony with the cityscape.
… pursues the goal of making mobility more available and simpler for everyone.
Economy, Trade & Tourism…
… implies strengthening competitiveness, innovation- and investment-friendly framework conditions, as well as creating a good and cooperative business climate in order to keep companies at the location and attract new ones.
Education, Culture & Recreation…
… encourages citizens to develop in these diverse and digital areas.
Building & Housing…
… pursues the goal of thinking about and realize housing, buildings and infrastructures in interaction with public space as an overall system.
Energy & Environment…
… bundles the measures to implement new energy and environmental technologies.
Health & Social Affairs…
… includes the future measures to bring the health of the entire urban society into social harmony as well as to promote the individual health of each and every person.
… supports digitalization in order to meet today’s expectations of a modern city administration.
Design your city!
The participation of all stakeholders is important to us. That is why the City of Dortmund offers a wide range of opportunities for participation: This gives everyone the chance to co-create the city and contribute to the development of the Smart City Dortmund.
As part of the project, digital participation formats are to be tailor made and offered so that they ensure the participation and involvement of civil society even better through digital possibilities without excluding or disconnecting people.
On the MitWIRken website, you will find a brief overview of the participation opportunities of the City of Dortmund, i. e. projects or events where you can participate or inform yourself.
Do you have a project idea that you would like to present to the Smart City Team? Then share it with us via the contact form – we look forward to hearing from you!
Citizen Science Lab (PROJEKTOR)
Perhaps you have already discovered it on Westenhellweg: In the heart of Dortmund’s city centre, the “PROJEKTOR – Space for Innovation and Collaboration” opened in November 2022.
The name says it all.
The space presents innovations from Dortmund – projects them into the city – and also serves as a workshop for the development of new smart projects. The large display windows make work and discussion processes transparent and innovations from Dortmund visible.
Around 115 square meters are available at Westenhellweg 136 for small exhibitions, project seminars, workshops, events, networking activities, experiments and lectures for different target groups. The flexible furniture, which can be rearranged as needed, allows a creative working atmosphere and the space can be used for many exciting events. You will find all important dates in the event calendar.
Suggestions and ideas are always welcome and can be submitted digitally: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have we piqued your interest and would you like to learn more about the PROJEKTOR? Here is the link to the website of the innovation room: www.innovation-next-door.de