Germany, Berlin

Berlin as a Smart City

when 1 July 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 1450

In this course you will get a unique insight into Berlin’s history and ambitions as a smart city. We will trace the development of Berlin’s official smart city agenda, appreciate the diverse landscape of actors who lead the change and visit some of the city’s most celebrated smart city projects and innovation hotspots first-hand.

Berlin is growing. By the year 2030, there will be 250,000 more people living in the city than there are today. This will bring with it an increase in the demand for housing as well as in requirements for mobility, the adaptation of infrastructures and the availability of resources such as water, energy, data and building land. Like many major urban centres around the world, this means that Berlin is also facing a wide variety of challenges for the future: the growing city, the aging city or the city in the midst of structural change all require inter-disciplinary and inter-departmental approaches if solutions are to be found. The Smart City approach aims to find solutions to the ecological, social, economic and cultural challenges faced by Berlin through the use of intelligent technology. Berlin wishes to preserve – and as far as possible enhance – its appeal and its quality of life.

“The 19th century was a century of empires, the 20th century was a century of nation states. The 21st century will be a century of cities.” – Former Denver Mayor W. Webb

Like many cities around the world, Berlin wants to become a leading Smart City by 2030. But what does that mean? How can new technologies help to tackle some of Berlin’s biggest challenges? Who is leading the change? And what can Berlin learn from other cities?

This course will challenge you to critically reflect and interrogate the “smart city” concept, contribute your own ideas and experiences from home and gain a broad perspective on how cities are innovating and cooperating all over the world for a more sustainable urban future.

Course leader

- Jonas Schorr (MA/MSc)

+ guest lecturers.

Target group

The course is ideal for participants with an interdisciplinary interest in urban planning, innovation and knowledge management, digital media & communications technologies, civic tech / engineering, sustainability studies, politics & governance, history.

Course aim

- Gain an insight into the complex and often conflicting landscape of actors in Berlin working in the cross-cutting field of smart city
- Learn about the chronology of Berlin’s official smart city policy, the city’s plans and activities
- Visit some of Berlin’s future sites of innovation where the action happens!
- Get to know Berlin’s lighthouse smart city projects, including many which involve cutting-edge research and leadership from TU Berlin (such as the E-Bus project, the new 10-point Be.Digital-Agenda and the CHORA-BrainBox)
- Learn about Berlin’s unique history and how this resulted in today’s opportunities as well as challenges for a digital and sustainable transformation
- Compare and contrast how Berlin’s Smart City activities differ from those in other cities around the world
- Critically reflect on the “smart city” concept beyond the narrow definition of ICT providers, but rather understand it as a broad cultural transformation that requires us to reinvent how we manage and govern our cities
- Get a general understanding of the impact of rapid urbanization on our planet and the role it plays for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
- Contribute insights and experiences from your home city and appreciate the mechanism of city-to-city learning as a key driver for a sustainable “urban age”
- Introduction to lean innovation and design thinking methodologies as part of the Team Design Challenge

Credits info

4 EC
4 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) for the academic course.

Fee info

EUR 1450: The course fee covers our cultural programme, which features visits to museums (entry tickets covered), guided walking tours of Berlin, a sightseeing boat tour, a visit to the German Parliament (Bundestag), and a trip to the city of Potsdam. Day trips to Dresden or Leipzig will be subject to additional costs and will not be covered by the course fee.