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Hamburg – Best of Smart City, part 2

Monika Rech-Heider
June 23, 2020


Not only in the Bitkom Ranking, Hamburg performed excellently in 2019. Hamburg has long been regarded by smart city experts as a showcase for intelligent implementation of digital transformation.

Rolf-Werner Welzel, Managing Director of the State Office for Geoinformation and Surveying, explains Hamburg’s exposed position as follows: “The state government pushed the Smart City strategy early and consistently. The Senate Chancellery is the lead agency. It supports the Smart City strategy and measures with conviction and courage.” The consequences cannot be overlooked: “There is a great spirit of optimism in the city.”

Cities are becoming Smart Cities. With the advancing digital transformation, they have outgrown the mere concept phase. The result is projects that are designed to improve the quality of life and coexistence of their inhabitants, open up administration, use resources more sparingly and optimize traffic flow. GEOMNIBUS presents the top three Smart City projects from three German metropolises: Munich, Hamburg and Cologne. Part 2 is all about Hamburg – and because it has so many Smart City projects to offer, the ranking was quickly extended by a “Top 4”.

Top 1: The Urban Data Platform, the system of systems

The Urban Data platform is Hamburg’s data hub par exellence. Geodata, urban data on the environment, traffic, culture and much more are collected, stored and – most importantly – made accessible here. Rolf-Werner Welzel explains the significance: “We break down data silos, connect specialist departments within the administration with each other and make projects known – in Germany and throughout Europe.

Top 2: Intelligent transport systems – Hamburg makes mobile

The goal is intelligently controlled, environmentally friendly and sustainable urban transport. With more than 70 projects, digitally controlled traffic management is represented within the Smart City strategy. Today, 60,000 sensors alone supply around 2,000 write operations per second, providing information on environmental indicators, air quality, parking space occupancy, number and location of road users or progress on construction sites. And it goes on: In 2021, it is planned to have 200,000 sensors with 8,000 write operations per second. Next year, the first autonomous vehicles are also to drive over Hamburg’s roads at the ITS World Congress, for which purpose high-resolution maps (HD Maps) will be produced in cooperation between the administration, companies and scientific institutions. “We are currently trying out many things, testing, bringing science and business together. This is extremely important for a modern city,” says Welzel.

Top 3: Smart planning, digital participation

The project “DIPAS”, acronym for “digital participation”, promises participation. With DIPAS, citizens are directly and interactively involved in the presentation of urban land use plans. Among other things, reservations and suggestions can be expressed at touch tables, as can concrete proposals. “Plant a tree here.” Or “Can’t you move the house a few metres to the right?” “Since we are the only city in Germany to have vectorially digitized all development plans, we can produce great analyses,” says Welzel. As a result, the more intensive the public participation, the greater the acceptance of the plans.

Top 4: BIM, all at one table

Because Hamburg is Germany’s pioneer in the field of smart city, we are making an exception and will be presenting four top Smart City topics. Hamburg has managed to bring three camps together and bring them into conversation with each other to advance the BIM project. Building construction, civil engineering and geodesists have been brought together under the leadership of the State Office for Geoinformation and Surveying in order to push the entire method through standardization in Building Information Modeling. The whole thing has become known under the term “Hamburg Model”. For some time now, BIM has been used successfully by the Hamburg Port Authority and the Hamburger Hochbahn, for example.

Find out more:

Urban Data Plattform

Hamburg makes mobile

Smart Planning Hamburg

BIM – all at one table

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