This first session will explore the theme of Digitalization of the Grassroots – Public Engagement in the Smart City.

People and digitalization are inextricably intertwined – this is particularly true of smart city model projects that transform entire urban quarters into experimental spaces for digital change. This gives rise to challenges not limited to the technical aspects of digitalization, but located at the interface of technology and society. Here, citizen participation, public participation, stakeholder involvement or co-creation are commonly depicted as handy solutions that promise user-centered technology by incorporating a multiplicity of perspective into the design process. However, if the term “participation” is taken seriously, new application-oriented challenges arise: How can municipalities develop a common vision for their digital futures? Which actors should be involved? And which participation formats – digital or analogue – can create dialogue at eye level? Discuss with us!

The aim of this workshop is to address these and other questions through a broad interactive exchange between citizens, academia and the public sector. In a keynote lecture, we will first present practical challenges that the City of Ulm in cooperation with SCALINGS has identified as crucial for public participation in the digital city. Subsequently, we will elaborate and reflect on these aspects in an open discussion format. In doing so, we hope to generate concrete solutions and suggestions for improving stakeholder engagement in smart city contexts. We thus hope for the composition of the group of participants to be as diverse as possible and explicitly welcome all municipal actors, including the interested public.

Please note that the workshop will be in German.