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Lübeck on the way to becoming a Smart City

A bird's eye view of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck with graphic data networks in the sky

More time for family, friends and leisure through digital solutions for the future Photo: Hanseatic City of Lübeck

As the "Queen of the Hanseatic League", Lübeck looks back on a long tradition - for over half a millennium, the city has helped shape the Baltic Sea region, Lübeck acts with foresight and has its sights firmly set on the future. This is also evident on the path to the Smart City Lübeck - which is rather thought of as the "Smart City Region" Lübeck because the projects do not stop at the city limits and also include the surrounding region: "The tradition of the Hanseatic city is being preserved, its constant innovative strength is being secured and it is being ensured that the city society is well positioned for the future," says Dr Stefan Ivens, Chief Digital Officer of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

With the help of the Hanseatic City's Digital Strategy, Lübeck is not losing sight of its Smart City goals:

- People have more time for themselves and can enjoy it at the Baltic Sea, for example.

- Thanks to digital solutions, we have answers to the challenges of the future.

- As a city, we are significantly more resilient and better positioned for the crises and storms of the future.

- We can act confidently and are always ahead of the wave for that reason alone.

- With our compass of expert knowledge combined with real-time data and the participation of urban society, we can follow the right course.

Smart City from the administrative process to the World Heritage Site

Lübeck approaches the Smart City project holistically and implements measures in various areas of the city to improve people's lives as well as the economy and administration. All measures converge in the area of digitalisation, organisation and strategy in the city administration and are coordinated from here. In this way, new, central structures, processes and competences have been created that link administrative modernisation and location development, emphasises Dr Ivens.

- More and more services of the city administration are offered digitally - currently 97% of the applications for balcony power plants are already submitted digitally. In the coming months, even more online services of the administration will be made available.

- The pilot project "Kreuzung frei" (crossing free) has become known beyond the borders of Lübeck - the city uses sensors to protect escape routes and bus stops from parking violators.

- All classrooms and municipal day-care centres have received measuring systems through the project "Fresh air for clear heads", which measure the CO2 content and show the teachers, pupils and students via traffic lights when it is time to open the window. The data will also be processed and analysed in a database in accordance with data protection regulations, for example to detect high humidity and thus prevent the formation of mould.

- The World Heritage Site of the City of Lübeck can be experienced digitally with the "Digital Cultural Work", thus securing the city's rich cultural and architectural history for the future.

- The port of Lübeck is also being digitised: As part of the "Baltic Future Port" project, processes are being optimised and communication is being realised in real time. This is made possible by a 5G campus network that is being built on the port's premises.

- Data from Lübeck's city forest is currently being collected via a long-term experiment. The climate monitoring is intended to show the positive effects of the forest on the city's climate. The aim is to derive measures for the smart city infrastructure with the help of the sensors and measured values.

- A collaboration platform for the city society is currently being planned, which will provide information about current projects of the administration and where citizens can participate in the projects.

Considering digitisation in an all-encompassing way

Even though the measures that a city tackles on its way to becoming a smart city are very diverse, the topic should be centrally conceived and coordinated, advises Dr Ivens. Lübeck has achieved this through its own department in the city administration. "In addition, digitalisation should be thought of holistically: From the organisation of the administration to processes for administrative modernisation to innovative smart city projects. In this context, the participation of 'smart citizens' plays a crucial role in bringing the city society along on the journey." The willingness of Lübeck's city society to act and shape is clearly noticeable, reports Dr. Ivens. However, this is only possible if everyone is involved: "All people who live, live, work, shop, play, are mobile and non-mobile etc. in the smart city region, as well as visitors and players in the smart economy. Simply all people. Also those who are digitally present.

Smart Cities for Smart People

The urban society therefore also plays the main role in the "Smart City Family" video series from Lübeck. People can get involved and participate as smart influencers.

In addition, the Lübeck Digital Advisory Board was founded and a joint participation concept was developed, which is now being implemented. In June, the Lübeck Digital Days took place to network numerous stakeholders and present digital projects.

To ensure that no one is left behind in all the digital projects, Lübeck has launched the "Social Smart City" project. This project puts the focus on social sustainability. Together with the project "Living and Housing in Old Age", contact points were created in the city districts to ensure digital participation in old age and to specifically address the older target group. So-called "silent" groups such as single parents, people with disabilities or people with a migration background are also to be included via social sustainability.

And because not everyone has their own terminal device, Lübeck has launched the project "Digital for All". Here, old devices are recycled so that they can continue to be used and resources can be conserved.

Land in sight but no end

With all these diverse projects in Lübeck, it quickly becomes clear that "Smart City" will not have an end point here: "We will continuously develop the Smart City Lübeck and adapt it to the constantly changing framework conditions, because in 20 years there will be completely different requirements and expectations for an intelligently networked smart Hanseatic City of Lübeck," says Dr Ivens.

From 7 - 9 November, the Hanseatic City of Lübeck will present itself at the Smart Country Convention in Berlin and report even more on the networking between administration, urban society and business.

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