The German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB) and Deutsche Telekom are launching a new initiative: The “Executive Program Digital Cities and Regions”.
The partners develop intelligent, tailor-made smart city solutions with the aim of promoting digitization in cities and communities. For this purpose, 50 mayors and experts have specified a series of hands-on tasks.
“We accompany cities and communities on their digital journey,” says Markus Keller, who heads the Digital Cities and Regions Center at Deutsche Telekom. “Together we want to make cities fit for the digital future with a firm focus on quality of life for citizens as our first priority.” No company, city or region can do this alone, and that is why the business sector and city administrations must work hand in hand. The defined success factors are common platforms, a good digital infrastructure and courage for cultural change. Despite the complexity of digitization, the benefits for citizens must come first.
“Cities and communities know the value of digitization. But only few see themselves today strategically well equipped,” says Dr. Gerd Landsberg, Managing Director of the DStGB. “Together, we are working on improvements. Fast, flexible and, above all, tangible for our citizens.”
Removing hurdles, taking risks
The joint program has the benefits-oriented approach for citizens at its heart. An initial study identified the most important tasks moving forward. Above all, citizens want digital services, good broadband coverage and comprehensive traffic concepts. The reduction of noise and air pollution is also an urgent need. Around 90 percent of those surveyed want their city or region to be digitally equipped.
New services and products that can be experienced in everyday life should offer more comfort for citizens and city administrations in the short term. Lower costs and more sustainable processes are attractive incentives. Landsberg appealed to the participants to start implementing services s as soon as possible and to face potential difficulties head-on.
Experience first results live
As a digital partner, Deutsche Telekom provides the necessary know-how and introduces initial projects. Towards the end of the year, cities and municipalities will implement their first pilot projects. Results will be available at the Smart City Telekom exhibition on September, 17 in Bonn.