Concept for the participatory development of a smart city strategy Osnabrück

The city of Osnabrück wants to shape digitization in the spirit of sustainable, integrative urban development. To do so, a smart city strategy is being developed in an open and participatory process that involves all relevant stakeholders at an early stage and prepares for the five-year implementation phase in the federal program “Model Projects Smart Cities”. The result of the participation process is thus an agile smart city strategy that is locally anchored, implementation-oriented and at the same time responsive to change. During implementation, it will be tested and further developed in cooperative living labs.

Bürogemeinschaft Gauly & Volgmann (bgh.) has elaborated a concept for the participatory development of the smart city strategy for Osnabrück under participation of different stakeholder groups. The working process included departments within the city administration as well as relevant external stakeholders, e.g. municipal companies, civil society, business representatives and scientific institutions. In addition, the approach of “sharing” within the region played an important role.

Insight into the working process of the digital workshops

As a result of the participatory development process, a flexible toolbox of formats and methods was proposed for the implementation of participation, to provide the basic agile understanding in the strategic phase that is required for later implementation of the strategy. The elaboration process of the strategy is framed by participatory formats and methods known from urban development and specified by approaches from agile product development and human-centered design. This creates a strong orientation framework for specific occasions and places as well as enables a needs-based approach depending on the problem and/or target group.

Commissioned by: Stadt Osnabrück, Referat für Strategie, Digitalisierung und Rat
Timeframe: October 2021 to June 2022