Dortmund/Berlin, 19 September 2019. No broadband, a shortage of services, too much data traffic – Germany’s cities have a lot of catching up to do in terms of digitalization. But what else is new… German citizens have long wished for smarter cities offering them a range of new and innovative services. The results of a representative online survey of 5,000 Germans conducted by Civey Research Institute are loud and clear. At the top of the wish list are intelligent solutions for optimizing administration, mobility, and security. Six commercial enterprises saw the writing on the wall and joined forces to form the City in Motion initiative. Their job is to help cities digitalize their infrastructures and develop visionary services for their citizens. The initiative’s founding partners include Cisco Meraki, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), DB Regio Bus, mobility provider ioki, Cleverciti, and systems integrator avodaq.
“Germans expect a smoothly running infrastructure and up-to-date services to make their lives easier and their cities a better place to live in. Here is where we come in,” says Markus Wissmann, Director Smart & Connected Communities, Cisco EMEAR. “Many cities and regions are already on the road to the digital future, but still at creep speed in many places.”
Citizens’ services, intelligent lighting and modern mobility solutions rank high on people’s lists
More than half of the respondents (56.1 percent) want more digital services in their homes. If they could modify one thing about their city, it would be changing their administration’s online application procedures (46.8 percent). They also want intelligent, resource efficient street lighting (14.8 percent) and state-of-the-art mobility services (e. g., on-demand transport services (5.6 percent)).
“Everyone is talking about the mobility revolution. The name of the game for achieving a turnaround in mobility is the development of new local services and the increased efficiency of traffic flows. We need every stakeholder to chip in: politics, administration, business, and the public”, says Guido Verhoefen, Head of Marketing and Business Development, DB Regio Bus. “Communities play a key role as drivers of digital transformation – especially in the interface between urban and rural areas.” According to the current survey, nearly three-quarters of Germans (69.8 percent) support the use of digital solutions to optimize traffic in cities, prevent traffic jams, and facilitate their search for parking.
Customized digital solutions for every community
The communities are now receiving support to help them cope with these challenges. The City in Motion initiative was founded with a view to making cities more attractive and sustainable. Drawing heavily on digital technologies, the initiative aims to improve citizens’ quality of life, e.g. by more efficient services for citizens, better traffic planning, integrated mobility services, and state-of-the-art lighting. The initiative is backed by system integrator avodaq; DB Regio Bus in collaboration with Deutsche Bahn subsidiary ioki, an innovative mobility solutions provider; IT specialists Cisco and Cisco Meraki; Cleverciti, an intelligent parking solutions provider; and Signify’s lighting experts (formerly Philips Lighting). Pooling their efforts and expertise, the initiative’s participating companies are contributing sound user know-how from a wide range of industries, combined with superior IT expertise. “Today’s communities need to devise customized solutions for their Smart City,” emphasizes Karsten Vierke, CEO DACH, Signify. “Silo mentality is passé. We need to revamp the digital applications of cities and communities and upgrade their degree of interlinking. Every city’s infrastructure already has several thousand light points which can be easily linked with new mobility or service applications.”
For many cities to develop new services and innovations, many regions first need full broadband coverage. Why there is still a lack of coverage in Germany is difficult to understand. Every second German living in a sparsely populated rural area (49.9 percent) requires higher Internet speed – especially, to ensure modern industrial production and agriculture.
Kick-off in Dortmund: experiencing the opportunities of the digital city
Over the next couple of weeks, the City in Motion initiative will be showcasing its offering and services in a road show and stage discussions with leading politicians and experts on the potential of a digitalized city. The initiative reflects the enormous opportunities which can be gained from networking the different service areas of cities. And, it aims to identify and address the areas where action is needed. The highlight: In the initiative’s high-tech bus, visitors will be able to physically experience the latest technologies and opportunities of a digital city.
The kick-off to City in Motion in Dortmund will be hosted by Ullrich Sierau, Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund. The decision to launch the initiative in Dortmund is not a coincidence. In recent years, this Ruhr metropolis has been going by leaps and bounds on its way to becoming a smart city: the city’s decision-makers have made digitalization a top priority and are working in concert to get the relevant projects on the road. Dortmund is hosting this year’s Digital Summit of the Federal Government and has been nominated “City of the Future” by the EU. “We couldn’t be happier that City in Motion is starting here in our town,” says Ullrich Sierau, Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund. “Getting a digitalized city going requires stakeholders from politics, business and society to chip in.” According to Civey, six out of ten respondents in Dortmund would also like to see the city’s digital services expanded. Improving the city’s digital public administration is also high on the agenda. Every tenth resident living in the Dortmund metropolitan area wants parking apps to cut down on the time spent searching for a parking space and to avoid traffic congestions. In his welcoming address, IHK managing director Stefan Schreiber said: “The motto: City in Motion. Next Stop. The Future. shows us good reasons why it is worthwhile investing in digital solutions for your city and networking with other regions. Because smart digital solutions are an intelligent way to keep our businesses competitive and to provide sustainable jobs.”
Over the next couple of weeks, the City in Motion bus will put in stops in Frankfurt am Main and at the Smart City Country Convention in Berlin.
More details are available at: www.stadtinbewegung.de. Follow us on Twitter: @stadtinb #stadtinbewegung
Press kits & visuals: https://t1p.de/qg8s
More quotes from our partners:
Markus Pellmann-Janssen, Head of Sales DACH, ioki GmbH
“Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population is living in metropolitan areas. That is why we look to the metropolises to solve the central issues of our time: climate, infrastructure, security and most of all mobility. Increasing digitalization offers great future opportunities for increasing mobility while decreasing road traffic. The mobility revolution is happening both inside our heads and – most importantly – out on the roads.”
Maximilian Venhofen, Cleverciti, Director Business Development
“We need much more confidence in digital technologies. Cities can benefit big time from parking apps and other applications and the same time get a grip on their high traffic volumes. If we want the transformation of transportation, there is no way around digital innovations.”
Andreas Kusch, CEO, avodaq
“It has become fashionable these days for city CIOs to cobble together their own individual IT solutions for their community. And they need an IT architect by their side who understands their needs. Because IT silos are dead end roads. The point is to interlink the applications. ”
About the City in Motion initiative
City in Motion. Next Stop: The Future. is an initiative of Signify, Cisco Meraki, DB Regio Bus, ioki, Cleverciti (an efficient parking management provider), and avodaq. Under its umbrella, the business initiative assembles service partners whose contents are mutually complementary. The initiative believes in teamwork when tackling key urban development tasks to develop customized solutions for cities and communities. This is all about new applications for citizens, e.g. the nationwide introduction of new mobility offerings, improved urban traffic planning and the intelligent interaction of traffic data and energy-efficient, state-of-the-art urban lighting – none of it contrived in separate little IT cubbyholes but flowing from a single know-how network of technology corporations capable of bundling and merging these applications. As part of its road show, the initiative will be traveling to cities and regions in Germany to inform citizens about the amazing opportunities of a modern city. During the next couple of weeks, the City in Motion truck will put in stops at Dortmund, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin for the Smart City Country Convention.
More details are available at: www.stadtinbewegung.de.