Cities and municipalities in Germany still have a long way to go before they can convert to digital cities and regions. At the same time, many municipalities are not making sufficiently consistent use of state subsidies to expand digitization. Nevertheless, trends towards an improvement in digital services are discernible, albeit not yet across the board. The range of results of the "Smart City Readiness Check" by the Innovators Club of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities and TÜV Rheinland makes it clear that the state of implementation of digital solutions in German municipalities varies greatly.
Smart Cities are still in their infancy
For the study, the 500 largest cities and municipalities in Germany were included and surveyed on the topics of digital infrastructure, eGovernance, mobility and energy. More than one in five municipalities actively participated in the survey between the end of July and the end of September 2018. The conclusion: "Municipalities now have to pick up speed in the digitalization process. Otherwise there is a danger that they will become less attractive as employers and as places to live and work," says Dr. Gerd Landsberg, Managing Director of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities. "What makes us positive, however, is that many of the topics have arrived in the municipalities and digital conversion projects are being planned for the coming years. This is particularly important in view of the nationwide expansion of the new 5G mobile communications standard.
Capacities and know-how are often lacking
The problem is that there is a lack of capacity and know-how to implement the projects quickly. "The relatively low use of funding opportunities shows that a reduction in funding bureaucracy and more consulting are urgently needed," says Gürkan Ünlü, Head of Business Development at TÜV Rheinland Consulting and Head of the Corporate Center of Excellence Data Analytics at TÜV Rheinland. "From our point of view, it is necessary to offer solutions for digitization projects that can be transferred to several cities and municipalities. No city gets anything out of reinventing the wheel every time. “
Results on digital infrastructure, eGovernance, mobility and energy
The results of the "Smart City Readiness Check" cover the four thematic areas of digital infrastructure, eGovernance, mobility and energy. The results are also available for download under www.tuv.com/press. Further details will be presented by the Innovators Club of the German Association of cities and municipalities and TÜV Rheinland as part of the Smart City Plaza at the "Fiberdays19" glass fiber trade fair on March 28 and 29 in German City Wiesbaden.