The knowledge center for urban data

Urban data made available to all and easy to use. - The Urban Tech Republic has already realized this wish.

The intelligent digitalization of cities improves the quality of life, saves resources, and makes urban living and management more sustainable. Berlin TXL is expected to assume a pioneering role for Germany’s capital as it moves towards becoming a smart city. To do so, the smart districts of Berlin TXL need not only a digital infrastructure but also locations for innovations and a network of partners in order to ensure the sensible and secure use of urban data. The digital infrastructure for Berlin TXL and smart cities worldwide is being developed in the FUTR HUB, the knowledge center for urban data.

The heart of the FUTR HUB: the data platform

The central infrastructure of the FUTR HUB is a data platform, which collects and networks the urban data and then makes it available. The data platform will utilize data sources from all fields and sectors of urban space (data integration). As the digital engine room, the data platform supports reliability and efficiency in the operations of Berlin TXL. And as the innovation driver, the platform promotes collaborative work on new data-driven services and applications. Professional users are supported in their decisions through the deployment of predictive data analysis, while promoting sustainable resource management.

The data platform is being developed modularly and one step at a time, enabling it to react quickly and to demands. Modularization and automation of processes will be achieved thanks to the cloud-based architecture. To ensure openness and transparency and enable co-developments, the platform will be published under open-source license in the spirit of “public money, public code”. Available as free software, the platform is already being deployed in other projects and municipalities.

Joint development of digitalization: the development partnership

Successful digitalization is achieved only through the interplay between the partners involved. In order to develop innovative and user-centered services that offer specific additional benefits (value-added services), a cooperative format has been initiated in the FUTR HUB: the development partnership.

The development partners work together, pooling their ideas, defining requirements, and developing solutions. The development partnership thus ensures the synergies of all those involved are optimally used and feed into specific use cases. This process of co-creation secures the interoperability of the data platform between various technical systems in the District, and coordinated data governance (guidelines for handling and exchanging data beyond corporate and sector boundaries) guarantees data security.

Prototypical development partners are Berlin TXL’s suppliers and waste disposal companies. Furthermore, ongoing dialog remains open for additional collaborations with start-ups, research institutions, and industry.

Visualizing data = gaining knowledge

Making urban technologies and data visible and demonstrating their relevance for smart district development is a central task of the Urban Tech Republic. The FUTR HUB will also contain a showroom component: an information center, exchange location, and demonstrator. The central focus is on the transmission of the structure, function, and added value of technical systems in Berlin TXL as well as on the visualization of data and processes: the spatial development or energy flows and mobility patterns can be made visible and demonstrated.

The showroom functioning as a demonstrator will present and exhibit innovative use cases and added value services developed by the development partnership and beyond. Thus the showroom is the instrument for the transparent transfer of knowledge.

As an exchange location it is a forum for transferring knowledge between research, management, and urban society and it promotes networking and the exchange of expertise. Planned formats are workshops, discussion panels, hackathons, and lectures. The showroom with its participatory principle will be open to as many people as possible: Berlin residents, professionals, and the development partners of the FUTR HUB.

Concepts and applications can already be found and experienced in the Berlin TXL Infocenter.

Information materials on the topic:

Detailed information

Data strategy Berlin TXL

Against the backdrop of developments in smart city topics and the increased importance of urban data, the data strategy defines rules, processes and responsibilities as well as goals for handling data in Berlin TXL for Tegel Projekt GmbH. (Only available in German)

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Mission Statement

The mission statement describes how the FUTR HUB – the competence center for urban data in Berlin TXL – works, what it wants to achieve with its work, which values guide its development, and which digital products are to be enabled. (Only available in German)

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Use case profiles

In the development partnership, the digital city is designed collaboratively. The use cases present our pilot projects and give a first impression of the potential that lies in the use of urban data and cross-sector collaboration.

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Applications and further information:

SmartCity Living Lab

DFKI, the city of Kaiserslautern and the state of Berlin, represented by Tegel Projekt GmbH, signed a memorandum of understanding in 2020 to jointly advance urban data management. The goal is to collaborate on building and operating data platforms and to develop reproducible solutions. Further information available here.

Committee work


Stefan Höffken

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