January 9, 2020

“I would like to see a vibrant neighbourhood that makes ‘the future tangible’. “

What will actually happen when Tegel Airport closes? Answers to this question will be provided at the 10th Public Location Conference on 12 February 2020. In the run-up to the event, partners will talk about the significance of the post-closure plans and Berlin’s path to becoming a smart city. Dipl.-Ing. Anne-Caroline Erbstößer, research associate in the Innovation Policies & Research department at the Technology Foundation Berlin, sees potential for a smart city in the Berlin metropolis.

With the announcement of the BER opening date, the after-use of Tegel is also coming within reach. What are your personal expectations of the Urban Tech Republic and the Schumacher Quartier and what significance do the two projects have for Berlin?

I would like to see a lively neighbourhood that also opens up to civil society and makes “the future tangible”. The opportunity should be taken here to create a realistic model for the rest of the city. A smart neighbourhood with a transparent and sustainable energy management that relies on renewable energies and also gives space to neighbourhood projects. An innovative place that focuses on a car-free area with an innovative mobility concept and offers alternatives with an autonomous e-shuttle bus, for example. Overall, the goal of a zero-emission-plus-energy campus should be achieved, which gives surplus resources to the neighbourhood and, of course, has an underground station on its doorstep.

“The biggest chunk we have to get rolling on the way to a smart city is the digitalisation of the administration.”

In your opinion, how far along is Berlin on the path to becoming a smart city and where do you see the greatest need for action?

The biggest chunk we have to get rolling on the way to a smart city is the digitalisation of the administration. How helpful would an e-file be, which, just like a digital patient file, would simplify so many tasks. No missing information, sufficient barrier-free online offers, no stress when moving or communicating with different offices. The basis for this is a technical upgrade to the current state of the art in all offices and for all employees. Digital services could be offered all the more easily the more Open Data enters the administration. The attitude towards innovative processes is certainly one of the biggest obstacles on the way to a smart future. Designing more and administering less would be a start.

When you think about the future, what would be your personal greatest wish for Berlin in 2030?

After the opening of BER Airport, the metropolis is becoming more attractive. Guests and Berlin citizens enjoy alternative mobility options and the expansion of the bicycle infrastructure, which has greatly reduced private car traffic in the city centre. The public transport system is completely CO2-free, of course with self-generated renewable energy. There is no more energy waste in buildings and solar panels are installed on all public buildings. Thanks to numerous new construction projects and gentle energy-efficient refurbishment, there is affordable housing in the neighbourhood again, the neighbourhood remains a lively neighbourhood in the sense of the Berlin mix, and many neighbourhood projects take care of the quality of life in the neighbourhood.

Dipl.-Ing. Anne-Caroline Erbstößer is a research associate at the Technology Foundation Berlin in the area of Innovation Policies & Research with a focus on Smart City. She has a degree in interior design and architecture. She has worked for many years as a freelance planner, in addition to teaching at Berlin universities in the areas of facility management, preservation of historical monuments, building history and building construction, and has worked as an expert for property valuations as well as building damage and environmental assessments. The Technology Foundation Berlin will also be present at the location conference as one of our partners.


January 9, 2020

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