Sustainable cities and regions
News from June 19, 2020
The Fraunhofer Initiative Morgenstadt presents a strategy for implementing sustainable urban development in its strategy paper “Sustainable Cities and Regions”. Researchers from FOKUS contribute their expertise on quality assurance and standardization of information and communication technologies in the Smart City to the strategy paper.
Cities are among the largest producers of CO2. In the fight against climate change, they must focus more on sustainable urban development and digitalization. With the strategy paper “Sustainable Cities and Regions”, the Fraunhofer Initiative Morgenstadt bundles existing smart city solutions and makes them accessible and affordable for cities and municipalities.
The scientists at Fraunhofer FOKUS have contributed their expertise in quality assurance of information and communication technologies to the strategy paper. In particular, they point out the possibilities of standardizing solutions for the Smart City. In recent years, many standards, such as ISO 37120 for sustainable urban development, ISO 37101 for near-management or ISO 37122 for smart cities, have emerged at the transnational level. Furthermore, open standards, in particular, are of great importance for the development of an open, dynamic ecosystem. They enable interoperability by allowing different smart city solutions to be combined in a modular and integrative way. Thus, a single provider dependency on the implementation and operation of Smart City solutions is avoided.
Certification processes can also help solution developers improve their systems continuously. They enable stakeholders, such as cities and municipalities with their citizens, to assess solutions for their quality, interoperability, and maturity.
The strategy paper essentially covers five broad fields of action:
- Structured information systems: municipalities must be supported in the planning, procurement, and implementation of sustainable solutions by compiling and structuring all information on these solutions
- Flexible investment vehicles: The acquisition and introduction of sustainable solutions must also be affordable for small and medium-sized municipalities, e.g. through sustainability funds
- Intersectoral professional development: To qualify municipal and company representatives in planning, efficient implementation and operation of sustainable solutions, suitable intersectoral professional development programs must be developed
- Marketable scaling: Central coordination of the exchange of experience and knowledge at both national and international level
- Consistent quality assurance: In order for municipalities to find both high-quality and suitable solutions for themselves, a system must ensure both the quality and the interoperability of the solutions
In order to achieve these five goals, the team of authors formulates the need to bundle new solution architectures and innovation-promoting investment and qualification programs in an interdepartmental coordination unit. In addition, it recommends the establishment of a national data competence center that provides secure and neutral data architectures for the operation of smart city applications.
In 2010, the German government named the future-oriented project “The CO2-neutral, energy-efficient and climate-adapted city” in its high-tech strategy. Since then, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's “Morgenstadt Initiative” has been developing solutions for the city of the future with more than ten institutes and partners from industry and local authorities.