Ludwigsburg: digitalisation as an urban reality

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has selected the city of Ludwigsburg as one of 20 communities for the second phase of its “City of the Future” competition. Ludwigsburg’s sustainable urban development department and Living Lab business unit is joining with Fraunhofer IAO to proactively promote digitalisation and make it an urban reality. The project slogan is “Digitalisation, participation and the city,”

This is the second time that Ludwigsburg has been selected as one of the communities for the City of the Future competition. In 2015, Ludwigsburg created the “Ludwigsburg 2030+” vision with its residents at the 5th Future Conference during the first phase of project funding. The second funding phase, which will run until September 2018, will focus on two key topics under the slogan “Digitalisation, participation and the city.”

These topics were chosen at an advisory board meeting attended by local residents as well as representatives from industry, science, politics, and associations.

A roadmap for Ludwigsburg

The next Future Conference, scheduled for May 2018 in Ludwigsburg, offers the opportunity to incorporate digitalisation into the eleven urban development master plans, thus making the city a trailblazer both in the state of Baden-Württemberg and in Germany. To this end, MHP–a company owned by Porsche–is partnering with the Living Lab to develop a digital agenda that explicitly caters to the requirements of the city.

“The Digital Agenda is a roadmap for our city that summaries how digitalisation topics can be tackled on the ground. In light of their high complexity and the fact that they are happening in parallel, it’s all the more important to properly structure the various processes,” explains Ludwigsburg’s mayor Werner Spec.

Involving the city’s population in this development and taking their interests into consideration plays a special role in the project.

Making digitalisation an urban reality in the city laboratory

To make technical and social innovations visible and also involve the public, a city laboratory is being planned in the western part of Ludwigsburg. It will offer a space for the city’s creative scene to meet with local companies and residents. Events called “makathons” (from “maker” and “marathon”) will help unleash their joint innovative potential. Fraunhofer IAO supports this effort with augmented reality technologies that use concrete examples to help both participants and the general public visually experience how the city will be digitalised.

Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Fraunhofer IAO.

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