Digitalisation has provided an opportunity to redesign many areas and establish more effective workflows and processes. People don’t have to adjust their needs to fit what is on offer. Instead, custom-tailored digital tools can be developed – often, in a transparent process with others. Public administrations in particular are faced with a major transformation process and should leverage prototyping in order to start digitalising public life with an orientation to the common good.
Our Gieß den Kiez (Water the trees in your neighbourhood) project is one example of what is possible. We provide Berliners with an overview of their city trees and much information around the trees, and we encourage everyone to water them together.
Testing and developing open source for the Smart City
Whenever possible, we use open source software for our projects. Open source software offers free source codes that anyone can develop further for their own applications. They are particularly suitable for participatory urban development orientated to the common good.
For example, we have open source software that is useful for the organisation of association work. We compile it on the website in one digital location and invite associations and non-profit organisations in Berlin to call up and use the software programs via the website. We pass on the experience that we acquire in the process to Berlin’s city administration and urban society.
Openness is a key principle of our work
We always share the results of our work on our Github account, making it available for open access. This brings transparency to our work and advances the further development of non-commercial software at the same time.