Dortmund 4.0: Intelligent solutions for a sustainable city


Efficiency, digitalisation, progress and a liveable atmosphere are the fundamental characteristics of a smart city. Dortmund is actively striving to become such a smart city and adopted the Smart City Strategy in its meeting on 23 March 2023. This strategy was developed in close cooperation with the city of Schwerte, whose council had already approved it on 15 February. In addition, many different stakeholders were involved in this process.

Strong together: innovation and digitalisation for Dortmund and Schwerte”

This strategy offers a detailed analysis of digital progress in Dortmund and Schwerte. It presents a concrete roadmap for the digital future of both cities, guided by the common motto “Smart we are only together”. The main goal is to develop a region in which the lives of the inhabitants are improved and simplified through innovative technologies and advancing digitalisation.

Smart Cities model project: Sustainable energy supply in urban regions

In September 2020, the Dortmund/Schwerte project consortium received an award from the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) as a “Smart Cities Model Project” for the project “Digital Operating System Dortmund Schwerte – DOS 2030”. With this award, the Federal Ministry promotes the development of municipal, interdisciplinary and spatial smart city strategies and their implementation in cities.

In cooperation with the CIIO of the City of Dortmund and the Smart City office of the City of Schwerte, the two cities are combining their ideas, approaches and plans to work together beyond the city limits and overcome challenges. Their primary goal is to improve urban sustainability and at the same time enhance the quality of life and the environment in order to increase the attractiveness of the location. In the spirit of neighbourhood assistance, the cities support each other, pool their resources and benefit from each other by learning from each other.

Smart City: A strategy with people in mind”

The Smart City Strategy focuses on people: Digital transformation and technological advances aim to improve and simplify the lives of city residents. Dortmund and Schwerte strive to provide their residents with new innovative solutions and communication options. This is not only about the digitalisation of administrative services, but also about the holistic provision of social services for the benefit of society.

Dortmund and Schwerte attach great importance to transparency, participation and co-design. With the help of various participation formats and extensive public relations work, the people are to be actively involved in the process of jointly shaping the future. After all, a Smart City can only be successfully realised through the participation of the various stakeholders and continuous dialogue.

Diverse approaches: Twelve fields of action and 45 projects for sustainable change

The strategy takes into account different areas of life and comprises twelve fields of action: Data and Platforms, Living Together and Participating, Trends, Research and Development, Security and Trust, Space and Infrastructure, Smart Mobility, Economy, Trade and Tourism, Education, Culture and Leisure, Building and Housing, Energy and Environment, Health and Social Affairs, and Digital Administration.

Innovative and pioneering measures are to be implemented in the fields of action in order to drive progress towards a smart city. A total of 45 projects have already been identified and included in the strategy document. These projects come from various sources, including project ideas in the funding application and different participation formats. They are continuously evaluated, further developed and supplemented with new measures. At the same time, there is the possibility of continuously adding new project ideas to the pool of ideas.

The “PROJEKTOR – Space for Innovation and Collaboration” on Westenhellweg has been in operation since September 2022. The project team of the City of Dortmund, consisting of experts from the fields of science and talent, smart city as well as business development, takes care of this space, which functions as a Citizen Science Lab. The name of the space symbolises its function, namely to represent the city’s innovations and at the same time to serve as a workshop for the development of new innovative projects and ideas. In the past few months, numerous interesting.

The city is currently working on the development of a Dortmund app with the aim of bundling all the information about Dortmund and presenting the wide range of offers in an appropriate way. However, this is not being done alone; Dortmund is part of the “Open SmartCity App Development Partnership”. Within this framework, several municipalities are cooperating to develop an app as a basis for communication with urban stakeholders. A notable feature is that once a city has developed a module for the app, it can make it available to the other partner cities. The planned launch of the app is later this year.

Effects and consequences in the future

The Smart City Strategy is submitted to the funding body on 31.03.2023. After receiving a positive decision, the implementation phase begins, which lasts four and a half years. During this phase, projects are selected and the pool of ideas and projects is further developed.

A freshly designed website is expected to go online at the beginning of April and will provide all interested parties with comprehensive information and news about Smart City Dortmund. Here you will find background information on the strategy, project info, exciting blog posts, upcoming events and planned participation formats. Stay up to date on the developments of the Smart City Dortmund through this informative website.

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