Berlin Showcases Smart City Innovation — IoT Tech Trends

Cate Lawrence
6 min readMay 1, 2021

By 2030, it is estimated that over 60 percent of the global population will live in urban areas, and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. In response, many cities have spent part of the last decade embarking on ambitious, smart city projects that aim to make cities not only responsive but “smart” and predictive. Smart cities are using technology and smart solutions to make urban tasks more efficient and better, conserve resources, and improve their residents’ quality of life.

A range of this smart infrastructure has IoT embedded in it, including smart kiosks, parking, transport systems, connected vehicles, weather monitoring, waste control, lighting and traffic controls. Cities connect their infrastructure to deliver urban services more effectively, save money and provide a means to engage with citizens, visitors, and local businesses. Successful cities are typically part of research programs, pilot studies, and funding recipients or the result of the investment of big companies such as Cisco, Intel, and various telcos, public transport providers, and utilities.

Berlin set the Foundation for a Smart City Ecosystem

At first thought, Berlin might not be the first city that springs to mind when you think of a smart city. It’s an old city that has been rebuilt multiple times. Retailers are still often bankcard-adverse. The city only introduced free public Wi-Fi in 2016, and most public services involve submitting reams of paper forms in person or sending a fax.

But there is a clear political commitment for Berlin as a smart city. In April 2015, the Berlin Senate decided on the Smart City Berlin Strategy. The smart city strategy’s objectives include expanding the international competitiveness of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, increasing the resource efficiency and climate neutrality of Berlin by 2050, and creating a pilot market for innovative applications.

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Cate Lawrence

Tech journo and writer, based in Berlin, Germany. I don't really write on medium much but you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter