On Friday, 23 September 2022, the official green light was given for the EU project "Dialog City". The project promotes the participation and digital transformation of socially inclusive, environmentally friendly and economically sustainable structures. The project was presented to the public in the presence of Judith Gerlach, Minister of State for Digital Affairs within the framework of a creative conference format ("Unconference"). International experts from a total of nine European countries, the project partners of the project and interested citizens exchanged ideas and views at Aschaffenburg UAS regarding questions of citizen-oriented and participatory digitalisation. More than 60 people attended the conference.
The initiator and coordinator of the "Dialog City" project, which will run until 2025, is the city of Aschaffenburg. The funding of almost one million euros from the EU also confirms the dialogue-oriented digitalisation strategy of the city of Aschaffenburg: "At Dialog City the focus is always on people - this means that we want Aschaffenburg to be a technologically advanced, economically successful, ecologically sustainable and socially inclusive city. To achieve this, it is imperative to shape the upcoming digitalisation in dialogue with the citizens. Because in a Dialog City, technology should above all be there to serve people. This is how we promote innovation: To create and secure jobs. And a central goal is that we increase the quality of life for everyone," says Eric Leiderer, Mayor and Digital Officer of the City of Aschaffenburg.
Eric Leiderer, Mayor and Digital Officer of the City of Aschaffenburg
More than 60 people attended the event.
Judith Gerlach, Minister of State for Digital Affairs and patron of the Unconference, explained in her speech: "Aschaffenburg is growing and growing - like most Bavarian cities. We see this change as an opportunity to shape innovative urban development. Especially by applying digital solutions such as those developed here at the Barcamp. That is very much in line with my motto: Digitalisation should be there for the people and it should help them. This is how we design liveable and - in the truest sense of the word - smart cities."
The kick-off event took place within the framework of a so-called "Unconference". In this creative conference format, participants can help set the agenda. "We are very pleased about the successful kick-off event for the EU project Dialog City at Aschaffenburg UAS. It shows once again that Aschaffenburg is becoming more and more important as a science location and motor for creative and innovative concepts in the field of digitalisation in Europe," explains Prof. Dr Eva-Maria Beck-Meuth, President of Aschaffenburg UAS.
"As a practice-oriented technical university, we have been cooperating successfully with the city of Aschaffenburg for years. Our common goal is to use scientific expertise for the benefit of further developing our municipality in order to make the lives of our citizens safer and more attractive. We are pleased that we were able to host the kick-off event for this new, promising project," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Zindler, Vice President Research Aschaffenburg UAS.
Judith Gerlach, Minister of State for Digital Affairs and patron of the Unconference
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Zindler, Vice President Research Aschaffenburg UAS
Prof. Dr Eva-Maria Beck-Meuth, President of Aschaffenburg UAS
Brigitte Seibold (on the right) in graphic reporting as a "protocol" at the Unconference
The Dialog City project is co-financed by the Creative Europe Programme and will be implemented from 2022 until the end of 2025. The project was initiated and is coordinated by the Stadt- und Stiftsarchiv Aschaffenburg (city and monastery archives). Project partners are: Culturepolis (GR), Stadtmuseum Graz GmbH (AT), Fondazione Cirko Vertigo (IT), Quatorze (FR), Centro Formazione Professionale Cebano Monregalese (IT) und Consorcio Interaziendale Canavesano per la Formazione Professionale Ciac (IT).
The funding budget is nearly 1 million euros. The European Dialog City project was born out of the conviction that pure technical innovation falls far short of the mark. A new way of thinking is needed to make the digital transformation comprehensible and applicable for people. The aim of Dialog City is therefore to combine socially inclusive, environmentally friendly and economically sustainable structures with urban digitalisation. That’s why the focus is on participation. By developing new approaches, digital innovation is linked to the direct participation of citizens. Creating a digital citizens' archive is an essential element of the European project. Three hybrid festivals serve as physical-digital cultural events to reach a diverse audience in five European countries. An Art for Public Residency Programme invites artists to generate ideas for urban interventions based on a participatory approach. And the development of a Future Literacy programme offers the opportunity to rethink the future and help shape it today, here and now.