6th Informed Cities Forum


7-8 November 2018  |  Vienna, Austria

Opening up the smart city: Open governance, data and people

More than 100 urban changemakers from across Europe came together in Vienna for the 6th edition of the Informed Cities Forum. The event gathered a mix of urban innovators and activists, local government representatives, researchers, entrepreneurs, experts and policy specialists, allowing for a rich learning experience and exciting debates.

The 2018 edition of the conference explored how digital tools and platforms are transforming how we govern our cities. Building on the work of the smarticipate project and the City of Vienna's inclusive smart city approach, the programme critically examined this transformation from the perspective of different stakeholders.

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Day 1

7 November

Venue: Nordbahnhalle

Leystraße 157, 1020 Vienna

Conference facilitators:

Stefan Kuhn

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Pamela Mühlmann

Urban Innovation Vienna

8:30-9:00 | Registration & coffee

9:00-9:30 | Welcome & Introduction

The smarticipate project consortium and the City of Vienna, the co-organisers of the event, welcomed participants to the 6th Informed Cities Forum. Additionally, Christian Peer welcomed participants to Nordbahnhalle.


Barbara Novak

Vienna City Council

Joachim Rix 

Fraunhofer Institute 

Serge Novaretti

European Commission, DG CONNECT

Christian Peer

FutureLab, TU Wien

9:30-10:00 | Digital tools and cities: genuine transformation or façade?

Stefaan Verhulst

Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, GovLab

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology.

10:00-10:45 | Your experiences with ICT-enabled urban governance

This roundtable session allowed participants to talk to each other about their experiences with digital tools in city planning. Participants reflected on whether their respective cities used technology in the right way when it comes to engaging with citizens and shared various examples of ICT-based tools and platforms used to support citizen engagement.  

10:45-11:15 | Coffee break

11:15-12:45 | What if... citizens knew everything local government knows? 

The smarticipate project developed a novel platform that enables citizens and local authorities to interact and engage by harnessing the power of open public data. Following an introduction of the smarticipate tool, participants were divided into small groups to engage with the tool directly through interactive demonstrations. Representatives of three pilot cities, namely HamburgRome and London,  then weighed in on their experiences with the real-life application of the platform in a panel discussion.    

Introduction to the smarticipate platform


Jan Peters-Anders

Austrian Institute of Technology





Andries Geerse




Panel discussion: smarticipate in cities

Paul McDonald

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Claudio Bordi

City of Rome

Astrid Köhler

City of Hamburg, Ministry of Urban Development and Housing

12:45-13:00 | Introduction to field workshops 

A set of parallel field workshops allowed participants to explore ongoing initiatives in Vienna that are using - or plan to use - digital tools and interactive platforms to achieve their goals. The workshops provideed hands-on experience with how ICT can help solve real-life issues in urban areas. 

13:00-14:30 | Lunch in the Nordbahnhalle

During the lunch break, participants can explore the "Stadtraum" exhibit in the Nordbahnhalle. The exhibit features a large 3D model of the cityscape surrounding Nordbahnhalle and explains the history of its development as well as future plans for the district.    

14:30-17:30 | Field workshops

Participants will be able to choose among five different ongoing initiatives in Vienna that use - or plan to use - digital and interactive platforms to achieve their goals. Each of the workshops will offer participants a hands-on experience with how ICT can solve real issues in urban areas and will allow them to work together with locals in co-creating solutions.

19:30 | Nordbahnhalle after hours: (not just a) common dinner

In cooperation with the Nordbahnhalle team, we have prepared an evening full of surprises. There will be food and mulled wine, great music and a chance to talk to people who share your passion for cities!

Day 2

8 November

Venue: Vienna City Hall

Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Vienna (entrance on Lichtenfelsgasse)

8:45-9:30 | Can civic tech save democracy?


Borja Prieto

Head of Promotion and Institutional Extension at Citizen Participation, Transparency, and Open Governance Department, City of Madrid

The "Smart City" has been touted as the digital solution to many urban problems - but can it address the divide between city authorities and their residents? The ever-growing number of urban residents have a lot to say and valuable contributions to make to local decision making. But still a number of hurdles prevent citizens from participating in meaningful way. Can tech help level the playing field?

9:30-12:00 | The floor is yours: crowd-sourced open space!

This session will offer a perfect setting to deepen previous discussions, introduce work on a certain topic, start brainstorming new project ideas or simply to exchange with like-minded people. Any participant can propose a session with a topic of their choosing and everyone is invited to vote on which of these sessions they would like to attend. Proposals can be submitted online starting on the first day of the conference. A coffee break at 10:30 will divide two rounds of sessions. 

12:00-13:00 | Knowledge is power



Eugen Antalovsky

Urban Innovation Vienna



The Panel:

Marek Vogt


Serge Novaretti

European Commission, DG CONNECT

Ulrike Huemer

CIO, City of Vienna

Louis Francis

Mapping for Change

13:00-13:15 | Closing and farewell 



Peter Hanke

Vienna City Council 



Joachim Rix

Smarticipate project coordinator, Fraunhofer IGD


ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany


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