2. Citizen & Stakeholder Engagement
Vienna has a well-established Smart City Framework Strategy putting an emphasis on citizen’s participation and life quality in addition to more “traditional” technology driven approaches.
Vienna has a strong governance tradition with well-established structured dialogue with citizens, including a series of institutions dealing with the dialogue. This participation dialogue (beyond democratic elections etc.) goes from simple information up to co-creation processes.
The project demonstration area as defined in Vienna is located in the central part of the south-eastern district of Simmering between Simmeringer Hauptstraße (an ancient main street axis) and the eastern railway line (Geiselberg, Enkplatz). It has a total of 21 000 inhabitants that will benefit from smart project solutions within the fields refurbishment, energy, mobility and information and communication technologies. The population of the urban renewal area is culturally very diverse and earns rather low wages compared to the average in Vienna.
In the project area, the major locally anchored partner in regard to citizen’s participation is the Local Urban Renewal Office (Gebietsbetreuung Stadterneuerung GB* 3/11) with skilled staff and an established local network.
The local Community College VHS (Volkshochschule Simmering) has 100 years of tradition and a new smart city building with conference facilities.
A series of primary and secondary schools are established in the project area, amongst which the NMS Enkplatz I+II (Secondary school with focus on arts and on sports). The latter are a primary partner of the project as major refurbishments and smart city constructions will be undertaken. As such, an inclusive collaboration with the teachers and pupils has been agreed upon in order to make pupils become ambassadors of the Smart City message of Smarter Together. The population of the school is very mixed and reflects the societal diversity.
An existing NGO network is well established in the project area and a potential communication partner in the project. Local governance (Bezirk) has its structures at the institutionalized service of citizens and specific competences when it comes to public space.
The locally based enterprises such as the Siemens factory Vienna Simmering at Leberstraße have their well-established communication channels with their employees as well as with the larger public and a tradition in outreach (Siemens funded the children’s decoration of a metro station and the contest that established the works that would be printed on metal panels). Other local business partners have their outreach and communication channels either city wide or locally.
The media ecosystem is well developed. The City of Vienna has direct access to some city wide or local media. Business partners have either their own media (such as employee’s newspapers or newspapers available for free in the metro). Business partners have also their specific communication channels such as the yearly program of the Community college VHS Simmering resp. VHS Wien. All partners have also their specific web communication including webpages and e-newsletters.
The Vienna project coordination office is anchored in the department MA 25 (as leader) as well as in a series of other departments. In the preparatory phase of project development in 2015 it has developed an institutional structure of dialogue and cooperation that allows relevant staffing and networking within the City of Vienna structures that are relevant for internal as well as external communication and for managing citizen’s participation.