Hamburg's USPs make for a smart city

Hamburg topped "Bitkom Smart City" for fourth consecutive time in 2022 - full speed ahead
25 July 2023
Smart City Sprinkenhof im Kontorhausviertel.-© Mediaserver Hamburg_Ingo Boelter

What makes a city smart? The annual "Bitkom Smart City Index gives some insight as it awards points in various categories. The degree of digitalization covers all German cities with at least 100,000 inhabitants and is based on some 11,000 data points. The ranking also covers administration, energy and environment. A category consists of 36 indicators with a total of 133 parameters, for instance, online services, sharing offers or bandwidth availability. Hamburg scored 86.1 out of a possible 100 points in the overall ranking. The city prevailed over 80 major German cities to top the index for the fourth consecutive time in 2022. Munich, Dresden and Hamburg were the top three in ranking. In the category "Society", Hamburg scored 98.1 points and came first, second in the "Mobility" category with 93.7 and third with 85.5 points in the "IT and Communication" category.

1) Society: 98.1 out of 100 points

Hamburg scored full marks for its "Open Data Platform". Data on transport, the environment, social issues and the economy are linked up in the Urban Data Hub and can be analysed in real time. The Urban Data Hub is a collaboration between the State Office for Geoinformation and Surveying and the City Science Lab (HafenCity University Hamburg). Research is underway into simulations and models for the future of Hamburg, of which the "Cut. Urban Data Platforms and Digital Twins for Integrated Urban Development" is an example.

Thanks to Startup City Hamburg, the digital hub for networking all initiatives and activities in the start-up ecosystem, and Hamburg Invest's Startup Unit for national and international start-ups, the city scored 100 points in the "Local Trade and Startup Hubs" section.

Smart City Gesellschaft CityScienceLab HCU CityScienceLab,19.7.
© HCU/CityScienceLab
CityScienceLab of HafenCity University (HCU)
Smart City Mobilität Letzte Meile UPS Yvonne Scheller 21.7jpg
© Yvonne Scheller
Last mile logistics

2) Transport 93.7 out of 100 points

Hamburg scored 100 points for its "smart traffic management", "parking", "multimodality and "sharing offers". The HVV switch app has been downloaded 800,000 times already and 12 new mobility points are being set up in Harburg by the end of 2023. For ten years now, HVV switch has pooled the sharing partners and facilitated transfers and bookings on its app. Travellers can switch easily from bus and train to the MOIA shuttle service, the use of car sharing offers by SIXT, MILES and WeShare or the rental of TIER or Voi e-scooters.

The four model loading zones in the city centre as part of the "Smart Delivery and Loading Zones" project have also proven their worth. Using the virtual booking system, parcel service providers, couriers or general cargo transporters can easily and conveniently reserve a delivery zone. Another 25 zones are to follow by the end of 2023. Hamburg scored 80 points in the "last mile logistics" category.

3) IT and communications: 85.5 out of 100 points

In 2018, the Port of Hamburg became the European test area for 5G. Under real conditions, use cases such as traffic light control, intelligent navigation, traffic control or environmental sensor technology were successfully tested on more than 8,000 hectares of the port area. The partners included the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Nokia and Telekom. Meanwhile, the rollout of the 5G network is well advanced and Hamburg has scored 75 points and even better in broadband expansion with 92.5 points. Fibre optics and public WLAN yielded a full 100 points.

Smart City IT und Kommunikation Deutsche Telekom 5G 19.7
© Deutsche Telekom
Smart City Verwaltung Modul-F Senatskanzlei 19.7
© Senatskanzlei
Modul-F project wins eGovernment contest

4) Administration 82.4 out of 100 points

Numerous projects in Hamburg are advancing the digitization of public administration.The GovTecHH project, for instance, strengthens the contact to external innovators and start-ups to boost the application of innovative digital technologies in public administration. As part of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), processes are automated by software robots, and Modul-F, a platform designed to enable end-to-end digitization of administrative processes, won an award in the eGovernment contest. The Bitkom Smart City Index awarded Hamburg 100 points in the "Internal Processes" category for its efforts to become a forward-looking administration.

5) Energy and environment: 70.8 out of 100 points

Just over 2,000 publicly accessible charging points including high-power chargers are currently available for 46,500 electric cars registered in Hamburg. Zero-emission public transport is also making progress. In March, the Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) ordered nearly 350 new electric buses in one fell swoop. Almost 470 zero-emission cabs are now on roads across Hamburg. The city scored 76.2 and 72.9 points respectively for "share of e-vehicles" and "charging infrastructure". The switch to zero-emission vehicles as part of the "Future Taxi" project alone has already saved a good 3,800 tons of CO2. If the entire fleet is converted, the annual savings could come to 25,000 tons.


Smart Citiy Energie und Umwelt MOIA Hansa-Taxi19.7