Story | 13. April 2022

Partner day on the topic of “Smart area development”

What do we mean by a smart area? This was the issue we looked into on the second partner day at the Smart City Lab Basel. With participants from around twenty companies and organisations, we did not just discuss possible answers in the world café, but also built real-life models with Lego bricks. Find out in this story how we got on and how the participants found the partner day.

At the Smart City Lab Basel, people often ask what a “smart city” or a “smart area” actually is. We are convinced that there is no conclusive answer to this. A smart city is not characterised by maximum use of digital technologies. Instead, smart cities arise in a process which brings together different stakeholders and takes into account the needs of all living things in the city. On the second partner day in the Smart City Lab Basel, we tried exactly that – to bring together different stakeholders and develop shared ideas and approaches to solving problems. In the following video, you can find out about some participants’ experiences at the partner day:



After input from Philippe Marti (overall project leader for the Basel Wolf area development) on the current state of area development at the Wolf site, we started a two-stage workshop with the sixty participants. In a world café format, the participants had in-depth discussions on what makes an area smart, what kind of interfaces there are between the ideas and what types of (infra)structure would be necessary for implementation.

Finally, the Lego bricks were brought to the workshop tables and the participants immediately started playing with great enthusiasm. Now the idea was to continue the discussions from the world café and turn them into something tangible using the Lego bricks. The result was 10 models with exciting and sometimes amusing ideas as to what makes an area smart.

We are currently evaluating the results. Find out what models the participants built and which new ideas were created on the partner day in our next story.