By selecting “smart city” as a key topic, INTERGEO 2016 is focusing on a multi-faceted issue that will shape the future.

The preview of the international event for the geospatial community in Hamburg, Germany was attended by renowned experts from industry, science and public authorities. During their discussions, all agreed that cities must and will become more intelligent — not because that is a natural consequence of digitization, but because it benefits society.

In April, the patron of INTERGEO, the DVW German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management, brought together experts from the worlds of business, public authorities and science to talk about this year’s key topic. The event, which was held at Hamburg’s Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying, focused on what an intelligent, digital city might look like and what role geoinformation would play as cities and metropolitan regions become “smart.”

The diverse range of participants in the preview all agreed on one common denominator. Jörg Amend from Trimble Germany GmbH; Chirine Etezadzadeh from the SmartCity.institute; Rolf-Werner Welzel, managing director of Hamburg’s Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying; Sebastian Hetzel from the Hamburg Traffic and Road Network Authority; and Thomas Kersten from HafenCity University Hamburg agreed that the increasing penetration of digital technologies into cities is not an end in itself.

First and foremost is the common good of society and the advantages that digitization offers inhabitants. This will ensure that cities can be run on a more intelligent basis and become a sustainable living space. The preview participants felt that smart geodata was an essential prerequisite in this regard.

As the host city for INTERGEO 2016, Hamburg is leading the way in Germany when it comes to the “smart city” and has been quick to position itself with “Hamburg’s Strategy for the Digital City,” which aims to develop a standardized smart city strategy. Key areas include mobility, energy, business and work, accommodation and city life. What’s more, the city’s residents can also be involved in the strategy.

Everyone at the preview agreed that a standardized language must be developed and understood if forward-looking, complex processes such as the development of an intelligent digital city are to be successfully rolled out. The huge dynamic behind digital advances and the enormous challenges related to burgeoning cities around the world are forcing those responsible to take action.

The “smart city” topic for INTERGEO is expected to draw movers and shakers from business, science and public authorities to Hamburg in October 2016. Visitors can look forward to meeting exhibitors who are laying the foundations for the smart city and can explore a broad-based conference program that centres on the challenges facing intelligent cities.

About INTERGEO

INTERGEO, which consists of a conference and a trade fair, is the world’s largest event for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. It is held every year at different venues in Germany. The conference deals with current issues from politics, administration, science and industry. At last year’s trade fair, more than 16,500 visitors from 90 countries discovered the latest innovations from 549 companies from 30 different countries.