Smart Lamp Posts are a Result of Citizen Engagement in Munich

Technology is the

solution- but what

is the problem?

Presentation of citizens’ recommendations for the further development of smart lamp posts in the district


In March, the Munich Technical University submitted several recommendations to the city of Munich, obtained through the Smarter Together co-creation process ‘Technology’ to the city of Munich. For several weeks, committed citizens and the responsible IT strategists of the city of Munich discussed the planned technological equipment of the intelligent lamp posts in their neighborhoods. The design collective Neuaubing-Westkreuz afterwards developed concrete recommendations for the functional requirements of the lamp posts. To create a value for the district, the requirements define, among other things, which services the new intelligent lamp posts should enable, for which target group and in what form (for example as an app), to create value for the district. The recommendations will be incorporated into the technical equipment of the lamp posts and the relevant public procurement competition for the solutions.

The co-creation process is an intensive form of citizen participation which offers residents the possibility to integrate their ideas and concerns into the concept and design of the planned infrastructure, and in this way to have an influence to the results.

Intelligent light sensors - restrained sensors

In the course of the design process, the participants agreed that technical systems and infrastructure alone wouldn’t be enough to shape a viable city. Therefore, their recommendation is to develop urban places with quality of stay and availability of services. After an inspection of the two sites, Bodensee- and Limesstraße, the participants formulated recommendations for three areas:

1. Traffic data collection

On one hand, traffic flow measurements in combination with adaptive traffic light circuits are required to avoid traffic jams. On the other hand, the measurement of pollutants and fine dust can be associated with speed-reducing measures.

2. Pollutants and Allergens

Measuring pollutants and fine particles can help identify the effects of speed reduction strategies. In order to link with the existing network of the Department of Health and the Environment more closely, site-specific data on pollen exposure for people with allergies can be recorded. These recommendations are explicitly made available as a public service rather than a private service.

3. Public Wi-Fi Hotspot

Corresponding framework conditions are intended to take into account the availability of wifi hotspots in order to increase the quality of stay and synergy effects.

The sensitive handling of collected data is required.

The participants formulated detailed and concrete suggestions for the handling of data, while having regards to the role of the city in this context. From the outset, the sensors from the lamp posts should exclude the collection of personal data and face and/or license plate recognition. The sensors are to be directed exclusively to the public space, and in no way to the private gardens of nearby houses.

In the ‘Little Lab Workshop’, the young people shared the assessment that the sensors could cause an underlying discomfort and thus adversely affect the wellbeing or the quality of stay of residents: weariness of sensors that could impose immediate sanctions (ex. automatic tickets for illegal parking) resulted in a critical evaluation. The corresponding recommendation is not to develop services with a primary educational character, but rather to give suggestions for the change of behavior, if at all, via positive reinforcement.

The regularly organised workshops on the development of concrete solutions were held at the Stadtteillabor in Neuaubing-Westkreuz, which is operated by the Renovation Agency of the City of Munich (MGS) for the project. The Munich Center for Technology in Society of the Technical University of Munich organised this workshop series.

LampPost Drawing.jpg

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