For a digital and a smart city, an IT platform with the corresponding domain ending (top-level domain) is a great idea. A digital communication and administration platform on the basis of a city domain ending enables easy communication between inhabitants and companies as well as with the local authorities, and it networks them via a locally harmonised digital marketplace. In Germany, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne are pathfinders for this development.

The constantly increasing digitalisation of both private and commercial worlds requires an efficient, user-friendly and transparent service for citizens. Communication at the level of public authorities is also of increasing importance. Local authorities have to react to these developments and the associated challenges so as not to loose touch.

Word cloud for the subject of digital administration in the smart city.

To simplify digital communication in cities, local regions and even federal states, with a communal domain ending, it is possible to collect individual procedures together on a central platform and thus establish a citizen’s community. Companies such as DOTZON GmbH, based in Berlin, develop concepts on the basis of a domain ending for information, communication and trading platforms for local government services and products.

Setting up the IT structure of the city administration with a domain ending

A communications platform for local government can be integrated more or less as a plug-and-play solution into the city administration’s existing IT infrastructure, to then replace it later on. The platform can be made up of various components including email addresses, citizen IDs or a shopping platform.

The communications platform enables direct, digital communication between local people as well as with local companies and organisations. It also allows local people to digitally interact with their public authorities via a web portal. In this way, queries, applications and other matters, such as reports of damage in the city can be submitted directly without any waiting time. The flow of information within the administration can also be automatically recorded, categorised and further processed.

“In Cologne, North Rhein Westphalia and in Saarland, valuable experience has already been gathered about the implementation of digital civic services, as well as in Berlin and Hamburg for marketing of the location,” explained Dirk Krischenowski, general manager of dotBERLIN. “As trailblazers and providers of ideas, we want to continue to develop the concept of domain endings in cities, local authorities and federal states.”

Krischenowski added: “We are sure that numerous local authorities will be enthusiastic about the idea of the digital city or region, based on a domain ending, and we look forward to helping Germany to become a bit more digital.”

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