German Digital Day in the district town of Siegburg: Shaping the city's future together

The Digital Day on June 16, 2023 in Siegburg offered students and citizens a unique opportunity to actively participate in the future development of the city. Together with the city of Siegburg and other partners, Detecon set up various booths on Siegburg's market square. These offered citizens the opportunity to learn about new technologies and to help shape the future development of the city of Siegburg in the areas of economy, energy, education, living & housing, mobility, and climate & environment.

The overall goal of the German Digital Day is to promote digital participation and skills development for all citizens so that they can navigate the digital world with confidence and empowerment. This was successfully offered in the district town of Siegburg and feedback was obtained from citizens for future projects in Siegburg.

More than 100 people from different generations took part in the survey, which was very well received by the citizens. The results offer a broad spectrum of opinions that can be incorporated into the future development of projects for the city of Siegburg. The main focus of the citizens was on the topics of "Living and & Housing" and "Mobility".


Together with its cooperation partner bee smart city, Detecon set up and moderated seven stations

Station 1: What do you like or dislike about Siegburg? At this station, citizens had the opportunity to point out various aspects of the city of Siegburg that they like or dislike and to post them on a bulletin board. The citizens were particularly interested in the topics of living & housing and mobility. While the topic of living & housing was predominantly rated positively, there were a large number of requests for improvement when it came to mobility.

Station 2: How will digitalization change your life in the coming years? This station allowed citizens to express their vision of the future in Siegburg. The opinions were very diverse and ranged from less "paperwork" and faster processes in government to the everyday use of cryptocurrencies, but mostly showed an optimistic view of the future.

Station 3: Which two areas should the city of Siegburg focus on in the future? The choices were Mobility, Energy, Economy, Environment & Climate, Education, and Living & Housing. The citizens could vote with balls. The winner was housing, followed by education and climate & environment.

Station 4: What issues are important to you in Siegburg? This station offered a large satellite image of the city of Siegburg, on which citizens could mark and describe the issues that are important to them in their respective neighborhoods and streets. For example, the local swimming pool and the river Sieg were highlighted.

Station 5: You get €50,000! For which future project in Siegburg would you spend the money? At this station, everyone could put themselves in the shoes of the mayor or councillors of Siegburg and think about which project(s) they would invest the available budget in. The citizens want to promote bike paths and public Wi-Fi in the city center.

Station 6: Image processing with artificial intelligence using images of the city of Siegburg. Here, the participants had the opportunity to use artificial intelligence to create images of their city. The following image shows the development of a design created by several citizens.

Figure 1: Planning the cityscape with artificial intelligence


Station 7: Entering virtual reality with VR goggles. This station offered the opportunity to enter virtual reality using the Arthur app and the Oculus Quest 2 VR goggles to experience the possibilities of this new technology. Participants could move around in the virtual environment and select and view videos and pictures of Siegburg, such as a sightseeing flight over Siegburg or posters with information about the Digital Day and a board to draw on.


As part of the Digital Day, a workshop was also held at the Anno Gymnasium in Siegburg with students from all grade levels. The Digital Day and the possibilities of digital technologies were presented. The students were then able to digitally submit their wishes and ideas for the future using a tablet or smartphone. Several questions were asked: "What are your crazy ideas for the future of Siegburg?" and "You will receive €50,000. On what future project in Siegburg would you spend the money?  The students' ideas and wishes included flying cars, on-time buses, more overhead projectors, and free Wi-Fi.

As a small thank you for participating in the surveys and the workshop, both the citizens and the students of Anno Gymnasium received a €5 city voucher. This voucher can be redeemed in various shops in the city of Siegburg.

All in all, Digital Day in Siegburg was a great success and will be repeated in 2024 in schools and on the market square!