Civitas Digitalis

Digital and Crowd-based Service Systems for the Establishment of Sustainable and Livable Living Environment 2020

Starting Situation

Chance: Digitalization for an extended range and depth of participation in civic participation

The isolation of individual social strata, the acceleration of social change and pace of life as well as alienation represent growing challenges for municipalities and make changes necessary. To transform cities to sustainable, adaptable, and livable environments, the digitalization of everyday life and the transformation towards a civil society with a strong need for dialogue, self-realization and cooperation, offer yet untapped potentials. In particular, an increasing willingness to participate in the creation and provision of services (co-creation) and the sharing of resources and offers (sharing), combined with digital networking, provide the opportunity to create new, needs-oriented and high-quality services, infrastructures, and projects. These can strengthen the community, involve citizens productively, meet their needs, counteract negative effects of demographic development and thus create a more livable and future-oriented living environment and work space. 

Aim of the project

Goal: Collaboration of civic, economic and local actors for socially beneficial service innovations

The aim of the project is to promote the development of new and needs-based offers for the smart service city of the future and to increase the quality of life of citizens by means of citizens' participation in urban development. They should be involved as active co-designers of services.


Solution approach: citizens' sensor, innovation laboratory and Civitas Digitalis platform

The Civitas Digitalis solution consisting of three partial solutions is developed and piloted in the project iteratively:

(1) The citizens' sensor provides a web-based participatory network for the collection and generation of new service ideas and the potential for improvement of existing services.

(2) IT-supported processes and techniques for joint co-creation (on-site and platform-based) are tested by the city, service companies and citizens for the innovation process building set.

(3) Finally, the Civitas Digitalis platform brings together the results in an integrated Internet platform and, thereby, enables the full implementation and control of co-creation and co-production to the development, improvement and transformation of innovative, high-quality services for the smart service city of the future.


Benefit: An expandable and transferable participatory value-added network for cities of the future

The cities of Hamburg and Kassel directly use the project results in the participation process and contribute to the transferability of the Civitas Digitalis solution. The project results are also piloted, prepared and transferred into the regular operation beyond the project runtime in further application areas (for example, in the construction of neighborhood centers) together with the implementation partners. In addition, the project results are passed on to experts and representatives of other agglomerations through transfer events (specialist lectures, trade fair and conference participations etc.) and publications of the findings, with the aim of implementing the Civitas Digitalis concept in whole or in part in other cities. 

Teilvorhaben Kassel – „Weck den Herkules in Dir“
Kassel ist eine dynamische, innovative, kreative und soziale Stadt – dank der Menschen, die in ihr leben. Als Expertinnen und Experten des eigenen Alltags wissen sie am besten, welche Ideen, Projekte und Initiativen die Stadt braucht, um Kassel noch besser zu machen.
An genau diesem Punkt setzt das Projekt „Civitas Digitalis“ an der Universität Kassel an: Bürgerinnen und Bürger aktiv an der systematischen Entwicklung von Dienstleistungsideen zu beteiligen. Civitas Digitalis wurde am Wissenschaftlichen Zentrum für Informationstechnik-Gestaltung (ITeG) im Fachgebiet Wirtschaftsinformatik von Matthias Billert unter Leitung von Dr. Christoph Peters und Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister vorangetrieben.  Die Wirtschaftsinformatiker haben dabei nach Möglichkeiten für Bürgerinnen und Bürger, Kommunen und wirtschaftliche Beteiligte gesucht, um das Dienstleistungssystem Stadt zu gestalten.

Von der einfachen Idee zur durchdachten Dienstleistungslösung
Gemeinsam mit den anderen Projektpartnern und in enger Kooperation mit der Stadt Kassel  entwickelten sie das Portal „Weck den Herkules in Dir“: Über diese Plattform, die von den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern leicht genutzt werden kann,  haben Bürgerinnen und Bürger der Stadt Kassel die Möglichkeit, ihre einfache Idee zu einer durchdachten Dienstleistungslösung zu entwickeln. Das Konzept basiert auf einem multimedialen, medienbruchfreien Ansatz, der es ermöglicht, die durch Bürgerinnen und Bürger entwickelten Lösungen systematisch zu erstellen und zu präsentieren.
Bürgerinnen und Bürger initiieren so ihre eigenen Dienstleistungsideen, die sie dann als „Prosumenten“ gesellschaftlich wünschenswerte und qualitativ hochwertige Dienstleistungen nutzen können.


Dr. Christoph Peters

Weitere Informationen:

Project Partners

  • University of Hamburg –Business Information Systems, esp. socio-technical system design (project coordination)
  • University of Kassel – Department of Business Informatics
  • fortiss GmbH – An-affiliate-institute of the Technical University of Munich, competence field of open data & information management
  • City of Kassel – Research for more civic involvement
  • Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
  • Stadtwerkstatt, Hamburg
  • Department of Geo-Information and Cartography, Hamburg


The project “Civitas Digitalis” is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with the project lead partner PTKA (Projektträger Karlsruhe am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie/KIT) (funding code: 02K15A050).