Montag 05. August 2019 | 23:34

Smart City Basel – Creating Tomorrow Together.


What makes Basel a smart city? In a portrait about Basel, The Business Debate shows that collaboration is crucial for innovation.

Basel, the Swiss culture capital on the Rhine, is the fastest developing economic region in Switzerland. A city among the top ten in the world when it comes to quality of life, Basel offers residents, visitors, researchers and businesses a wide range of metropolitan qualities within walking distance: high-class museums, beautiful parks and green spaces, a congress centre situated in the heart of the city, a wide range of outstanding restaurants and good shopping opportunities, a dense public transport system, lively neighbourhoods as well as local markets.

Challenges and Changes

Life is good in Basel, but cities and societies today are facing challenges such as climate change, demographic change and structural change, urging us all to take action. And cities around the world are turning toward the new opportunities created by digitalisation to navigate infrastructure, mobility, logistics, communication, health and government services towards better service and a more efficient use of natural resources.

Smart city for sustainable development

As a smart city, Basel harnesses the possibilities presented by digitalisation – for the city and its citizens. Being “smart” simply means that we use everything at our disposal, including technology and data, for a sustainable future and the quality of life of the people in Basel. The strategy of the public administration therefore does not only focus on data and infrastructure: Smart City Basel is about collaboration and know-how, transparency and inclusion. Building on a rich history of social and ecological engagement, the city continuously promotes an unspoiled natural environment, good public health, political stability, high security and education across all levels, ensuring strong social cohesion, wellbeing and prosperity.

A laboratory for ideas

The time to work on the future is always now, and creative ideas need space and community to grow and prosper. With this purpose in mind, the City of Basel, together with the national railway company SBB, has initiated the Smart City Lab Basel. Located close to the railway station, the former freight depot is open to visionaries from all disciplines, providing space for developing, testing and debating ideas and projects over the next five years.

By creating space for dialogue and collaboration among businesses, research, the city administration and the public, the Smart City Lab encourages the participation that is necessary when working on the future of the city.

Thinking across borders

Being at the heart of a unique and culturally diverse metropolitan area with over 800’000 inhabitants in three nations, Basel has long been an example on how change is an opportunity for those who embrace it: Working collaboratively, fostering innovation and thinking across borders is the key to success and the reason for Basel being among the most productive and innovative regions worldwide.

Connecting people within the city and across borders, backgrounds and sectors is the essence of Basel’s economy. Because innovation happens where people with different skills work together in an open dialogue and towards a common goal: The quality of life of the people, today and tomorrow.