Know­ledge and oppor­tun­it­ies arising from the effects of the pan­dem­ic (I)

Dipl. Math. Klaus Bröhl, CEO Integ­rated Worlds GmbH

Deser­ted streets, closed shops and res­taur­ants! Until recently, this was pre­dicted as a hor­ror scen­ario for many cit­ies. The reas­on for this was mostly iden­ti­fied as online trade and the changed con­sumer and leis­ure beha­viour of the people.

Corona shows us that night­mares can come true! Even though the back­ground and causes are of a com­pletely dif­fer­ent nature and the situ­ation is over­tak­ing us at breath­tak­ing speed. It is also to be feared that the situ­ation for the cit­ies, espe­cially the inner cit­ies, accel­er­ated by the pan­dem­ic, will become even more com­plic­ated than it already was.

Cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions are no longer able to ful­fil their import­ant pub­lic mis­sion, and here too it is to be expec­ted that many of them will not be able to make their import­ant con­tri­bu­tion to soci­ety, at least in the long term, due to the expec­ted fin­an­cial problems.

Also the club life, which is so import­ant to Ger­mans, regard­less of wheth­er it is sports, cul­ture or social affairs, is down. It also remains to be seen how the mostly non-profit organ­isa­tions, which often live from the solid­ar­ity and income of their mem­bers and spon­sors, will get out of this com­plic­ated situation.

But the cur­rent real­ity, with curfews, clos­ures of retail out­lets and res­taur­ants and bans on assembly in pub­lic areas to abso­lutely reduce social con­tacts, shows us all one thing very clearly.

All of a sud­den we miss:

  • social con­tacts, the per­son­al encounter with oth­er people, friends and rel­at­ives, regard­less of age and degree of relationship,
  • the city as a meet­ing place with its pub­lic places,
  • loc­al trade, gast­ro­nomy and industry with their dynam­ics for a live­able urb­an envir­on­ment with which one can identify,
  • the wide range of cul­tur­al activ­it­ies on offer, from simple cinema vis­its to museums, opera, bal­let, etc.
  • the asso­ci­ations with their sense of com­munity and solid­ar­ity, detached from their ori­gins and social status.

Even before the Corona crisis, stud­ies have shown that cit­izens of all age groups and social strata of the pop­u­la­tion highly value the import­ance of the city with its wide range of offers as a cent­ral liv­ing space and that the desire to identi­fy with “their city”/“their neigh­bour­hood” is strongly anchored.

We, who are involved in digit­ally sup­por­ted urb­an con­cepts, must meet this wish of the cit­izens, espe­cially now and in the future.

Accord­ing to “All power to the cit­izens” we should under­stand the cur­rent situ­ation as an oppor­tun­ity, put the needs of the people in the fore­ground, involve the people, use the will­ing­ness to identi­fy and thus sup­port the city with all its diversity hol­ist­ic­ally with our possibilities.

Let us work togeth­er, with the con­vic­tion that this dra­mat­ic crisis can be over­come, on the con­cepts that will meet the desire for loc­al encoun­ters and iden­ti­fic­a­tion in the time that will surely fol­low the crisis with a syn­thes­is of ana­log and digit­al possibilities.

Let us work even more intens­ively togeth­er to make the city a place of exper­i­ence and a meet­ing place for all cit­izens with their dif­fer­ent needs and interests.

Integ­rated Worlds developed “Cit­izens Con­nect” solu­tions based on a cit­izen-ori­ented, glob­al and, above all, sus­tain­able strategy.