In continuation of the Connective Cities Dialogue Event "Strategies for a Digital City" held in Nuremberg in 2018, a lively exchange between the cities of Nuremberg and Nablus developed. In order to deepen the cooperation, two German municipal experts travelled to the Palestinian Territories to advise municipal actors on issues of municipal digitalisation.
Digitalisation and new technologies offer many opportunities to improve the public services offered by the municipalities. They can help to create direct interaction between the municipality and its inhabitants and thus make their services more accessible to citizens. This was demonstrated by a variety of good practices, for example from Ukraine or Rwanda at the Connective Cities Dialogue Event in Nuremberg in October 2018.
These practical examples also showed that on their way to becoming a digital city, municipalities need to develop their own strategies to ensure that digitisation brings added value for public welfare in addition to commercial revenue.
In order to support Nablus on this path, Prof. Dr. Stefan Bege and Frank Belzer from the Urban Development Department in the Mayor's Office and the Building Department of the City of Nuremberg respectively travelled to the Palestinian Territories at the end of 2019. In a first step, the two experts presented the strategic framework conditions in Nuremberg to give their colleagues from the partner administration the opportunity to discuss technology adjustments to the situation of Nablus.
Even before the delegation was sent, it became clear that the need for advice communicated by Nablus covers a wide range of municipal digitisation needs. The aim of the mission was therefore also to identify areas for further intensification of cooperation through exchange with the numerous experts from various departments of the Nablus municipality: these areas form the basis for a possible expert mission at the operational level.
Consequently, there is a consensus among experts that in order to solve the heterogeneous problem structure in Nablus, an expert mission on the following topics might be useful: data network (structure, development, implementation, monitoring), energy supply for public buildings, e-billing and capacity calculations for building construction measures and controlling.
Furthermore, the actors also made it clear that, in addition to operational support by experts on site, there is a need for further consultation in the strategic fields of action. In order to ultimately implement and use the advantages of digitalisation of administration in the best possible way, the participants also considered a possible expert visit to Nuremberg by colleagues from Nablus, depending on the available capacities on both sides.