Smart City Lab in Hamburg

Challenge & Context

In today’s world, cities, municipalities and entire regions are faced with a multitude of challenges. For example, cities and municipalities must ensure that their future development is based on factors such as environmental protection and attention to climate change, but also on social aspects such as the involvement of all stakeholders in the planning process. The local economy is also concerned with the use of innovative methods and technologies to make processes climate-neutral as much as possible.


Local collaboration projects in Hamburg

To ensure a high level of adoption, local collaboration projects were implemented on the FIWARE Data Platform. Engineering provided the platform on its systems during the project phase and worked together with the project group as a neutral data trustee for a secure and standardized data exchange. The platform acted as a tool to create efficient services for citizens, foster social participation, economic development and the rise of innovation spaces, based on the local area.

Smart neighbourhood areas und digital services

In the neighbourhood areas, the structure and causal relationships of digitalization were consequently examined. Overall, it was concluded that both neighbourhoods could benefit from significant improvements in urban mobility, energy, the environment as well as the economy, also thanks to social participation.

Figure 1 — Area of activities

Smart City created through networking

On this basis, the use of the FIWARE Data Platform enabled Engineering to implement

Digital urban planning through a System-of-Systems approach

Engineering supported the merge of construction management processes on the basis of the Building Information Model (BIM) and publicly available data from the Hamburg transparency portal to create new services offerings in energy and building management. This connection and the use of simulation data for local climate and traffic modelling was additionally demonstrated in a prototype.

Figure 2 — System-of-Systems approach of digital urban planning

Urban mobility and digital citizen services

By using the FIWARE Data Platform, important information on local conditions, such as air quality, traffic volume and local mobility (such as bike sharing), can be collected and viewed centrally by the involved parties.

Figure 3 — View of an interactive dashboard for local mobility

Energy management and building control systems

In addition to optimizing energy consumption, CO2-minimised energy procurement is also a building block for decarbonization with small and medium-sized businesses. As a standardized interface, intelligent power grids (smart grids) offer a universal, cross-manufacturer modular system for block-type thermal power stations, combined heat and power systems, battery buffers and photovoltaic systems and, as virtual power stations, form the basis of such smart grids.

  • Efficient data analysis (formation of sums, meaning & limit values);
  • Error management (incidents);
  • Plant documentation, reporting;
  • Key figure management (energy balances, CHPs, generation plants, storage facilities, etc.);
  • Data exchange with existing systems;
  • Energy controlling system of the energy management office.
Figure 4 — Extract of the forecast for local energy production

How it works

The FIWARE Data Platform enables the use of open data portals, provides the functionality to connect information via REST API or MQTT interfaces and enriches or stores this information in further processes to new data services. It is also possible to connect cross-platform applications, such as BIM, GIS, or IoT systems — to mention but a few — in a system-of-systems approach, using a standardized data exchange procedure.

Figure 5 — Overview of the modules used with the platform

The core components of the platform

Engineering drives various testing processes to use FIWARE and other Open Source modules like

  • IDAS – Enabling the connection of new IoT-Systems;
  • IDRA – Offering an overview of the contents of the connected Open Data Portals;
  • STH-Comet & Cygnus – Allowing data to persist;
  • Perseo – For automated actions on an event basis;
  • Keyrock – The central tool for user and role concepts;
  • Kong – API management tool for platform security and provision of data and services;
  • Apache NiFi – Allowingnew data and services to be created via a graphical interface;
  • Grafana & Prometheus – Offering the monitoring of the interfaces.

Deployment and operation

The platform can be provided in different variants. For instance, the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is provided also in a German cloud environment. The deployment and service team takes care of the operation and maintenance of the system and provides 1st and 2nd level support in German language.

What is the meaning of collaboration?

The platform enables the active involvement of stakeholders, e.g. city employees, citizens, municipal & private companies, and organizations. They can use the platform to develop new digital data and services and make them available individually.

  • Data providers: Users who want to provide their data from sensors, inventory systems, or other interfaces.
  • Service providers: Users who create new services based on the available data and services on the platform and make them available to internal or external users.
  • End-users: Consumers of the data and services.

Benefits & Impact

  • Provided as a Platform-as-a-Service, ideas and projects can be implemented fast and efficiently;
  • The open and modular architecture offers the possibility to establish individual development partnerships;
  • Through the best practices user and role concept, local participation projects can be implemented and actors can actively participate in shaping the place in which they live in;
  • Cross-field applications in the form of new data and service offers can be developed through the platform and thus contribute to minimizing the challenges of the time;Open interfaces enable the development of system-of-systems applications and deliver added value across system boundaries.

Added Value through FIWARE

  • The FIWARE Generic Enablers offer a wide range of functions for users building a multi-purpose platform;
  • Due to the microservice architecture of the modules, extensions can be easily integrated into an existing system;
  • The FIWARE interfaces and data standard NGSI allow the harmonization of different data and extend the value chain of existing data;
  • FIWARE is made up of a A global community that is constantly growing and developing new functions and tools to ensure that the FIWARE Data Platform is up to speed.


  • The described applications from the Smart City Laboratory in Hamburg as well as further information about the FIWARE Data Platform can be found on:

Author & Contributors

Engineering DSS GmbH

FIWARE is the Open Source Platform for Our Smart Digital Future.