Dear visitors,

Under this year’s motto “Inspiration for a Smarter World”, I invite you to explore INTERGEO 2021 – the world’s largest and most important convention and trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management – presenting smart and connected solutions and pioneering technologies. This time, Smart Cities and Building Information Modelling (BIM), innovative applications and solutions will be in the spotlight. We will also shine a light on how the coronavirus pandemic is influencing housing and work in urban and rural areas, as well as the digital transformation of work processes and civic participation.

Our municipalities experience all of this first-hand. Digital technologies offer new opportunities to face the challenges and to find answers to the pressing questions of our time. Our aim is to use and shape digital transformation in such a way that municipalities are better able to respond to challenges and disruptive events and are more resilient to long-term stress factors. Many municipalities have already begun working towards this. However, further progress is needed to arrive at a concerted use of digital solutions and data for the common good: new organisational, regulatory and cooperative approaches must be developed so that municipalities can become true smart cities.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process, both in terms of its multifaceted geographical impact and in terms of the many new ways it can be applied in spatial planning processes. In this context, the scale of planning at federal, state or regional level, which differs significantly from urban planning or the planning of specific projects, for example, must be considered as well.

When it comes to digital transformation in the construction sector, we set a good example by taking a holistic approach spanning the entire life cycle of construction works. This includes planning, building and operation, but also related administrative processes. We want to create the technical and legal framework for this.

Possibilities for better cartographical representation of plans and for facilitating digital planning in other areas, e.g. infrastructure, are steadily improving as well. For example, I would like to mention digital atlases and portals in some metropolitan areas that link different data and information portals with spatial content and present them for other planning purposes.

We must ensure that municipalities remain capable of taking action and tap into their potential for shaping the future. Smart technologies are intended to help save resources, make processes more efficient and ensure greater inclusion and participation. The coronavirus pandemic also shows us that cities and municipalities will have to become more resilient and crisis-proof. For only if we make use of all existing building blocks can we successfully support municipalities in developing new strategies for a good quality of life in the digital age.

We are delighted to welcome you to INTERGEO 2021, where you will meet other inspiring participants, attend enlightening events and gain a wide range of new insights.

Anne Katrin Bohle

State Secretary at the Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community