THE BERLIN/POTSDAM REGION AS AN “INFORMATIONAL CITY”

The lecture explores the extent to which the Berlin/Potsdam region can be viewed as an “informational city”. To this end, the cities of Singapore and Melbourne will be used for comparative purposes and the classic indicators of the “informational city” explained. In terms of its political and economic aspects, the informational city concept is only partially applicable to the region around the German capital, although this does count among the world’s Big Cities. Alongside job polarisation as postulated by Castells and classic cyber-infrastructure, knowledge and science transfer, mobility or the implementation of E-Government all represent significant fields for investigation regarding the determination of Berlin/Potsdam’s degree of informationality. Further key aspects required for more in-depth characterisation of the region against the background of digital development include Castells “informational cities”, and especially the concept of the “creative industries”, the seven basic assertions of Friedmann’s “World City” hypothesis, and the work of Sassen and Wolfgang Stock et al. (2011). The success of an informational city is fundamentally dependent upon the political will to succeed. The lecture is intended to offer an insight into the extent to which the political leaderships in Berlin and Potsdam have already recognised this fact and compare empirical indicators regarding the development of the informational region. In addition, recommendations for action will be reviewed and barriers identified which hinder the development of Berlin/Potsdam’s informationality. Parts of the lecture will be accessible via a touch-screen display in the conference centre foyer.

Hans-Christoph Hobohm, Professor of Library Sciences since 1995 at Fachhochschule Potsdam (University of Applied Science). Head of the Information Science Master’s programme. Longstanding member of the IFLA’s (Int. Fed. of Library Ass. and Institutions) Professional Board. Teaching and research fields: knowledge management, behavioural research relating to information, innovation and creativity research. Has published on strategic information marketing, knowledge & project management, research data management and library sciences. The lecture and accompanying touch-screen presentation were developed in collaboration with a group of Master’s students from FH Potsdam.