About Us

CityLAB is a public innovation laboratory. At the interface between administration, academia, business and civil society, we tap into the potential of digitalization to promote urban development geared towards the common good – hands-on and impact-oriented.

We are a central point of contact for both citizens and administrative staff alike with an interest in digitalization, offering a wide range of opportunities for pursuing ideas, prototyping and transferring knowledge.

CityLAB combines elements of an exhibition space, event venue and digital workshop to create a place where participation and innovation are conceptually combined.

The CityLAB is run by Technologiestiftung Berlin and funded by the Berlin Senate Chancellery.

Das CityLAB-Team im Jahr 2023 in den eigenen Räumlichkeiten. Credit Sabine Zoltnere

What we do

Innovation and digitalization of administration

We support employees working in the Berlin administration in developing structured innovation processes and digital products with a focus on benefits for citizens. By means of workshops, training sessions and exchange we test a range of different methods and tools. We make our methods available to others in our Knowledge Repository. Our Public Service Design Manual and our Methods Box provide a swift introduction to work on innovations, for example. We also provide guides on specific topics, such as Agile Work and Open Source for the Berlin Administration. With our CityLAB Roadshow we visit Berlin Senate and district administrations so as to gain a more in-depth understanding of the challenges posed by digitalization in day-to-day administrative operations and present our work.


At CityLAB, we develop digital applications and tools to shape the digitalization of Berlin in a way that benefits the common good. Our best-known projects include Gieß den Kiez, a platform for coordinating the watering of trees in Berlin, our AI tool Parla for the Berlin administration, and the application Hilf-Mir.Berlin, which provides an overview of more than 200 counselling centers for anyone in need of help in Berlin. We firmly believe that the opportunities offered by digitalization can only be truly understood from a practical perspective. For this reason, we regard our prototypes as experiments that can be used to test solutions and make improvements to public life in Berlin. For an overview of our projects, see our project page.

Events and workshops

We organize more than a hundred public formats a year, ranging from small-scale, intense hands-on workshops to large-scale events involving several hundred participants – whether online, offline or hybrid. We offer networking and dialog formats such as our annual Summer Conference and our LabCamp with the aim of promoting knowledge and dialog for the sustainable digitalization of Berlin geared towards the common good. Check out our events to keep up to date.


As a platform and a place of encounter, our aim is to bring together stakeholders from administration, academia, business and civil society. For this reason, we support participation processes that pave the way for Berlin to become a resilient and cooperative smart city. We also run a neighborhood lab project called Kiezlabor – a mobile Tiny House dedicated to the digital transformation that came into being in connection with the smart city strategy Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin: Kiezlabor takes our CityLAB prototype approach out into Berlin’s neighborhoods, trying our new formats for participation in urban spaces.

Many People are sitting in front of the Kiezlabor.
Knowledge transfer and research

In our free exhibition, we show examples of our own work as well as a range of different exhibits from our milieu so as to convey a tangible impression of what we do and demonstrate our latest prototypes. For our podcast Radio CityLAB we invite different guests to engage in discussion and explore visions relating to the city of the future. We also conduct externally funded research projects as part of interdisciplinary consortia. These include Qtrees, for example, an AI-supported forecasting system for identifying urban trees at risk of drought, and Freemove, a project involving the use of anonymized mobility data for the purpose of sustainable urban planning.

How we operate

We develop projects based on a structured process that is broken down into several phases. One project phase usually lasts no longer than three months and always ends up with a concrete outcome. In terms of development, we’re guided by the principles of service design and we attach particular importance to incorporating user perspectives of users at an early stage. We also draw on a wide range of agile, co-creative and user-centric methods. Our freely available manual Public Service Design describes our approach in detail.

Open and collaborative work is part and parcel of our DNA as an innovation lab, which is why we always publish source codes and documentation under an open license.

What is important to us

We work for the common good: our projects focus on added value for our city and its residents.

For us, technology is not an end in itself: it is a means to creating a sustainable city that offers quality of life.

We aim to use the digital transformation to break down barriers and create new forms of social participation.

We make everything we produce available to the public – from the source codes of our prototypes through to the methods we develop.

We support the public administration in developing digital processes and products that are geared towards benefiting citizens.

We seek to include as many perspectives as possible in shaping the digital transformation, and as a team we pride ourselves on our diversity.

What we don’t do

There’s an enormous demand for digitalization in Berlin, but unfortunately our capacity is limited. As a non-profit innovation lab, we focus on contributing our skills to the sustainable digitalization of the city in a way that is oriented towards the common good. For this reason, the following services are explicitly not offered by CityLAB – we hope you appreciate this.

  • Services in the field of IT, software development and media production
  • Standard market consulting services
  • Financial support for external projects
  • Organization of external events or conferences
  • Provision of our premises for closed working meetings or meetings unrelated to our projects
  • Regulatory activities on behalf of public administration
  • Product presentations or other events with a promotional character

The CityLAB annual reviews

The CityLAB annual reviews offer you a comprehensive insight into our past projects, events and the development of CityLAB over the years. Immerse yourself in our beautifully designed reviews and find out more about our milestones.




Do you identify with these values and want to work in a diverse and highly motivated team?