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Sustainable Communities through Digitization?! A method to evaluate the sustainability of local projects

Sustainable Communities through Digitization?! A method to evaluate the sustainability of local projects

The digitization of all spheres of life is progressing steadily, a mega-trend that will continuously and fundamentally change society. Municipalities are also making increasing use of the potential offered by digitization of political and administrative processes. Doris Knoblauch and Susanne Langsdorf (both Ecologic Institute) developed a method that allows municipalities to easily check their (digitization) projects for their contribution to sustainable development. The report and the questionnaire are available for download.

Open government and eGovernment offer new opportunities for participation, bureaucratic procedures can be dealt with from home and participation can be increased. Municipalities digitalize in order to provide better services to citizens while reducing administrative costs at the same time.

Beyond the service aspect, digitization shall help offering services more sustainably or replacing product purchases by the service itself. Positive effects were expected especially regarding ecological sustainability. Digitization was expected to support dematerialization or lead to more sustainable consumption habits. However, research suggests that these positive effects often do not occur or are superimposed by negative effects. If a local digitization projects has a positive effect on sustainability depends on the project design. Furthermore, it is also important not to take a shortened view on "sustainability".

The report and questionaire are available for download.