How can I communicate with friends from overseas?

The Rüsselsheimer Stadtwerke want to equip a residential area with the most modern technical infrastructure. But which quarter can you enjoy?

In order to land in the future, it is no longer enough just to arm the body and mind against the unreasonable demands of everyday life. You also need at least a smartphone with which you can control the refrigerator, light the stove and communicate with friends overseas. In order for this to work smoothly in Rüsselsheim in the future, the municipal utilities want to expand the data infrastructure in the city accordingly. In addition, a research project comes in handy, which was initiated by the municipal utilities after around a year of preparation on the Main and is now to be implemented. The project, which will initially run for three years, is entitled “Quartier der Zukunft”. It is to be developed either in the Böllensee settlement, in Dicken Busch I or in Haßloch-Nord. These three quarters were classified as the most suitable due to their structure.

The residents of these three districts can take part in a survey carried out by the municipal utilities until June 7th. The district with the greatest interest of the residents is awarded the contract.

Help for everyday life

But what is this actually about? With a research project awarded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Research, the municipal utilities want to develop the so-called quarter of the future. "The services offered are intended to make life easier," says the project presentation. The offers are intended to help, for example, when looking for a parking space or to provide specific and individual advice on saving energy. A so-called neighborhood network is also to be introduced, in which neighbors can exchange ideas. "In addition, there will be generally accessible improvements, such as a public WLAN and a charging station for electromobility," it continues.

According to Stadtwerke boss Hans-Peter Scheerer, the aim of research is to develop a pragmatic and user-oriented IT system. An advisory board is to be set up for the evaluation, and residents are to be given the opportunity to have a say and participate, and training programs are to be offered. The municipal utilities are installing the technology required for the project, which is to be retained after the project is completed. For this purpose, each participating household will be equipped with a tablet computer or a similar device. "The best for the residents of the neighborhood of the future: All services and the necessary technical requirements are free of charge for them during the project period," says Hans-Peter Scheerer.

Voluntary participation

Participation for every resident in the neighborhood is voluntary. “Everyone decides for themselves whether and which services they use.” However, the data collected are not only used to improve the lives of the residents of the neighborhood. “We're not making any money with the project,” says Scheerer. But one has the hope that business fields can be developed.

A total of around 3.8 million euros will be invested during the duration of the project, and the Rüsselsheim municipal utility is also spending around 450,000 euros on the project. As an infrastructure service provider, the municipal utilities, which are already responsible for the fiber optic network in the city, ultimately also want to participate in the services and business areas that are connected to a so-called smart city.

Lord Mayor Udo Bausch (independent) praises the commitment of the municipal utilities: "This is a huge opportunity for Rüsselsheim." The quality of life can be increased in this way, and this project would also strengthen the real estate location Rüsselsheim. “I would like to live in the participating neighborhood myself,” says Udo Bausch.

On Tuesday, May 22nd, at 7 p.m., there will be a citizen information center in the town hall, after which the online survey will begin, in which citizens can express their interest.