Year in Review 2015
Code for Germany

We've had another exciting and eventful year here at Code for Germany. Many new projects were initiated, people brought together, and the issues open data, citizen science and civic tech advanced in the public discourse. Our network saw new partners, members and labs – we are now a community of 25 labs in 23 cities and 2 regions, with over 300 volunteers. But not only the network, the team itself has also grown.

We present the highlights of the year in this annual review, and look forward to another magnificent year 2016!









2014 2015 2016


Hack Your City

The Science Year 2015 - an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - was an opportunity for us to engage in urban development. The OK Labs Berlin, Karlsruhe, Wuppertal, Dresden and Leipzig organized Citizen Science Hackathons. These events allowed amateur scientists to work with designers, developers, and representatives of municipalities to venture new approaches and hacks for the problems of their cities. The result: digital tools, hardware and visualizations around urban issues such as air pollution, mobility and accessibility. A total of 30 hacks were developed, and more than 300 participants have attended the local events. The project was implemented in cooperation with Science in Dialog.

Hack your City

Our Stories

Behind every Code for Germany project are people who want to change something, and we'd like to get to know them and their work better. So this year we launched a new column for short portraits from different cities around Germany – because we are not only interested in results. We want to find out what obstacles and challenges the teams faced in their projects, and what we can learn from them. The new "urban stories" are about the joy and pain of coding, bad design, even worse German jargon and (the lack of) machine-readable data. We finally get to know the people who are behind the apps and run the whole show backstage. What problems bothered them? What worked? What didn't? And what motivates them? The column will be expanded during the year.

Urban Stories

Collaboration with Jugend hackt

This year also marks the start of a new partnership. "Jugend hackt" is another project of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany which supports young programmers. With the help of mentors from our network, teens are introduced, step by step, into the world of open data and civic technology. In June, Jugend hackt and Hack Your City have jointly organized a hackathon in Dresden. Projects such as wifi trees, smart dustbins and a new barter platform could all be part of the city of the future. We care about the next generation of civic hackers very much and will certainly continue this collaboration!

Jugend hackt

Tech for Refugees

In 2015, the number of people fleeing war and poverty has increased dramatically. This posed new challenges to both politics and civil society in Germany and other countries. Facilitating a smooth arrival and enabling sustainable integration are still the most urgent issues that require diverse resources and expertise to solve. The tech community in Germany has quickly taken to the matter. Within a short time accommodations with free wifi have been made available, and arrival apps were developed specifically for refugees. Many Refugee Hackathons have been organized in cooperation with refugees to ensure that the applications will in fact be useful for the new neighbors. The OK Labs were involved in the process and participated in the development of numerous applications, not only with Freifunk but also at hackathons in Berlin, Hamburg and Wuppertal. We will no doubt continue our support for the newcomers in 2016.

Tech for Refugees

The international Network

Code for Germamy is part of an international network. From the Caribbean to Mexico, Ireland to Australia, South Africa to Japan, there are many similar initiatives around the world with whom we collaborate regularly. This year we attended both the Code for All Summit and the Code for America Summit. We truly appreciate this network and are looking forward to many more partnerships in the future.

Code for All


Air pollution in Stuttgart

Despite efforts of environmental organizations, the European limit for atmospheric particulates is regularly exceeded in Stuttgart. To tackle the problem, the OK Lab developed sensors that collect particulate matter data at several locations around the city. Self-made devices measure air quality and automatically upload it over the internet. This results in more diversity and transparency in data collection. The project is not only a great example of citizen science, but also draws attention to the environmental and health problems in the city. At you can now support the continued production and monitoring by donation.

Air Data

The alternative CIS of Munich

The city of Munich has been publishing its data on its online council information system (CIS) for years now. While that is commendable, the CIS sadly lacks practical usability. That's why the OK Lab Munich developed a Transparency Portal earlier this year which makes data from the CIS more accessible. The site is useful for searching through official documents, and also offers a wide range of applications that promote civic participation. For example, one can subscribe via email to certain petitions, get to know local politicians on social media, and keep an eye on important sessions in the parliament. The site has become a popular transparency platform in Munich.

Munich Transparent

Traffic in Magdeburg

Members of the OK Lab Magdeburg were frustrated with the design of their local traffic app. The simple tram system really only calls for a listing of the next departures at the closest stop. Fortunately, the timetable information is openly available in Saxony-Anhalt. So they built an application that collects this data and makes it usable. The result is MagdeGo, a web and mobile app that only displays when the next bus or train arrives at the next stop - live. The design might be minimalist, but the benefits are great.




Julia Kloiber

Julia Kloiber

Project Lead
Fiona Krakenbürger

Fiona Krakenbürger

Community Organizer

Eileen Wagner

Eileen Wagner

Content Manager

Laura Dornheim

Laura Dornheim

Fundraising Specialist

Daniel Dietrich

Daniel Dietrich