European cities and communities (and beyond) require a structured overview and a set of tools as to achieve a sustainable transformation towards smarter cities/municipalities, thereby leveraging on the enormous potential of the emerging data driven economy. This paper presents the results of a recent study that was conducted with a number of German municipalities/cities. Based on the obtained and briefly presented recommendations emerging from the study, the authors propose the concept of an Urban Data Space (UDS), which facilitates an eco-system for data exchange and added value creation thereby utilizing the various types of data within a smart city/municipality. Looking at an Urban Data Space from within a German context and considering the current situation and developments in German municipalities, this paper proposes a reasonable classification of urban data that allows the relation of various data types to legal aspects, and to conduct solid considerations regarding technical implementation designs and decisions. Furthermore, the Urban Data Space is described/analyzed in detail, and relevant stakeholders are identified, as well as corresponding technical artifacts are introduced. The authors propose to setup Urban Data Spaces based on emerging standards from the area of ICT reference architectures for Smart Cities, such as DIN SPEC 91357 “Open Urban Platform” and EIP SCC. In the course of this, the paper walks the reader through the construction of a UDS based on the above-mentioned architectures and outlines all the goals, recommendations and potentials, which an Urban Data Space can reveal to a municipality/city. Finally, we aim at deriving the proposed concepts in a way that they have the potential to be part of the required set of tools towards the sustainable transformation of German and European cities in the direction of smarter urban environments, based on utilizing the hidden potential of digitalization and efficient interoperable data exchange.
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