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Mobility and transport are crucial for a city to function properly. Amsterdam is considered the world capital of cycling; 32% of traffic movement in Amsterdam is by bike and 63% of its inhabitants use their bike on daily basis. The number of registered electrical car owners in the Netherlands increased with 53% to 28.889 in 2016. Since 2008 car sharing increased with 376%. However, this is less than 1% of the total car use. Innovative ideas and concepts can help to improve the city’s accessibility, so share your ideas and concepts here.
Join our speed date and engage with 3 great speakers at the first in-person Smart Energy Community meetup on October 11th!
Topics Smart Energy Community October 11:
Home Energy Management Systems in practice
Now that we are installing more and more heat pumps and EV chargers in homes, there is more and more need for energy management. How does this work? How to deal with cyber security and what role do protocols play? ElaadNL developed its own showcase house where this is put into practice. Arjan Wargers of Flexiblepower Alliance Network & ElaadNL discusses the lessons learned.
Power pitch ATEPS: Energy and storage
ATEPS develops, builds and supplies systems based on batteries that store energy. Jos Theuns (ATEPS) explains how they make storage of sustainable energy accessible, safe and attractive through smarter management of electrical energy. Due to the modular construction of ATEPS systems, they are suitable for both small and larger customers.
Power pitch withthegrid: Teleport
How do you connect PV, wind, battery, EV chargers and heat pumps without losing your mind in all protocols and without cloud lock-in? Paul Mignot (Withthegrid) discusses their new innovation Teleport. This gives customers maximum insights and control over their assets in minutes.
Speed dating, networking & visit demonstration house
In the second half, connecting with other professionals is central. During these speed dating sessions, you will get to know fellow innovators, share project ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration. There will be ample opportunity for discussion after the meeting. At the same time, you can take a tour of ElaadNL's new demonstration home for smart energy services, where various smart devices are optimised for home energy management.
Duurzaam reisgedrag kun je niet stimuleren zonder écht te luisteren naar de afwegingen die mensen maken bij hun keuze voor een vervoermiddel. En daar schort het nu nog regelmatig aan, stelt gedragswetenschapper Reint Jan Renes.
-> Lees dit artikel op NEMO Kennislink
Dit artikel is onderdeel van het project ''Wat mensen beweegt'. Waarin NEMO Kennislink, in samenwerking met lectoraat Creative Media for Social Change van de Hogeschool voor Amsterdam, het reisgedrag in het ArenA-gebied onderzoekt. NEMO Kennislink bevroeg hiervoor een aantal reguliere bezoekers.
- Concertganger Josina (58) reist al haar hele leven met het openbaar vervoer
- Activiste Jeanette Chedda (38) over inclusie voor duurzame mobiliteit
- Ondernemer en voetbalfanaat Gerco laat zijn auto niet staan
- Student Sander (24) komt (bijna) overal met ov en fiets
Slotbijeenkomst 'Wat mensen beweegt' in NEMO op 8 september om 14.30
In samenwerking met VU-onderzoeker en theatermaker Frank Kupper én theatermaker Bartelijn Ouweltjes gaan we de verhalen van bezoekers met u delen, door middel van improvisatietheater. Improvisatietheater is een mooie manier om emoties, dilemma’s en persoonlijke waarden uit te lichten, goed te beluisteren en misschien nog eens te hernemen. Zo leren we de bezoekers goed kennen – wat weer te vertalen is naar beleid en communicatie. -> Lees meer
In dit project werken we nauw samen met Johan Cruijff Arena, AFAS Live, Ziggo Dome , Platform Smart Mobility Amsterdam, ZO Bereikbaar, het Amsterdam Smart City netwerk, CTO Gemeente Amsterdam.
Each of the ebooks I've compiled from my blog posts and other publications contains essays on how to make our environment more livable and humane. Anyone can download these ebooks for free. There are also print-friendly versions available and most are available in English and Dutch. Below you will find an overview with links to all of them:
Darko Lagunas is milieusocioloog, en etnografisch onderzoeker. In zijn werk probeert hij juist onderdrukte stemmen die we niet horen een podium te geven. Dat doet hij met geschreven tekst, fotografie en korte films. Hij luistert naar mensen, maar ook naar wat hij noemt, meer-dan-mensen; dieren, planten, zee, en meer. Op dit moment doet hij onderzoek naar de paling als Amsterdammer bij de Ambassade van de Noordzee.
‘Door te luisteren naar meer dan alleen de mens, zien we de grotere structurele problemen waar mensen en meer-dan-mensen slachtoffer van zijn.’
* Elke maand interviewt De Gezonde Stad een duurzame koploper. Deze keer spreken we Darko Lagunas. We gingen bij hem langs terwijl hij onderzoek deed naar de stem voor de paling! Lees het hele interview op onze website.
De trend van het elektrisch fietsen brengt wonderlijke innovaties met zich mee. Van onzichtbare accu’s tot usb-poorten en Spotify op je fietsdisplay. Het laadproces van de e-bike blijft hierin niet achter met de nieuwste innovatie van TILER: draadloos opladen via een stoeptegel. Een product dat naadloos toe te passen is in de MOBIHUBS van MOBIAN: een nieuwe samenwerking is geboren.
TILER heeft de handeling om e-bikes te laden eigenlijk volledig weggenomen. Parkeren is laden en er hoeft verder niks voor gedaan te worden. Het enige wat hiervoor nodig is, is een Laadtegel en de standaard van de fiets moet vervangen worden door TILERs Laadstandaard. Dit is ideaal voor onbeheerde deelfietsvloten, hier wordt het laden nog wel eens vergeten door de gebruiker en zijn standaard laders erg fragiel en niet gemaakt voor dergelijk intensief gebruik.
‘Een te gekke, nieuwe en toegankelijke manier om de e-bike op te laden’, aldus Sven Snel, oprichter van MOBIAN. ‘De trend van de e-bike is ons de laatste jaren niet ontgaan, maar om op onze MOBIHUBS elektrische deelfietsen op een goede manier aan te kunnen bieden blijkt een behoorlijke uitdaging. We hebben ons eerder aan e-bikes gewaagd, maar stuitten te vaak op vernieling van onze laadproducten. In TILER zien we een toffe huterproof-oplossing en gaan dus graag samen de uitdaging om opnieuw e-bikes toe te voegen aan de deelmobiliteiten op onze MOBIHUBS.’
MOBIAN is niet de eerste die samenwerkt met TILER, ook met andere deelfiets concepten is TILER al actief. Voorbeelden zijn huurfietsen bij hotels en pool e-bikes voor personeel. Ook zijn ze onlangs een project gestart met een deelfiets hub bij Arnhem Centraal. ‘Wij zijn erg enthousiast om dit project met MOBIAN te starten, MOBIAN past perfect in deze doelgroep, ook vooral omdat zij zelf hebben ondervonden dat er een laadoplossing moet zijn als je in autonome hubs e-bikes aan wilt bieden. TILER’s visie is om steden te veranderen, meer gericht op mens en natuur - MOBIAN’s park & ride concept past daar natuurlijk perfect in. Auto buiten de stad en binnen de stad verder op licht elektrisch vervoer.’ aldus Christiaan van Nispen, oprichter van TILER.
Vanaf deze week kunnen er e-bikes gehuurd worden bij de MOBIHUB Ijsbaanpad en later deze maand ook bij MOBIHUB Amsterdam West. Wanneer het project succesvol verloopt hopen de bedrijven verder uit te kunnen rollen in de verschillende Nederlandse steden.
Summer is my favourite season in Amsterdam! There are so many things to do, it’s sometimes hard to choose where to go. To make your lives a bit easier, I curated a list of smart city exhibitions, activities and experiences from our partners and community. Zigzag across the city and experience the future of the energy systems, water management and food in urban areas. Enjoy!
1. Energy Junkies exhibition at Nemo The Studio
Our dependence on fossil fuels and the effects of our energy consumption on climate change are the focus of NEMO’s new exhibition for adults: Energy Junkies. NEMO invites you to explore the decisions that will determine our future. How would you transform our energy addiction into a healthy habit? Create your own carbon diet, choose the right medicines from the climate pharmacy and dream about a world where we are cured of our energy addiction. Visit Energy Junkies at NEMO’s Studio, the off-site location for adults on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam.
Energy Junkies is open from Wednesday – Sunday, from 12:00 – 17:30 until July 2023. Costs are € 7,50
2. Interactive installation Senses of Amsterdam at OBA Slotermeer
The municipality of Amsterdam is using more and more new technologies to make the city more liveable and safe. But what do these sensors actually measure? And what happens with the data they collect? What does this mean for the people of Amsterdam? The installation Senses of Amsterdam informs visitors about how sensors make Amsterdam a smarter city, what measurements are taken and how data is collected. The interactive installation by the Responsible Sensing Lab is currently exhibited at the public library (OBA) in Slotermeer.
Visit the interactive installation Senses of Amsterdam daily until 25 September 2022.
3. Study excursion about trends and innovations in Amsterdam’s cycling infrastructure
Yes, the Dutch and their bikes are inseparable! And Amsterdam is often cited as the cycling capital of the world. Are you interested in how Amsterdam is innovating in the areas of cycling and urban mobility? Join the study excursion organised by the Urban Cycling Institute and Bicycle User Experience (BUX). The two-hour excursion (by bicycle, of course!) brings you to key locations exemplifying Amsterdam’s innovative approach to cycling infrastructure and policy. You will meet internationally-oriented cycling experts and become part of a larger network of the Urban Cycling Institute and Bicycle User Experience (BUX).
The study excursions take place on Saturdays, August 13, 20 and 27 from 16:00 – 18:00. Costs are € 50,00 per person.
4. Exhibition Fluid Matter in the Architecture Centre of Amsterdam (ARCAM)
The Amsterdam water system regulates water levels and quality in one of Europe’s most densely populated areas. Due to the urban growth and climate change, the system will be increasingly strained in the future. This means that different design choices have to be made, but this situation also offers opportunities for new ways of dealing with water. What choices do we have? How can we design with the water? In the interactive exhibition Fluid Matter, you will discover this complex water system through scale models of four urban districts of Amsterdam: Houthavens/Haven-Stad, North/Schoonschip, City Centre/Kattenburg and IJburg/IJmeer.
Visit the Exhibition Fluid Matter from Tuesday – Sunday (13:00-17:00) until November 2022. Costs are € 4,00.
5. Johan Cruijff ArenA Innovation Tour
Take a tour into the world of innovations at the Johan Cruijff ArenA! With thousands of visitors during large events, the home of Ajax becomes a small smart city. Already recognized as one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world, the Johan Cruijff ArenA is also one of Amsterdam’s premier living labs for energy, mobility, security, and visitor experience innovations. The Johan Cruijff ArenA offers private tours showcasing innovative approaches and solutions for the stadium of tomorrow, ideal for team building events and (inter)national delegation visits.
The Johan Cruijff ArenA’s Innovation Tours last ~45minutes and can be booked by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Innovation Tour” in the subject line. Costs are €24,38 excl. VAT per person, with minimum of 20 persons per group.
6. Floriade Expo 2022, Almere
Once every ten years, all the horticultural greats gather during the Floriade. Experts from all over the world come together to present green solutions that make our cities more enjoyable, beautiful and sustainable. With the theme of ‘Growing Green Cities’, more than 400 national and international participants showcase their latest green innovations, solutions and applications. From state-of-the-art solar roof tiles to amazing vertical façade gardens and from the best ways to grow tomatoes to the latest pruning techniques. You can see, taste and experience it all at Floriade in Almere.
The Floriade ) is open daily until 9 October 2022 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit their website. Costs are € 29,00.
7. Exhibition Makers of Noord by Waag
From large goods to small workshops, makers have always been an important part of Amsterdam Noord. Scattered throughout the district you will find individual makers and collectives, craftsmen and creative entrepreneurs. Their future in the city is under pressure, partly due to gentrification. On the other hand, the city heavily depends on these makers to cope with the energy transition and the enormous demand for housing. The good news is that many makers are still located in Amsterdam, and in particular in Noord. Who are these makers of Noord, what do they make, and how does this contribute to the city, the neighbourhood, and our lives? Get to know different makers from Noord and listen to their inspiring stories about re-use, sustainability and traditional craftsmanship.
The Makers of Noord exhibition can be visited in Museum Amsterdam Noord from Thursday – Sunday from 13:00 – 17:00 until August 27. Costs are €4,00.
Looking for more inspiring smart city events and experiences in and around Amsterdam? You can find them on the events and experiences pages on our platform! So do you have other tips for inspiring smart city activities not to be missed this summer? Share them with the community in the comments!
For the sixteenth edition of our Demo Days, we were finally able to meet offline again since the start of the pandemic. This meant: old-school post-its instead of filling online Miro boards. The Mobility & Energy Demo Day was hosted at one of our partners’ locations, namely Commandant’s Residence at the Marineterrein. From CO2 neutral transport to the Johan Cruijff ArenA to city logistics in the university quarter, in this article you’ll read all about mobility & energy projects our partners are working on.
About our Demo Days
The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners to take these projects to the next level. More information about the Demo Days can be found here.
Demo Day: Mobility & Energy
CO2 neutral transport to the Johan Cruijff ArenA in 2023 - Boen Groothof and Susanne van Gelder (municipality of Amsterdam)
How can we make CO2 neutral transport to any event in the Johan Cruijff ArenA possible by 2030? This is what the participants of the Mobility Challenge want to figure out. The participants voiced what their organisation wants to contribute to the challenge, and also expressed what they expect from each other. The next step is for all the parties to internally concretize their role within the challenge even further, to make CO2 neutral travelling to events in the Johan Cruijff ArenA possibly by 2030.
A sustainable energy system for business park De Vaart – Anke Delfos (municipality of Almere)
How to make the energy system of business park de Vaart in Almere more sustainable? This was the central question of the work session led by Anke Delfos. The participants concluded that a start could be made with the 'coalition of the willing' and identifying the front runners. The companies that are already enthusiastic can form a vanguard that can actively think along in the new developments. An analysis can be made of the measures that the companies are willing to take individually or collectively. This may lead to collaborations between organizations. The municipality will then also gain insight into which solutions will actually help to generate more energy and meet the increasing demand for energy. In a later phase, the vanguard can also inspire and motivate other companies to take action.
Measuring objectives for urban mobility - Susanne Balm (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), Marcel Ludeman (municipality of Amsterdam), Lisa van Velzen (Delft University of Technology)
The municipality of Amsterdam, Facility Services UvA-HvA and the HvA Lectureship City Logistics are working on a logistics research in the University Quarter of Amsterdam. This area is located in the city centre and is used by many stakeholders such as inhabitants, students, and visitors. The goal of the study is to design and evaluate logistical concepts for the University Quarter that are consistent with the objectives for liveability, accessibility and safety of this area. The question for the group: How can these objectives be operationalized and measured? The participants talked about the subjectivity of the objectives and how you can measure certain objectives, but also came up with concrete solutions. For example, providing information to stakeholders for more understanding and recognitions. One of the participants suggested a role-play to evaluate different solutions for smooth logistics in the area.
Want to join the next Demo Day?
Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight? Our next Demo Day takes place on the 11th of October. If it fits within our themes (circular, mobility, energy and digital), sent a message to Sophie via email@example.com or let us know in the comments. We are happy to talk with you to find out if it's a match!
Would you like to participate in the next Demo Day and share your thoughts on our partners’ innovative projects? As soon as the program for the next Demo Day is determined, we will share it on the platform and give you the opportunity to join as participant.
Curious to circular & digital projects? Read more about it in the recap of Demo Day Circular & Digital.
Photo: Myrthe Polman
Samen slimmer investeren: daaraan werken Amsterdam Economic Board en Metropoolregio Amsterdam in de ‘Transitieversneller voor de Metropool Amsterdam’. Met dit inspiratiedocument versnellen zij de transities die nodig zijn voor de slimme, groene en gezonde metropool van morgen.
Er zijn acht investeringsthema’s geselecteerd: gezondheidsbevordering en preventie, waterstof, slimme elektriciteit, circulaire bouw, slimme mobiliteit, veilig data delen, artificial intelligence (AI) en een duurzame digitale infrastructuur. Deze thema’s bouwen voort op de kracht van onze regio en zijn in lijn met de financiële mogelijkheden en doelen vanuit Den Haag en Brussel.
Lees het artikel voor meer informatie.
Het klimaat verandert en het wordt steeds drukker in Amsterdam. Jaarlijks komen er alleen al miljoenen bezoekers op Zuidoost af voor het grootste entertainment gebied van Nederland. We staan voor de opgave om de stad, waaronder Zuidoost, leefbaar, veilig en tegelijkertijd bereikbaar te houden. Verschillende partners slaan daarom nu de handen ineen om bezoekers van en naar evenementen in 2023 CO2 neutraal te laten reizen
De auto is op dit moment het meest gebruikte vervoersmiddel in Zuidoost. Amsterdam heeft ervoor gekozen om de privé auto minder ruimte te geven in de stad en de uitstoot van fossiele brandstof terug te dringen om de luchtkwaliteit in de stad te verbeteren en bij te dragen aan de klimaatdoelstellingen.
De transitie van mobiliteit vraagt om een samenwerking tussen (semi) publieke en private partijen en het verstevigen van duurzame alternatieven voor de privé auto. Op 11 mei hebben de gemeente Amsterdam, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Ajax, NS, GVB, Transdev, VRA en Amsterdam Smart City getekend voor een samenwerking rondom CO2 neutraal reizen. Het doel: in 2023 bezoekers CO2 neutraal te laten reizen van en naar één of meerdere evenementen in de Johan Cruijff ArenA. Zodat we samen leren hoe we CO2 neutraal reizen naar evenementen de norm maken
Op de Amsterdam Smart City Demodag op 14 juni zullen de bovenstaande organisaties bij elkaar komen in één van de werksessies, om verder na te denken over het proces. Wat hebben we nodig? Wat wordt de werkwijze? Wat kunnen de grootste hobbels zijn?
Ben je werkzaam bij één van onze partnerorganisaties en lijkt het je interessant om hierover mee te denken? Stuur een mail naar firstname.lastname@example.org voor verdere informatie over deelname aan de werksessie.
On June 14 and 21 the 16th edition of our Demo Days will take place. This will be the first Demo Days on location (will be announced soon) since COVID-19. Our themes for these upcoming Demo Days are:
14 June: Energy & Mobility
21 June: Circular & Digital
What are the Amsterdam Smart City Demo Days?
The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects to each other, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners in a project to take these projects to the next level. In small groups we work on concrete questions.
We have created the Demo Days as a safe place for asking input from the network. A fresh perspective from another professional can be exactly what you need to move forward. You cannot work on a transition alone, which is why it’s important to involve others in your process. During these days, we also give the stage to community members to pitch projects and ask for input from our network.
That’s where you come in!
Not only are the Demo Days open for our community, but we offer you the opportunity to pitch your innovative initiative during the event. We want to involve our community more in the activities that we regularly organise, as you are an important part of the Amsterdam Smart City innovation ecosystem.
Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight?
If it fits within our themes, sent a message to email@example.com or let us know in the comments. We would be happy to discuss if it's a match!
While it’s easy to find Gorillas, Getir, Flink, and Zapp flash delivery services in iTunes or Google Play app stores, It’s not so easy to locate these many grocery depots in Amsterdam.
In this interactive map we located the many physical locations of these dark stores to see the saturated landscape of flitsbezorging (flash delivery) infrastructure in Amsterdam. The goal of the map is to help consumers choose delivery services based on proximity to homes / businesses and help calm some inner city bike routes!
Curious to see the 10minute cycle zones or the locations of the many dark stores in Amsterdam? Check out this map and more information about dark stores here.
The 22nd and penultimate episode in the *Better cities: The contribution of digital technology-*series will discuss two ambitious ‘smart city’plans of two governments and the associated risks.
Recently, the European Commission launched a 100-city plan, the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. One hundred European cities that aspire to be climate neutral by 2030 (you read that correctly) can register and count on supplemental funding. I immediately thought of another 100-city plan, India's Smart City Mission. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi announced that in six years 100 Indian cities would become 'smart'. The official term of the project has now ended, and I will examine below whether this goal has been achieved, I discuss the two plans and then explain why I call both of them a leap forward. At the end I will make a few suggestions for how the European mission can still learn from the Indian one.
India's Smart City Mission
In India, 377 million people live in cities. In 15 years, 200 million will have been added. Already, traffic in Indian cities has come to a complete standstill, each year more than 600,000 people die from air pollution, half of the urban areas have no drinking water connection, waste collection is poor and only 3% of sewage is treated. The rest is discharged into surface water, which is also the main source of drinking water.
The Smart City Mission was intended to implement substantial improvements on all these problems in 100 cities, which together comprise 30% of the population. In the improvements digital technology had to play an important role.
The 100 cities were selected because of favorable prospects and the quality of the plans, which usually consisted of a long series of projects.
The regular city governing bodies were deemed incompetent to lead the projects. That is why management boards (‘special purpose vehicles’) have been appointed, operating under company law and led by a CEO, supported by international consultancy firms. All rights and duties of the City Council regarding the execution of the mission were delegated to the appointed boards, including the power to collect taxes! Not surprisingly, this decision has been challenged in many places. Several cities have withdrawn from 'the mission' for this reason.
To implement their projects, each city would receive $150 million over five consecutive years. This money should be seen as seed capital to be supplemented from additional sources such as public-private partnerships, commercial bank lending, external financing, loans, and foreign investment.
Area-oriented and pan-urban approach
The plans contain two components: an area-oriented and a pan-urban approach. The first aims at adapting, retrofitting or new construction and should relate to a wide range of 'smart services'. For example high-speed internet, waste facilities, parking facilities, energy-efficient buildings, but also replacement of slums by high-rise buildings. The slick 'architectural impressions' that circulated at the beginning of the planning period (see above) mainly concern the area-oriented approach.
The pan-urban approach includes at least one 'smart' facility for a larger part of the city. The choice is often made to improve the transport infrastructure, for example the construction of new roads and highways and the purchase of electric buses. No fewer than 70 cities have built a 'smart' control center based on the example of Rio de Janeiro, which I believe was rather premature.
Now that the official term of 'the mission' has ended, a first inventory can be made, although observers complain about a lack of transparency about the results. About half of all the 5000 projects that have been started have not (yet) been completed and a significant part of the government funds have not yet been disbursed. This could still happen in the coming years. This is also because attracting external resources has lagged behind expectations. These funds came mainly from governments, and large technology companies. This has had an impact on the implementation of the plans.
The slow progress of most projects is partly because most of the population was barely aware of the mission and that city councils were not always cooperative either.
It was foreseen that half of the available resources would go to area-oriented projects; this eventually became 75-80%. As a result, on average only 4% of the inhabitants of the cities involved have benefited from 'the mission' and even then it is not clear what the benefits exactly entail. The city of New Delhi covers an area of almost 1500 km2, while the area concerned is only 2.2 km2: So you're not even going to have 100 smart cities. You're going to have 100 smart enclaves within cities around the country, said Shivani Chaudhry, director of the Housing and Land Rights Network.
It soon became clear that the mission would be no more than a drop in the ocean. Instead of $150 million, it would take $10 billion per city, $1000 billion in total, to address all ambitions, according to an official calculation. Deloitte was a little more modest, calculating the need for $150 billion in public money and $120 billion from private sources.
Type of projects
The many topics eligible for funding have resulted in a wide variety of projects. Only one city has put the quality of the environment first. Most cities have initiated projects in the areas of clean energy, improving electricity supply, reducing air pollution, construction of new roads, purchasing electric buses, waste disposal and sanitation. What is also lacking, is a focus on human rights, gender, and the interests of the poorest population groups.
In some places, it has been decided to clear slums and relocate residents to high-rise buildings on the outskirts of the city. Indian master architect Doshi warns that the urban vision behind the smart city plans will destroy the informality and diversity that is the cornerstone of the country's rural and urban society. He challenges planners to shift the emphasis to rural areas and to create sufficient choices and opportunities there.
The European Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities
Cities produce more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and use more than 65% of total energy. In addition, cities in Europe only cover 4% of the total surface area and accommodate 75% of the population. The ecological footprint of the urban population is more than twice what it is entitled to, assuming a proportional distribution of the earth's resources.
On November 25, 2021, the European Commission called on European cities to express their interest in a new European mission on Climate-neutral and smart cities. The mission aims to have 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, which will act as a model for all other European cities.
The sectors involved in this transformation process are the built environment, energy production and distribution, transport, waste management, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses and large-scale deployment of digital technology. That is why the European Commission talks of a green and digital twin, or a simultaneous green and digital transformation.
Reaching the stated goal requires a new way of working and the participation of the urban population, hence the motto 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens.
According to the plan's authors, the main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technology, but the inability to implement it. The current fragmented form of governance cannot bring about an ambitious climate transition. Crucial to the success of the mission is the involvement of citizens in their various roles as political actors, users, producers, consumers, or owners of buildings and means of transport.
The additional investment to achieve the mission is estimated at €96 billion for 100 European cities by 2030, with a net positive economic benefit to society of €25 billion that will increase further in the period thereafter. The European Commission will provide €360 million in seed funding.
The overwhelming amount of funding will have to come from banks, private equity, institutional investors, and from the public sector at the local, regional and national level.
What went wrong with the Indian Mission and its follow-up
The gap between ambitions and reality
Almost all comments on 'the mission' emphasize that three necessary conditions were not met from the start, namely a widely accepted governance model, adequate funding, and involvement of the population and local government. There was an unbridgeable gap between ambitions and available resources, with the contribution of external capital being grossly overestimated.
The biggest problem, however, is the gap between the mission's ambitions and the nature of the problems that India it faces: Cities are bursting at the seams because of the millions of poor people who flock to cities every year in search of work and a place to live that find them only in the growing slums. The priorities for which the country must find a solution are therefore: improving life in rural areas, improving housing in the cities, ensuring safe drinking water, waste disposal, sanitation, and purification of wastewater, good (bus) transport and less polluting car traffic. Urgently needed is a sustainable development model that addresses ecological problems, makes urbanization manageable, controls pollution and will use resources efficiently.
The 'Mission' is a leap forward, which does not tackle these problems at the root, but instead seeks a solution in 'smartification'. Policymakers were captivated by the promises made by IBM and other technology companies that ICT is the basis for solving most urban problems. A view that I objected in the third episode of this series. IC solutions have been concentrated in enclaves where businesses and prosperous citizens are welcomed. The Government of India Special Rapporteur on Housing therefore notes that the proposals submitted had a predominant focus on technology rather than prioritizing affordable housing and doubts the correctness of this choice.
Instead of emphasizing the role of digital technology, the focus should have been on equitable, inclusive, and sustainable living areas for all. Not the area-oriented but the pan-urban approach should have prevailed.
Several authors suggest future actions consistent with the above comments:
• Setting a longer time horizon, which is much more in line with the problems as they are felt locally.
• Decentralization, coupled with strengthening local government in combination with citizen participation.
• A more limited number of large-scale pan-urban projects. These projects should have an immediate impact on all 4000 Indian cities and the surrounding countryside.
• More attention for nature and the environment instead of cutting down trees to widen motorways.
• Training programs in the field of urbanization, partly to align urban development with Indian culture.
The European mission revisited
Europe and India are incomparable in many ways, but I do see similarities between the two missions.
With the proclamation of the 'mission', the Indian government wanted to show the ultimate – perhaps desperate – act of determination to confront the country's overwhelming problems. I therefore called this mission a flight forward in which the image of the 'smart city' was used as a catalyst. However, the country’s problems are out of proportion to this, and the other means employed.
It is plausible that the European Union Commission also wanted to take an ultimate act. After the publication of the ambitious European Green Deal, each national governments seems to be drawing its own plan. The ‘100 cities mission’ is perhaps intended as a 'booster', but here too the feasibility of this strategy is doubtful.
Smart and green
The European Union cherishes the image of a 'green and digital twin', a simultaneous green and digital transformation. Both the Government of India and the European Commission consider digital technology an integral part of developing climate neutral cities. I hope to have made it clear in the previous 21 episodes of this series that digital technology will certainly contribute. However, the reduction of greenhouse gases and digitization should not be seen as an extension of each other. Making a city climate neutral requires way more than (digital) technology. Moreover, suitable technology is still partly under development. It is often forgotten that technology is one of the causes of global warming. Using the image of green and smart twins will fuel the tension between the two, just like it happened in India. In that case, it remains to be seen where the priority will lie. In India it was 'smart'.
Funding of the Indian mission fell short; much is still unclear about funding of the European mission. It is highly questionable whether European states, already faced with strong opposition to the costs of 'climate', will be willing to channel extra resources to cities.
The European mission wants to be by and for the citizens. But the goal has already been established, namely becoming climate neutral by 2030. A new 'bottom-up' governmental approach would have been to investigate whether there are cities where a sufficiently large part of the population agrees with becoming climate neutral earlier than in 2050 and how much sooner that could be and next, leave it to these cities themselves to figure-out how to do this.
Can Europe still prevent its mission from failing like India's? I propose to look for in the same direction as India seems to be doing now:
• Opt for one unambiguous goal: Reducing greenhouse gases significantly earlier than 2050.
• Challenge a limited number of cities each to form a broad coalition of local stakeholders that share this ambition.
• Make extra resources available, but also ask the cities themselves to make part of the necessary investments.
• Stimulate universities and industry to provide a European response to Big Tech and to make connections with the 'European Green Deal'.
My e-book Smart City Tales contains several descriptions of intended and alleged smart cities, including the much-discussed Saudi Arabian Neom. The Dutch version is here.
The first Demo Days of 2022 were a success! On March 10 and 17, we gathered online to connect and inspire our partners and community on the topics Circular & Energy and Digital & Mobility. In this article, we share a recap of the topics and projects discussed during the 15th edition of our Demo Days.
About our Demo Days
The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners to take these projects to the next level. More information about the Demo Days can be found here.
Demo Day: Circular & Energy
Circular energy transition
With the changing global economy and shortages of raw materials, it is important to look at materials needed for the energy transition. How can we reduce the negative impact of products that have a positive impact on the energy transition? In this session, participants identified common challenges: think of regulations and logistics, but also behaviour. In addition, one of the conclusions is that education must join the transition. Now that the obstacles are clear, we must reach a joint approach. Do you want to be involved in our next steps? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The social side of smart grids – Mark van der Wees (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Lennart Zwols (municipality of Amsterdam)
During the session led by Mark van der Wees and Lennart Zwols, participants discussed the social side of smart grids. Where does the ownership of a smart grid lie? And how can we involve citizens? The main take-out is that we need more knowledge about the broader societal costs, benefits and risks. Questions and input on the societal input of smart grids can be sent to Mark at: email@example.com.
Power in the energy transition – Gijs Diercks (DRIFT)
Gijs Diercks facilitated a session in which we discussed a socio-political aspect of energy transition: namely, how unequal power limits change and reform. Gijs invited participants to discuss their experiences with power relations in energy projects. We often talk about a decentralization of power, but, power often ends up somewhere else. An interesting insight was that it would be good to talk more explicitly about power within concrete projects in the future.
Demo Day: Digital & Mobility
Webinar data management in practice - Arjan Koning (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Huib Pasman (Johan Cruijff ArenA)
Prior to the sessions, Arjan Koning and Huib Pasman gave a webinar on data management in practice. What do you need to consider when working with data? And what do you need to arrange in order to properly deal with ownership and authorization of access?
The ownership and responsibility of data – Noor Bouwens (Province of North Holland)
Following the webinar, Noor Bouwens led a working session in which the participants were introduced to the developments, tasks and challenges that the Province of North Holland sees in this area. It turned out that challenges in the field of data governance are recognizable to the businesses, knowledge institutions and governments alike. The biggest challenge is the substantive management of project data and deciding who is responsible for this.
The smart charging square – Peter van Dam (SlimLaden)
In this session, the participants reflected on what the future of parking will look like based on the smart charging square case in Haarlemmermeer. The main take-out from the session is that a broader framework is needed around electric parking solutions. It is difficult for municipalities to predict the future when it comes to EV charging. Therefore municipalities are hesitant to formulate concrete plans. Hopefully soon, more pilots will be set up to take smart charging solution to the next phase.
Are you joining us?
Our next Demo Days take place on June 14 (Mobility & Energy) and June 21 (Circular & Digital).
Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight?
If it fits within our themes, sent a message via firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know in the comments. We are happy to talk with you to find out if it's a match! As soon as the program is determined, we will share it on the platform and give you the opportunity to join as participant.
Leonie van den Beuken, Program Director of Amsterdam Smart City, is announced as the new chairwoman of the Vereniging Elektrische Rijders starting April 1. She will voluntarily fulfill her role as chairwoman in addition to her job as Program Director of Amsterdam Smart City. The Vereniging Elektrische Rijders (VER) represents the electric driver and serves as an independent source of information for (future) electric drivers. The VER increasingly contributes to the debate and implementation of the further electrification of the Netherlands, at national and regional, but also at local level. Leonie will play an important role in this. She considers her new position as a good challenge: ''Electric driving is better for our climate, ensures better livability of cities and villages and is also comfortable. However, electric vehicles are still far from being available to everyone. Building on the fantastic foundation the VER has laid, I am going to make every effort to accelerate the move towards cleaner mobility with a special focus on making it affordable and even more sustainable. For example, through shared mobility and innovating on more sustainable technology''
Leonie succeeds Koos Burgman, who was committed to the VER for the past five years and has helped the organisation grow to where it is today in an outstanding way. The VER has almost 10,000 members, more than 500 volunteers and almost 80 ambassadors and is growing steadily.
For more information about the VER and their mission, visit their website on: https://www.evrijders.nl/
In the 18th episode of the Better Cities - The contribution of technology-series, I answer the question how digital technology in the form of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) will help reduce car use, which is the most important intervention of improving the livability of cities, in addition to providing citizens with a decent income.
Any human activity that causes 1.35 million deaths worldwide, more than 20 million injuries, total damage of $1,600 billion, consumes 50% of urban space and contributes substantially to global warming would be banned immediately. This does not apply to traffic, because it is closely linked to our way of life and to the interests of motordom. For example, in his books Fighting traffic and Autonorame: The illusory promise of high-tech driving, Peter Horton refers to the coteri of the automotive industry, the oil companies and befriended politicians who have been stimulating car use for a century. Without interventions, global car ownership and use will grow exponentially over the next 30 years.
Reduction of car use
In parallel with the growth of car use, trillions have been invested worldwide in ever new and wider roads and in the management of traffic flows with technological means.
It has repeatedly been confirmed that the construction of more roads and traffic-regulating technology have a temporary effect and then further increase car use. Economists call this induced demand. The only effective counter-measures are impeding car use and to discourage the perceived need to use the car, preferably in a non-discriminatory way.
Bringing housing, shopping, and employment closer together (15-minute city) reduces the need to travel by car, but this is a long-term perspective. The most effective policy in the short term is to reduce parking options at home, at work and near shopping facilities and always prioritizing alternative modes of transport (walking, micro-mobility, and public transport). Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been investing in bicycle infrastructure for years and are giving cyclists a green track in many places at the expense of car traffic.
For several years now, Paris has also been introducing measures to discourage car traffic by 1,400 kilometers of cycle paths, ban on petrol and diesel cars in 2030, redesign of intersections with priority for pedestrians, 200 kilometers of extension of the metro system and closure of roads and streets. Meanwhile, car use has fallen from 61% in 2001 to 35% now. Milan has similar plans and in Berlin a group is preparing a referendum in 2023 with the aim of making an area car-free larger than Manhattan. Even in Manhattan and Brooklyn, there is a strong movement to reduce car use through a substantial shift of road capacity from cars to bicycles, pedestrians, and buses.
Because of the pandemic, the use of public transport has decreased significantly worldwide as many users worked from home, could not go to school, took the bicycle or a car. Nevertheless, cities continue to promote public transport as a major strategy to reduce car use. In many places in the world, including in Europe, urban development has resulted in a high degree of dispersion of and between places to live, shop, and work. The ease of bridging the 'last mile' will contribute significantly to the increase in the use of public transport. While bicycles play an important role in this in the Netherlands, the ideas elsewhere are based on all forms of 'dockless micromobility’.
From a technological point of view, autonomous passenger transport involves type four or five at a taxonomy of automated cars. This includes the Waymo brand developed by Google. In some places in the US, these cars are allowed to drive with a supervisor ('safety driver') on board. Type 5 (fully autonomous driving under all circumstances) does not yet exist at all, and it is highly questionable whether this will ever happen. Besides, it is questionable too whether the automotive industry aspires building such a car at a substantial scale. Given their availability, it is expected that many people will forgo purchasing them and instead use them as a shared car or as a (shared or not) taxi. This will significantly reduce car ownership. To sell as many cars as possible, it is expected that the automotive industry will aim for level three automation, which means that the car can take over the actions of the driver, who must stay vigilant.
The impact on cities of autonomous shared cars and (shared) taxis is highly uncertain. Based on traffic data in the Boston area and surveys of residents, a study by the Boston Consultancy Group shows that approximately 30% of all transport movements (excluding walking) will take place in an autonomous car. But it also appears that users of public transport are a significant part of this group. Most people interviewed were scared using an unmanned shared taxi. Without sharing, there will be more cars on the road and more traffic jams in large parts of the city than now. A scenario study in the city of Porto (Portugal) that assumes that autonomous cars are mainly used as shared taxis and public transport is not cannibalized shows a significant decrease in car traffic.
Considering refraining from car use
Designing an efficient transport system is not that difficult; its acceptance by people is. Many see the car as an extension of the home, in which - even more than at home - they can listen to their favorite music, smoke, make phone calls or meet other persons unnoticed. Considering this, the step to alternative transport such as walking, cycling, or using public transport is a big one.
Most people will only decide to do so if external circumstances give sufficient reason. Hybrid working can lead to people wondering whether keeping an expensive (second) car is still responsible and cycling – in good weather – is also an option. Or they notice that because of restrictions driving a car loses part of its attractiveness and that public transport is not that bad after all. Some employers (Arcadis, for example) also encourage other forms of mobility than the (electric) lease car. <i>This lays the foundation for a 'mind set' in which people begin to break down their mobility needs into different components, each of which is best served by another mode of transport.</i> As soon as they realize that the car is an optimal solution only for part of the journeys, they realize that the price is shockingly high and a shared car is cheaper. For other journeys, a (shared) bicycle or public transport may be considered. Against this background, the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) must be placed.
Mobility as a Service: MaaS
MaaS is an app that offers comprehensive door-to-door proposals for upcoming journeys, ranging from the nearest shared bicycle or scooter for the first mile or alternatively a (shared) taxi, the best available connection to public transport, the best transfer option, to the best option for the last mile. For daily users of the same route, the app provides information about alternatives in the event of disruptions. In the event of a delay in the journey, for example on the way to the airport, an alternative will be arranged if necessary. No worries about departure times, mode of transport, tickets, reservations, and payment. At least, ideally.
These kinds of apps are being developed in many places in the world and by various companies and organizations. First, Big Tech is active, especially Google. Intel also seems to have all the components for a complete MaaS solution, after taking over Moovit, Mobileye and Cubic. In Europe, it is mainly local and regional authorities, transport companies (Transdec, RATP, NS) and the automotive industry (Daimler-Benz and in the Netherlands PON).
The Netherlands follows its own course. The national MaaS program is based on public-private partnership. Seven pilots are ready to take-off. Each of these pilots places a different emphasis: Sustainability, accessibility of rural areas, congestion reduction and public transport promotion, integration of target group transport, public transport for the elderly and cross-border transport.
The pandemic has delayed its start significantly. The Gaiyo pilot in Utrecht (Leidsche Rijn) is the only one that is active for some time, and the results are encouraging. Apart from the national MaS pilots, the RiVier initiative was launched in January 2019; a joint venture of NS, RET and HTM in collaboration with Siemens.
Worth mentioning is an initiative from the European Union (European Institute for Innovation and technology - Urban Mobility), Eindhoven University of Technology, Achmea and Capgemini. 21 partners have now joined, including the municipality of Amsterdam. The aim is a pan-European open mobility service platform, called Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS). The project aims to provide MaaS for the whole of Europe in the long term. UMOS expects local providers to join this initiative. Unlike most other initiatives, this is a non-profit platform. For the other providers, profitability will mainly be a long-term perspective.
The development of the MaaS app is complex from a technological and organizational point of view. It is therefore not surprising that five years after the first landing there are only partial solutions. <b>The basis for a successful app is the presence of a varied and high-quality range of transport facilities, a centralized information and sales system and standardization of various data and interfaces of all transport companies involved.</b> So far, they have not always been willing to share data. A company like London Transport wants to maintain direct contact with customers, and Uber and Lyft don't want to hand over the algorithms they use to calculate their variable fare. This type of data is indispensable for realizing a real-time offer of several door-to-door transport alternatives for every conceivable route, including pricing, and purchasing tickets. It is hoped that licensing authorities will mandate the provision of all data required for a fully functioning MaaS platform.
One of the most balanced MaaS applications is MaaX developed by Capgemini, the Paris Transport Authority and the RATP. This is comparable to the NS and OV9292 app, supplemented by options for carpooling, taxi transport, shared cars, shared bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, and parking.
Does MaaS is viable?
I believe that MaaS as such will encourage very few motorists to refrain from owning a car. This will mainly have to be done through measures that impede car use or reduce the need for it. Nevertheless, MaaS is useful for those who have just decided to look for alternatives. The app also has added-value for users of public transport, for instance if information in the event of disruptions is made available timely.
It is therefore clear to me that this app should be made available as a form of service, funded by the transport providers and the government and can make significant savings in infrastructure costs if car use decreases.
The above deepens two essays included in my e-book Cities of the Future: Always humane, smart if helpful. The first essay Livability and traffic – The walkable city connects insights about livability with different forms of passenger transport and policy. The second essay Towards zero road casualties: The traffic-safe city discusses policies to make traffic safer and the effect of 'self-driving' cars on road safety. The e-book can be downloaded here by following the link below.
Volgende week donderdag 17 maart vindt de tweede editie van Demodag #15 plaats. De thema’s Digitaal en Mobiliteit staan centraal, en het programma is inmiddels rond. Naast een paar mooie initiatieven en complexe vraagstukken, wordt er dit keer ook een korte webinar gegeven door de Hogeschool van Amsterdam en de Johan Cruijff ArenA. Deze introductie van datamanagement geeft een goede theoretische basis voor een van de daaropvolgende werksessie.
De Demodagen zijn onderdeel van ons innovatieproces en bedoeld om de voortgang van verschillende innovatieprojecten te stimuleren, hulpvragen op tafel te leggen, dilemma's te delen en anderen te betrekken bij projecten of uitdagingen. Meer informatie over wat de Demodagen precies zijn en waarom je mee wilt doen, vind je hier.
Klinkt het programma interessant? Je bent meer dan welkom om aan te sluiten. Laat het ons weten in de comments of mail naar email@example.com!
Amaze Mobility - Amaze Mobility
Amaze is een gedreven startup, die nauw samenwerkt met deelmobiliteit-aanbieders om het doolhof van gedeelde en duurzame mobiliteit te ontrafelen. Ondersteund door een consortium van experts uit de industrie, won Amaze een openbare aanbesteding in Amsterdam. Afgelopen jaren heeft Amaze met een ervaren team van 11 man geïnvesteerd in het ontwerpen en bouwen van een platform en app. Met deze app kunnen gebruikers kiezen hoe ze willen reizen op het moment dat zij dat nodig hebben.
Schinkelkwartier - Architectural Prescription
[PITCH IN ENGLlSH] Based on the example of Schinkelkwartier (The best masterplan in the Netherlands in 2021) the head of Architectural Prescription will deconstruct dilemmas of urban design using parametric analytics and computational tools. Feedback from the community on the digital approach to optimize urban fabric is very welcome.
Datamanagement in de praktijk - Hogeschool van Amsterdam / Johan Cruijff ArenA
Een introductie rondom datamanagement met praktische tips om verantwoord om te gaan met data. Waar moet je op letten als je met data werkt, het ontsluit, verzamelt en bewaart? Wat dien je te regelen om op een juiste manier om te gaan met eigenaarschap en autorisatie van toegang?
Het eigenaarschap en de verantwoordelijkheid van data - Provincie Noord Holland.
Hoe gaan onze overheden om met hun eigen data en data van derden? Welke afspraken maak je over de kwaliteit? Wat ligt bij de business en hoe creëer je bewustzijn? In deze werksessie gaat Provincie Noord-Holland verder in op de uitdagingen op het gebied van data eigenaarschap en verantwoordelijkheid.
Het slimme laadplein - SlimLaden
Vorig jaar is het laadplein met batterijen verstopt in straatmeubilair en slimme, dynamische laadzuilen in Hoofddorp in gebruik genomen. Dit zogenoemde Laadplein-2-Grid is de eerste in zijn soort in Nederland. Maar gaat het aantal EV-rijders in de komende jaren zo toenemen, dat het dynamisch parkeersysteem overbodig gaat zijn? Hoe ziet parkeren er in de toekomst überhaupt uit? Waar moet de focus liggen als je dit concept wilt opschalen?
Join us to co-develop the open source Shared Energy Platform. The kick-off is the webinar on 21 March, 15.30 - 17.00. Register now, and be part of the sustainable energy revolution.
We have set up a program with great speakers to discuss to the efficiency and resilience of energy production and grid systems:
- Arash Aazami (Unify.energy): Internet of Energy
- Wilbert Prinssen (Phase to Phase): Digital Twins
- Nicolas Höning (SEITA - Open software for energy flexibility): Open Source and Smart Energy
- Derek Hardwick (Ampact Consulting): Design Sprint fundamentals
Please note: the webinar will be in English.
Campussen en kennishubs in de metropoolregio Amsterdam zijn rijk aan onderzoeksfaciliteiten, kennis, testruimtes en geavanceerde apparatuur. Uit de gesprekken met de gemeente Amsterdam en diverse campussen zoals het Amsterdam Science Park en het Amsterdam Life Sciences District komt de aanname naar voren dat veel aanwezige faciliteiten maar voor een klein deel benut worden. Dit terwijl faciliteiten vaak een flinke investering zijn geweest voor bedrijven en kennisinstellingen. Wij zien hier een grote kans voor de MRA. Optimale benutting van faciliteiten kan onnodige investeringen voorkomen, ruimte en grondstoffen besparen en mensen uit verschillende hoeken bij elkaar brengen.
Onder de noemer ‘Project Facility Sharing in de MRA’ hebben wij deze kans verkend. Deze verkenning bestaat uit afgenomen interviews en georganiseerde bijeenkomsten. Deze verkenning is uitgewerkt in het rapport: “Facility sharing: optimale benutting van (kennis) faciliteiten in de regio”
Voor meer informatie kun je mailen naar firstname.lastname@example.org
ampus Amsterdam is het netwerk dat alle innovatiegebieden, campussen en kennislabs in de metropoolregio aan elkaar verbindt waardoor de kenniseconomie van de regio wordt versterkt.
The 15th episode of the Better cities - The contribution of digital technology- series is about collaboration between Dutch cities within the City Deals in the Agenda stad en regio project.
Over the past years, the interest Dutch municipalities in digitization at urban level has increased, partly because of the initiating role of the VNG, G40, the Future City Foundation and forerunners such as Apeldoorn, Helmond, and Zwolle as well. Initially, these were small-scale and isolated projects. In this post, I'll discuss two projects that aim at scaling through collaboration.
A mission-driven approach to public sector projects
In her new book, Mission Economy, Mariana Mazzucato advocates a mission-driven approach to public sector projects at the local level in the way that a man was put on the moon. She refers at large-scale projects with a high degree of complexity, such as the energy transition, the construction of affordable housing, the well-being of the poor part of the population and the conservation of nature.
What is a mission-driven approach? At first, it includes an ambitious vision, followed by breaking down silos within the governmental organization, collaboration within the quadruple helix, and cooperation between higher and lower governments.
A mission-driven approach is appropriate for the major transitions facing the world and digitization as a part of these. The following pertains to a couple of projects that aim at such an approach. The first, Agenda city and region has been running for some time and will be dealt with extensively. The other is initiated by G40 will be discussed briefly.
Agenda stad and City deals
In Agenda city and region, cities, governments at different levels, companies, and organizations, including the VNG, G4, G40 and Platform31, work together to drive innovation in cities. The mission is summarized in SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The most important instrument are City Deals: collaborative ventures around a themes.
The first City Deals started in 2016, there are now 27, about half of which have been completed, but six new ones are about to start. 125 municipalities, 8 provinces, 9 ministries, 10 other government agencies, 5 water boards, more than 100 companies, 30 knowledge institutions and more than 20 other partnerships are involved. There are now 14 partnerships with municipalities outside the Netherlands.
Examples of City Deals are: Working and doing business across borders, cleantech, food on the urban agenda, local resilience against cybercrime, inner city building, the inclusive city, and smart city, that's how you do it. The latter will be discussed below.
Within a City Deal, the parties involved work together in their own way on concrete products, ranging from legislation to policy instruments. The main principles are:
- Formulating an ambition and a strategy.
- Enabling scaling through cooperation between and/or within (urban) regions.
- Realizing collaboration between public and private parties, including the central government
- Innovating by realizing new forms of problem-solving.
- Scaling up, also across national borders.
City Deals also work together and new deals are created from among them, such as ‘Smart customization', a new City Deal that arises from the existing City Deals 'Simple customization' and 'Smart city, that is how you do it'. If I had to imagine how a moonshot works, which I referred to in the introduction of this article, then Agenda city and region could be a good example.
City deal 'A smart city, this is how you do it'
The goal of this City Deal, as we read in the annual report, is to use digitization to tackle the major challenges facing Europe and the Netherlands, such as poverty, social cohesion, and insecurity, and to achieve a society in which everyone can live in freedom. 60 parties are now involved in this City Deal.
The aim is to change at least 12 processes by which regions, cities and towns are designed, organized, managed, and governed, and to make the most of the opportunities offered by digitization. The starting point is the existing practice and aimed at matching city’s demands.
The City Deal 'Smart city, this is how you do it', has 14 working groups. Each of those have chosen which a process to tackle, on the understanding that three municipalities must be prepared to test the results and can be scaled eventually. The City Deal 'A smart city, this is how you do it' has been underway for almost two years now, and the processes to be tackled have crystallized. In a few cases prototypes are ready, most are under development. Below is a brief description of the situation on November 15th, 2021. A lively description of some participants’ experience can be read in ROMmagazine, volume 39, no. 11.
1. Open urban data platform
This project is developing a procedure for tendering an open data platform, which is shareable and scalable, in which privacy and data autonomy are guaranteed and that offers sufficient precautions for cybersecurity. The result will be a step-by-step plan, in which technical questions (what it will looks like), legal questions (who is the owner) and financial questions (funding) are discussed.
2. Cookbook for effective data strategy
This project develops a procedure for the acquisition and storage of data. A 'data cookbook' has been developed that supports the collection, storage, and application of data. It offers an 11-step plan from the formulation of a measurable questions to the interpretation of the measurement results. It accentuates the importance to make explicit the assumptions behind the selection of data. The usability of the steps is tested in practice. A first concept can be found here.
3. Smart initiatives test
The aim of this project is to allow initiators (citizens, companies) to make optimal use of available public data, including those that will be provided by the DSO (digitaal stelsel omgevingswet). The DSO will provide information about which rules apply at a specific location and ultimately also about the quality of the physical living environment itself. Ideally, the ‘smart initiatives test’ will collect and optimize all data needed for a plan. The project group is currently investigating which types of (geo) data users need most ('usercases').
4. Sensor data and privacy
The aim of the project is to develop a tool that allows a municipality to tender for the installation of sensors that exactly match the type of data that will be collected and that consider ethical questions and GDPR rules.
5. Design of the new city
The growing availability of various types of (real-time) data, for example about air quality and noise pollution) has implications for the way in which cities and neighborhoods are developed. The working group is developing a canvas that functions as a ‘translator' of available data. The starting point for its development was a matrix with as inputs the phases of the design process (initiative, design and realization phase) and the area type (urban, Randstad and suburban area). This matrix must indicate which data is needed at what time. The usability will be tested through pilots.
6. Everyone (and everything) a sensor
Citizen measurement initiatives (via telephones and with sensors attached to bicycles, cars, and homes) have a double goal: to increase citizen’s involvement and to improve the insight into living environment of those who execute the measurement. It can also contribute to behavioral change, especially if the measurements match the needs of residents and they are also involved in the interpretation of the results. The working group is striving for a roadmap based on several user cases.
7. Local measurement: comparing projects
Measuring data locally – as was done in the previous project – may be redundant if data from elsewhere is available. In that case, comparability is required with data being searched for and standardization is needed to enable such a comparison. However, standardization can lead to mistrust and remove the incentive for resident groups to get started themselves. Ultimately, the working group opts for the development of a self-service portal, which will be developed together with the Healthy Urban Living Data and Knowledge Hub. Resident groups can then choose for themselves to participate in a standardized project that reads their measurement results directly or for a 'do-it-yourself' solution. A manual will be written for this last option.
Both projects are being further developed in collaboration with Eurocities, a network of 190 cities in 38 countries, under the name CitiMeasure - using citizen measurement to create smart, sustainable and inclusive cities.
8. Smart mobility: Towards a safe and sustainable city
Digitization in traffic has already taken off, for example by intelligent traffic systems (IVRIs), but usually the existing situation, for example private use of cars, is the starting point. The question is how to connect to the pursuit of a better quality of life. To this end, the working group has chosen three themes: better accessibility for emergency services, shared mobility, and city logistics.
A step-by-step plan is being developed for emergency services, with which municipalities can realize the necessary facilities to always priorize emergency vehicles – and possibly other target groups as well.
If everyone were to travel with the most suitable means of transport at that time (varying from walking, (shared) bicycle or scooter, public transport to (shared) car, private car use would decrease considerably and thus improve the quality of city live. Additionally, the working group is developing a 'map' to encourage shared mobility, which provides answers to all related questions.
Developments in city logistics are already taking place via other routes. Therefore, the contribution of the working group in this regard will be limited.
9. A business model for the smart city
New forms of collaboration between governments, the business community, knowledge institutions and citizens can result in new 'values' for areas, but also to the need to allocate costs and benefits in a different way. A new 'business model' may then be necessary. To this end, the working group is investigating the consequences for companies and organizations of entering partnerships for the successful development of products and services. This compared to more traditional client/contractor relationships.
10 Ethical Boards
Within the City Deal 'A smart city, this is how you do it', a rule is that digital instruments to be developed always comply with ethical principles. The implications of such principles are often situational. That is why municipalities are setting up an 'ethical board', which includes experts and residents. To support its work, the committee wants to create a knowledge platform that informs which ethical principles or tools suit best for different digitization projects.
11 Model Acquisition
Local authorities want to regulate the use of digital tools such as sensors in public spaces. Anita Nijboer, who works as a lawyer at Kennedy Van der Laan, who is also a partner of the City Deal 'Smart city, this is how you do it', has drawn up a model regulation for this purpose, which has already been tested in Rotterdam and Helmond. The most important learning effect is that departments within a municipality have fundamentally different view of the way in which these types of questions should be legally framed. In response to this, the working group is examining the question of whether a model regulation is an appropriate answer to obtaining consent for the use of digital tools.
12 Dealing with crowds in the city
Measuring (too large) crowds in parts of the city was a problem long before corona times. The aim is to develop a digital model ('digital twin') of the city - a so-called crowd safety manager - that provides real-time insight into pedestrian flows and concentrations. Such a model must also be able to communicate with people in the city. A prototype of a dashboard, developed by partner company Argaleo, is now being used in 's-Hertogenbosch, Breda and The Hague. This instrument does not use any personal data. It is being further developed at European level with external subsidies.
The instruments to be developed and existing instruments have been brought together via a website, the Toolbox. Other City Deals also develop knowledge, which is far from being systematically documented. That is why the best way to distribute this knowledge is investigated together with the Knowledge Lab for Urbanism.
G40: Smart sustainable urbanization
In March 2021, G40, the umbrella organization of 40 medium-sized municipalities, submitted a project proposal to promote digitalization and thus also create opportunities to the business community.
The project plan rejects the current approach of 'smart urbanization' and the realization of 'main social tasks'. Decentralization, broadening of tasks, narrowing of implementation funds and a fragmented central government policy have led to an impeding control gap and financing deficit in municipalities. Instead, a bundled approach is wanted, led by representatives of municipalities and central government, and the latter is being asked to invest € 1 billion.
When studying this plan, I was surprised by the absence of any reference to the activities of Agenda city and regioand the City Deals. Instead, one wonders whether Agenda city and region is the subject of criticism of the fragmented approach and G40 wants to get rid of it.
The strength of Agenda city and region is the cross connections between urban projects of all kinds, the involvement of citizens and intermunicipal cooperation. This is something to cherish.
In my opinion, G40 would be better off by ushering in a new phase of Agenda city and region, characterized by economies of scale and acceleration of the findings so far. The aims of this new phase could be consolidation of the cohesion between the themes of the individual City Deals within the framework of the major transitions facing the Netherlands. The theme of digitization thrives best in this context. After all, the ultimate value of digitization lies in the contribution to the energy transition, the reduction of traffic nuisance and the growth of a circular economy, to name a few examples. However, that requires a different plan.
In the meantime, I hope that in the foreseeable future we will be able to see the results of the working groups of the City Deal 'Smart city, this is how you do it', together with those of the other 'Deals'.
Follow the link below to find one of the previous episodes or see which episodes are next, and this one for the Dutch version.
One of the key priorities of the European Commission is to support the twin transition to a green and digital economy. One way the Commission is shaping this transition is by co-creating transition pathways for more resilient, green and digital industrial ecosystems, across different sectors.
Within the scope of the Intelligent Cities Challenge, Amsterdam Region contributed to a stakeholder consultation session on 9 February 2022. Mirko van Vliet, Amsterdam Economic Board Strategic Advisor shared the region’s experience using future scenarios as a tool for assessing developments in inherently unpredictable and complex systems. In this approach, scenarios are not forecasts but alternative images of how the future can unfold. The approach can be used to stimulate discussion and action around key opportunities, threats, driving forces and no regret measures to achieve a desired vision.
Beyond visions, achieving the digital and green transition requires concrete initiatives. Mirko shared the example of LEAP, a coalition of the willing that aims to speed up the transition to a sustainable digital infrastructure by deploying and accelerating existing and new technologies. One of the topics explored within LEAP is the possibility of shifting away from hyper-scale, monolithic data-centers to more flexible, distributed and disaggregated infrastructures. LEAP exemplifies Amsterdam Economic Board's approach to building a robust ecosystem through multi-stakeholder collaboration in order to transition the data-center and digital infrastructure value chains.
Would you like to help shape the transition pathways for more resilient, greener and digital industrial ecosystems? The Commission is inviting all interested stakeholders to co-create transition pathways for three sectors / ecosystems:
- Proximity & social economy ecosystem, consultation closes February 28
- Construction ecosystem, consultation closes February 28
- Mobility ecosystem, consultation closes March 31
Based on the results of these consultations, the Commission will organise further meetings with stakeholders to finalise the various pathways in 2022.
For more information visit: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/consultations_en
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