Smart City Academy

Are you interested in the experiences of others working in smart city projects and organizations? The Smart City Academy provides available knowledge about smart city projects and can help you with project development. This Smart City Academy page provides you with information and researches about the impact and conditions of smart city projects. Professors, teachers and students study the initiation, management, collaboration and scaling of smart city projects and would like to share these results with you. They do so by organizing events and masterclasses, by developing smart city tools and methodologies and by making research and outcomes accessible. You can find everything here. And the good news is.... You can add your knowledge too! Are you working on Smart City research? Please feel free to share your knowledge in the Academy section, under ‘Other research and theses’. The Smart City Academy is powered by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. If you have any questions, you can contact

Willem van Winden, Professor of Urban Economic Innovation at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Can start-ups help to make the city more attractive?

Can start-ups help to make the city more attractive? Luis Carvalho and Willem van Winden (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) draw lessons from Amsterdam’s “Start-up in Residence” programme.

Amsterdam is exploring ways to engage start-up companies in the development of new solutions for urban problems and challenges, ranging from reducing bicycle theft, separating waste streams more effectively, or promoting alternative tourism. We analyse this new practice and its impact, by interviewing opinions and experiences of startups, city departments involved, and experts.

We derive recommendations for improvement and practical guidelines for other cities that may want to start a similar programme.

The results will be elaborated in a paper, to be presented at the prestigious RENT conference in Lund, Sweden.

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Marije Poel, Projectmanager Smart City Academy at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Watch now the Webinar EIP-SCC on "organising smart city projects"

This webinar gives some insights into the research on 12 Amsterdam Smart City projects, conducted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Science together with Amsterdam Smart City.

From minute 9.37 onwards, professor van Winden presents the wide context of smart projects, focusing on non-technological aspects of smart city projects. He addresses several challenges commonly faced during smart projects; for example, the collaboration of organisations with different agendas and the involvement of different stakeholders and how to divide returns and risks. From minute 40 onwards professor van Winden answers some questions coming from the audience who attended the webinar live at the 6th of june.

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Robin Neven, Business Intelligence & Analytics Engineer , posted

Amsterdam neighbourhood and the City join forces for 'sociocracy'

De Weteringbuurt in Amsterdam Centrum en het bijbehorende stadsdeel van de Gemeente Amsterdam gaan samen voor een onderling betere balans in lokale besluitvorming. Zie hier het artikel in Parool. Enjoy!

Robin Neven's picture #Citizens&Living
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Organising Smart City Projects: Lessons learned from Amsterdam

The last two years, our partner the University of Applied Sciences systematically analysed 12 smart city projects in Amsterdam. In close cooperation with Amsterdam Smart City five researchers started a thorough evaluation of projects to draw lessons and make future smart city projects more effective.

The idea was to analyse the non-technological aspects of smart city projects
(partnerships, business models, scaling potential) since smart city solutions are not just about developing and applying technology. It demands new networking and management competencies. Solutions are not developed and implemented by one single company, but take shape in networks and with the involvement of citizens/end users. Partnerships are formed, they all work differently and face different challenges. In this study, a number of smart city projects in Amsterdam is analysed in their wider context.

This final report is now out and focuses on questions as:
- How do organisations with different agendas, collaborate on smart city projects?
- What challenges do they face?
- What kind of value is created?
- How are risks and returns shared, and how are users involved?
- What is the upscaling dynamic of smart city solutions, if any?
- How can smart city projects be managed professionally?

You can open the report below. This report is issued by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and has been established in cooperation with Amsterdam Smart City.

On the 19th of December 2017 the insights of the report were shared at Pakhuis de Zwijger:

Are you interested in doing research together or do you have a smart city question? Get in touch via

Summary of the report here:

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Willem van Winden, Professor of Urban Economic Innovation at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Smart city pilots: scaling up or fading out?

We studied 12 smart city projects in Amsterdam, and –among other things- analysed their upscaling potential and dynamics. Here are some of our findings:

First, upscaling comes in various forms: rollout, expansion and replication. In roll-out, a technology or solution that was successfully tested and developed in the pilot project is commercialised/brought to the market (market roll-out), widely applied in an organisation (organisational roll-out), or rolled out across the city (city roll-out). Possibilities for rollout largely emerge from living-lab projects (such as Climate street and WeGo), where companies can test beta versions of new products/solutions. Expansion is the second type of upscaling. Here, the smart city pilot project is expanded by a) adding partners, b) extending the geographical area covered by the solution, or c) adding functionality. This type of upscaling applies to platform projects, for example smart cards for tourists, where the value of the solution grows with the number of participating organisations. Replication is the third and most problematic type of upscaling. Here, the solution that was developed in the pilot project is replicated elsewhere (another organisation, another part of the city, or another city). Replication can be done by the original pilot partnership but also by others, and the replication can be exact or by proxy. We found that the replication potential of projects is often limited because the project’s success is highly context-sensitive. Replication can also be complex because new contexts might often require the establishment of new partnerships. Possibilities for replication exist, though, at the level of working methods, specific technologies or tools, but variations among contexts should be taken into consideration.

Second, upscaling should be considered from the start of the pilot project and not solely at the end. Ask the following questions: What kind of upscaling is envisioned? What parts of the project will have potential for upscaling, and what partners do we need to scale up the project as desired?

Third, the scale-up stage is quite different from the pilot stage: it requires different people, competencies, organisational setups and funding mechanisms. Thus, pilot project must be well connected to the parent organisations, else it becomes a “sandbox” that will stay a sandbox.

Finally, “scaling” is not a holy grail. There is nothing wrong when pilot projects fail, as long as
the lessons are lessons learned for new projects, and shared with others. Cities should do more to facilitate learning between their smart city projects, to learn and innovate faster.

(With a team of five researchers of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA) we systematically analysed several smart city projects in Amsterdam. This post includes one of the key insights into the management of smart city projects. The report with all our findings will be published next week on the online platform Amsterdam Smart City).

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