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

Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Capture the world with data - Tech for Society recap

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Friday 5 June 2020, the fourth edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: a livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is currently under pressure of the Covid-19 crisis. The central theme of this edition: ‘Dataism’, defined as the believe that the world can be captured in data and algorithms. This concept makes us question its practical possibilities and how we could understand the world around us using data. How should we?

Miriam Rasch, researcher and teacher, wrote the book ‘Frictie. Ethiek in tijden van dataisme’. The book talks about dataism, which Miriam describes as a belief that everything in the world can be captured with data. It is the idea that collecting data shows you certainties and predictions about the world and this way, directs people and the society as a whole . Miriam calls it a ‘religion’, since ‘dataism could exclude other views.' Data look objective and neutral. Believers of this concept, therefore, see it as a necessity to make decision-making processes data-driven.

Martijn de Waal, researcher in the Lectorate of Play & Civic Media of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, recognizes this dataism in the world. As a kind believer of dataism himself, Martijn looks at the concept as a way to organize information and shape the world around us. ‘However, the central role of collecting data now, as done by platforms such as Facebook or Amazon, is too big. It is pretended as if data are objective and truthful. But collecting data is done via platforms with all kinds of underlying values, that are not always visible.’

Which kinds of values? And are these public values? Can the data work for people?’

At the Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in Shenzhen in China, Martijn attended the exhibition ‘Eyes of the City’, where he found three interpretations on the usage of data:

  1. Using data to map the lives of people and with the data, force them to live life according to rules and punish them if you do not oblige the rules. One of the main examples is face recognition in China.
  2. Luxurious capitalism. Collecting large amounts of data on citizens and use these to offer services. Even services people don’t know they need until they are offered to them. For example, offer a coffee to people on the streets at the moment you know they would like a cup of coffee due to the data that you collected about them. There is a downside for people working in the platform economy who have to be available, according to the data.
  3. In Shenzhen, companies got into contact with migrants living in a certain area. Together they collected data about bottlenecks in their lives. It helped people to show authorities they exist. The data collected are not objective, but it could be a starting point for discussion.

Policy based on data, data based on policy

In research, the usage of data is really important. Even more when policies are based on the data obtained during these studies. However, according to Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer at the City of Amsterdam, you have to be transparent about the sources you used, data that are collected, and start a discussion about which statements could be seen as true or false. In a democracy everybody has to take a part in this process, which is of extreme importance in a world full of propaganda and fake news. In one of her researches, City Rhythm, she analyses the real world and the digital world and the interaction between these two. She addresses questions such as; can we trust data and can we use data for good? How can the digital world can become a part of the physical world? An example of this is, can people who like gardening can use the help of people who don't like gardening, but do like measuring and predicting growth of plants?

Arjan Widlak, director of the Kafka brigade, researches bureaucratic dysfunctioning: ‘Bureaucracy is a great asset, it ensures that all kinds of values materialize - such as legal certainty, integrity, but often this goes the wrong way. Some organizations do the opposite of what they should do. There is indifference without a much needed check.' The Kafka Brigade wants to come to manageable knowledge and people that care about bureaucracy. What kind of system are we creating when we digitalize the government? We are caught in a system of possibilities and impossibilities, where principles of responsible IT should be defined and carried out.

How do we make sure that these principles are put into practice?

Arjan: 'For example, when you drive too fast, you will be flashed. This is done automatically, as is the determination of the fine and the envelope that will be sent to you. It seems like there are no humans involved in the process. Although we might not all understand how this system works, we have a high trust in the way it functions. You have done something wrong and result is a fine. The confidence in the operation of the system is great because it functions without people and people are unreliable. But ultimately people are involved. There is a policy behind this process and people decide what is legal and what is not. Certainly, due to affairs and scandals, it is not certain whether the confidence in these techniques is still so big. So data are not objective. These are human creatures. You cannot take the people out, then you will lose ethics and the discussion about what is wrong or right.'

Constutional state and education

Caroline: ‘Data collecting functions in the constitutional state, in the city. Collect, acquire, return data has to be done according to certain laws. You can also go to court if this is done wrong. The European Rules for Data Protection (GDPR) are essential for the protection of personal data collected by companies. Companies now say, give us more rules because this works for us. We can do better business. So business runs better in a democracy’ .

Caroline continues: “Another aspect we have to look at is how data scientists are trained. What do they learn? It is staggering to see how data science education in university only has one course on responsible innovation. In collecting data we only talk about ethics, never about the rule of law. Business is always about social entrepreneurship, never about trade unions. In education, we create data scientists who have only one side of the knowledge, but get all the power. Because we did not teach the system designers how to think about democracy, power and the inequality of power.”

Martijn: ‘Yes, people in Silicon Valley work in a one-dimensional way. But this will change. There is more and more attention for ethics because students also ask for it. They want to contribute to society.’

Arjan: 'It is interesting how this also goes for the background of civil servants. This has a major influence on how the government functions. A long time ago, as a civil servant it was common practice to know something about constitutional law. You had to understand that values get meaning to each other.' Caroline: ‘Place this standards frame to the forefront again. Democracy and privacy by design. This makes it possible to discuss the interpretation of meaning.’

What can the current timeframe learn us?

Miriam: ‘We learned the value of not using tech all day. I hope we can remember it.’

Caroline: ‘Ask more questions every day. Even if you take something for granted.’

Arjan: ‘Yes, ask more questions. We can strive for privacy by design, but what does that mean? I plea for critical citizenship.’

Martijn: ‘This time showed us a revaluation for public space and values. Public space is suddenly used a lot more. What can that look like online?’

According to Amsterdam Smart City, the discussion of this evening is exactly the discussion that needs to take place. Collecting data is very useful to work on the challenges in our cities. But we have to be aware that these data are not neutral and we have to have a discussion about the issues and if the data are necessary to help solving the issues. Can we work on public values with the data? This asks for a collaboration between the public and private sector, something we work on every day. Amsterdam Smart City always puts public value first: innovating together and transparent, using each other’s expertise, with the resident at the centre.

Do you want to watch the full episode? You can watch it here (in Dutch):

[##### Tech for Society #4: Dataïsme: Is de wereld te vangen in data?

Wie heeft gelijk als de computer het fout heeft?

Pakhuis de Zwijger](

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Mathieu Dasnois, Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Metabolic Impact Report is live!

Last year we worked with some incredible partners to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable economy. From future-proof food systems, and circular products and services, to finance within planetary boundaries, and resilient cities and regions, this report reflects on some of the key outcomes and projects that emerged across the Metabolic ecosystem in 2019. Follow the link to learn what we've been up to!

Mathieu Dasnois's picture #CircularCity
AMS Institute, Re-inventing the city (urban innovation) at AMS Institute, posted

Social Distancing Dashboard provides roadmap for city dwellers

With growing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists returning to city streets, keeping a safe distance of 1.5m can be a challenge in many urban areas due to the way public space (or lack of it) has been designed.

The Social Distancing Dashboard, a project led by scientists from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute), helps to raise awareness about constraints posed by the design of public space and contributes to decision making for COVID-19 related interventions in urban planning.

The Dashboard creates city maps that show on a street and neighborhood level if social distance rules can be respected when moving in public space. It offers an overview of different factors – such as the width of the footpath and location of bus stops – affecting our ability to respect social distancing rules.

The dynamic and color-coded maps are open access and available for use by e.g. policymakers, charged with making decisions on public health and city planners, tasked with making COVID-19 related interventions in the urban space. The dashboard is also intended to raise awareness amongst city residents – especially those in risk groups – who want to navigate the city streets as safely as possible.

Read the full article here:

Or go straight to the Social Distancing Dasboard:

AMS Institute's picture #Mobility
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Tech for Society – can an app save the world?

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Last Friday, the second edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: the livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is under pressure of the corona crisis . With this time a special focus on the contact-tracing apps. What do you think: can an app save the world?

Last Friday, the second edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: the livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is under pressure of the corona crisis. With this time a special focus on the contact-tracing apps. What do you think: can an app save the world?

Why is tracking, contact-research, of an infectious person so important in times of corona? Mariska Petrignani, infection control doctor at GGD (public health service), explains: “GGD’s most important work at the moment is finding out who’s been in contact with an infected person to prevent rapid spreading of the infection. We do this by relying on the memory of the infected person. But there are always contacts you can’t recall or don’t know by name, for instance people you saw in the supermarket or public transport. But the question we have to ask is: to what extent are these people at risk for exposure and on what level do they contribute to the transmission of the disease?" There’s a lot of scientific discussion surrounding this topic.

According to Mariska, GPS-tracking, which can be recorded via an app, can help but doesn’t cover all relevant information. Is there a wall between you and the person you are in contact with? That is the type of information you need to know as well.

Michiel Heidenrijk, director of the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute, adds to the discussion: “Can an app save the world? There is not one silver bullet, you need a combination of different therapies/solutions. Technology and data can offer parts of the solution.”. Mariska adds: “A common problem is that people can’t recall exactly where they have been. Technology can help. There are many ways to support this and it doesn’t have to be a contact-tracking app. For instance you can use your phone as a digital agenda to log your movements. We should think about other smart, digital solutions.”. Michiel: “We should embrace technology, use data, but it should be used in a sufficient and reliable way.”.

Hannes Grassegger, tech-journalist based in Zurich, sketches the European perspective. After a two week testing period of a contact-tracing app in Zurich, the app will be launched mid-June in Swiss. It’s completely voluntary, but hosted by the federal government, which is highly trusted by the public.

But isn’t it time for a broader European strategy? Hannes explains that coming week E-health will publish guidelines for the European common strategy for contact-tracing apps, to align the European members. E-health does not see the app itself as a major tool to bring back the freedom of movement between the member states, but they try to develop a framework to avoid the app becoming an obstacle to reintegrating the freedom of movement within Europe. Hannes: “If we have different states within Europe using different apps, there is need to have a set of common ground rules.”.

Lotje Siffels, philosopher in technology, conducts research on the influence of big-tech companies in the healthcare sector. She wants to stipulate two important discussion points: i) Technology is often seen as THE solution to the whole problem, while the problem is a lot more complex. It almost seems like the exit strategy is entirely depending on the use of contract-tracing apps. While this is certainly not the case; ii) Privacy is broadly mentioned within the discussion, but there are so much more social values that have to be discussed as well. Think about autonomy or democratic values. As an example Lotje mentions the ‘zwaai-app’: “If you meet someone or accidentally bump into someone, you wave with your phone and the data of the other person is saved. This helps you log your movements while being conscious of the data that is stored. You give a level of autonomy back to the people, because they are the ones consciously keeping track of their own encounters.” Active participation can also be part of the solution.

Lotte Houwing, policy advisor at Bits of Freedom, is the last speaker of the evening and raises questions surrounding the necessity of such an app. Do we actually want this app? What exactly is the problem we need solved? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the impact on our society? She adds that these questions need to be answered first before we can assess if an app is indeed the right tool to implement.

The discussion of this evening is exactly the discussion that needs to take place. Amsterdam Smart City beliefs in technology as a means, never as a goal. Before thinking about contact-tracking apps, the right questions need to be raised and answered. Amsterdam Smart City always puts public value first: innovating together and openly, using each other’s expertise, with the resident at the centre.

Do you want to watch the full episode? You can watch it here (in Dutch): <>

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Robert Versteeg, Smart City Consultant , posted

Tips on designing a 1.5m society using crowd management principles

Society is slowly opening up for business again. More people are going outside. And many businesses and government institutions are redesigning their spaces to give people enough room to keep 1.5m distance. While keeping distance seems like a simple rule, in practice many people find it difficult to stick to them.

That is why I wrote a short blog about the main crowd management principles that are useful to design public spaces for the 1.5m society. These principles are key to optimize the use of our public spaces and make it easier for people to keep their distance (blog is in Dutch).

Robert Versteeg's picture #CircularCity
Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

1.5 meters is the new unit for smart city designers.

As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on public health and local economies around the world, one over-looked Corona casualty has been our collective space. Here in densely populated Amsterdam we are slowly, carefully, cautiously transitioning into a new urban landscape. As a smart city architect and designer, I wanted to start exploring this new 1.5 meter unit on the Marineterrein, Amsterdam’s inner-city testbed for future living environments. Using a computer fan, dental mirror, lego, and yes - a Laser pointer, I set out with my son to visualize what social distancing means on footbridges, fitness gardens, picnic tables, park benches, stairs, swimming docks and familiar Amsterdam furniture. Watch the video and learn how to build your own at

Tom van Arman's picture #Citizens&Living
Lauren Macpherson, Head of Growth at Eli5, posted

A community reading app for friends, colleagues, and other groups.

We're on a mission to create the best online reading experience ever. We have just added this to Product Hunt today - there is a link there to also sign up to receive beta access when we launch.

The platform is designed for those of us who share a lot of articles and online reading with our friends, colleagues, and other communities - and find lots of links to different channels, in lots of different places unhelpful (e.g. email, Slack, social media). The reader puts them all in one place, tracks your progress, allows you, and others, to highlight and comment.

Juno provides reading in a clean format, and cross-platform. It is designed in dark mode to save energy and reduce emissions.

Let us know what you think! And if you like it, please upvote on Product Hunt when you sign up for the beta.

Lauren Macpherson's picture #Citizens&Living
sanne smeets, Marketing Communications , posted

Transforming hotels into flexible workspaces

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D/DOCK launches MEOW - My Extraordinary Workspace. We are convinced that a true revolution in hotel industry can only be successful by close collaboration. Therefore, together with 10 launching hotels, we started MEOW. MEOW is an app that enables professionals to book the most extraordinary hotels as their unique place to work.

interested in participating as hotel?
interested as a user?

sanne smeets's picture #Citizens&Living
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Webinar on municipal best practices in response to COVID-19 crisis

Tune in this afternoon for the second edition of the European Commission’s Intelligent Cities Challenge webinar series in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Presenting alongside Barcelona, The City of Amsterdam will share its Wij Amsterdam (We Amsterdam) platform for crowd-sourced social initiatives combating the crisis. The platform was built by repurposing open-source code developed in previous innovation projects. Since its launch on March 27, more than 290 social initiatives have been shared on themes such as care, loneliness, education, and work.

For more information and to register visit

Cornelia Dinca's picture #DigitalCity
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Open call for smart digital solutions to combat the corona crisis

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) invites companies and experts to think along about the development and use of apps in tackling the corona crisis. Proposals can be submitted until Tuesday, April 14, 12:00 hrs and must meet a series of specific requirements. All conditions and information about the procedure can be found at

Cornelia Dinca's picture #DigitalCity
Folkert Leffring, Digital Media Manager , posted

The digital lessons from COVID-19

Bas Boorsma explores what can we learn from the accelerated digital transition triggered by COVID-19.

Folkert Leffring's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Herman van den Bosch, Curator at Amsterdam Smart City; professor in management education , posted

It took some time, but here it is....

About six weeks, when I announced the Dutch version of my article, I promised that the English version would follow soon. It took a little bit more time.

The City of Doers
In this article I investigate how engagement and passion can enter again the workplace and how cities can contribute to achieving this goal. Most employees are not engaged, neither entrepreneurial. This is partly because many companies and institutions do not stimulate it of do not like the implications (sharing power). In this post I explore what they should do instead. I also elaborate on the starters and startup community and the conditions to let it thrive. Amsterdam is a good example, partly because of the city itself, its incubators and not to forget the role of the Amsterdam Smart City community.

Toch nog de Nederlandse versie?

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
Anne Rose van Servellen, Communication , posted

Join the City of Amsterdam Innovation Team!

Do you like to work on complex urban issues involving multiple stakeholders and with direct effect for the Amsterdammer? From AI and data science, to smart mobility and circular economy, there are a number of opportunities to join the CTO innovation team.

Check out these current opportunities:

AI developer
Back end developer
Business developer (AI Team)
Data engineer
Data scientist (Smart Mobility Program)
Front end developer
Full stack developer
Project manager (MaaS & shared mobility)
Technical information analyst (Smart Mobility Program)
Tech lead circular economy

For complete information and application procedure, refer to the City of Amsterdam’s website:

Or mail us for any questions:

Anne Rose van Servellen's picture #DigitalCity
geert kloppenburg, Expert urban mobility , posted

The Metropolitan Mobility Podcast!

How do we keep metropolitan areas accessible and vibrant places to live? This podcast offers concrete solutions for the future of our cities. Mobility expert Geert Kloppenburg in conversation with innovative entrepreneurs, scientists, and policy-makers.
Listen and join conversations about the best practices of MaaS, Bus Rapid Transit, getting people from cars on to bikes!

Marisca Zweistra, programme manager at Alliander, posted

Nationaal Laadonderzoek 2020

ElaadNL, de Vereniging Elektrische Rijders en de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen zijn op zoek naar de laadbehoeftes en -ervaringen van EV-rijders. Met de input kunnen we de stad verder helpen bij het uitwerken van de mobiliteitsvisie.
Rijd jij elektrisch? Help ons dan met het Nationaal Laadonderzoek 2020! Start de enquête (max. 10 minuten) hier:

Marisca Zweistra's picture #Mobility
Folkert Leffring, Digital Media Manager , posted

Amsterdam and Barcelona breaking new ground on data

A groundbreaking technology project offering solutions to people concerned about the control of their personal data has just concluded after three years of pilot projects in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

DECODE, an EU Horizon 2020 project delivered by a consortium of 14 European partners, has developed new technology that allows people to decide who they share their data with, and on what terms.

Folkert Leffring's picture #Citizens&Living
Mirko van Vliet, strategy at Amsterdam Economic Board, posted

Living Labs #3: het potentieel van de samenleving benutten

Wat betekenen Livings Labs voor de Metropool Amsterdam? De komende weken geven we een podium aan diverse Living Labs binnen de regio. In deel 3 spreken we met Nora van der Linden, directeur van Kennisland. “Als we problemen willen oplossen moeten we de mensen waarover het gaat bij die oplossing betrekken.”

Lees verder op Board Insights.

Mirko van Vliet's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Mirko van Vliet, strategy at Amsterdam Economic Board, posted

Living Labs #2: goed testen in de stad versnelt uitrol innovaties

Wat betekenen Livings Labs voor de Metropool Amsterdam? De komende weken geven we een podium aan diverse Living Labs binnen de regio. In deel 2 van deze serie spreken we met Leendert Verhoef, programmaleider Living Labs, van AMS Institute – het Amsterdamse kennisinstituut voor grootstedelijke vraagstukken – over de kracht van Living Labs en de aanpak van het AMS institute.

Lees verder op Insights.

Mirko van Vliet's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Mateusz Jarosiewicz, Founder at Smart Cities Polska, posted

New Operating System For Smart Cities The philosophy behind the system is what makes the difference.

My article on the operating system for cities was published in the prestigious Dubai Smart City Network #neos #smartcities #SmartCitiesPolska
If the operating system performs its function in the background, we can experience games and multimedia on the screen and use our software necessary for a business. The same rule applies to cities and it’s “operating system”.

Mateusz Jarosiewicz's picture #Energy