Tom van Arman


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Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Amsterdam is helping other water scarce cities avoid "Day 0”

Amsterdam is not a city that needs to worry about water. However there are many cities around the world that are seeing much more extended dry periods and will soon run out of water. Cape Town, San Paulo, Las Vegas, Mexico City and many more will run out of water in next few decades unless water use is radically changed. These water scarce cities will start designating water distribution points and start rationing water.

This is called 'Day 0’

CITIXL is now testing 15 wireless smart water meters in De Ceuvel, a clean tech living lab in Amsterdam that asks the question: How can we measure or monitor water consumption? And what new tools can we co-create that encourage water conservation?

CITIXL will begin to work with communities to become a living model and help other cities avoid ‘Day 0’

Tom van Arman's picture #Citizens&Living
Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

What do all these Living Labs mean for Amsterdammers?

Today there are over 40 “Living Labs” and hundreds of experiments, tests, pilots taking place in Amsterdam. Last Friday, 25 January 2019 we asked Amsterdam’s policy makers, knowledge partners and community leaders a series of questions in a fun interactive pub quiz format entitled “Living Labs - New Years Resolution”. The event was divided into various ePolling sessions with the aim to capture and visualise the various interpretations, definitions and attitudes of todays living labs. Make your opinion count! If you want to add your voice to the discussion please visit and take the quick-scan 5 minute survey. We’ll be sharing the results next Friday, 8 February.

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Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Top 10 Living Labs to check out when visiting Amsterdam

Earlier this summer I was interviewed by Ioana Păunescu for Igloo magazine about what makes Amsterdam so unique as a smart city. Simply said, Amsterdam has always been a laboratory for experiments. Since the Renaissance, citizens have always street-tested new concepts of religion, economics, politics and social justice. Today we are celebrating a new ‘digital’ renaissance where our municipality and communities remain committed to experimentation to develop brand new tools and solutions to make Amsterdam more responsive, resilient and sustainable for its residents and tourists alike.

Before visiting Amsterdam, check out these Top 10 Living Labs to see these experiments first hand.

Want to test your own experiment in Amsterdam? or learn how you can transform your own street or public space into a living lab? contact us at City Exchange Lab -

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Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

This House Is a Living Experiment for the Future of Energy

Proud to be a “proefkonijn” in the City-Zen Virtual Power Plant pilot project. Watch gizmodo magazine‘s new video to see how Amsterdam Smart City is leading the smart energy transition by enabling @SmartNieuwWest citizens to store and trade their surplus solar energy through home batteries.

Thanks @Cornelia Dinca for making the intro!

Tom van Arman's picture #Energy
Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Is Amsterdam ready for a "Social Credit Score"?

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Next week, as part of We Make the City, we will be demonstrating some of the latest camera and object recognition technology and discuss the past, present and future of neighborhoods and how they relate to public data collected as a service solution vs a surveillance system.

Join us on Thursday June 21 at 2PM at Makerversity (part of the Marineterrien) for a thought provoking panel of guests including: Marc Schoneveld (DataLab), Bert Spaan (city data applications), Kim Smouter (Head of Public Affairs & Professional Standards, ESOMAR) and Tom van Arman (CITIXL).

Signup here:

Why are we doing this?

The Chinese social credit system (SCS) was rolled out in 2014 and is planned to be fully implemented by 2020. That means that more than 1.4 billion Chinese either are currently or will be registered and tracked within the next few years. The Chinese government claims to use the system to both regulate the economy and individual citizen behavior by monitoring “trustworthiness”. According to the policy "It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility." The Chinese government gathers information about its citizens’ including facial recognition, online behavior, spending, travel, social interactions and more. It is using this big data to provide individuals a social score that if high leads to privileges, but if low restrictions or punishment such as slower internet, restricted borrowing, travel bans, lowered status in dating apps and yes even less toilet paper in public restrooms.

This isn’t a Black Mirror episode,. Research shows that more than 90% of people rely on online reviews, so why not people reviews? While the Chinese government is using SCS to encourage trustworthy behavior, private industry is also venturing into people reviews and ratings. One such company, Peeple, released an app that allows individuals to review friends, colleagues, babysitter, dates and even enemies. The idea of this app outraged many in 2015 when it was unveiled and it has struggled to gain followers, but it could be just a matter of time before social rating systems become a way of life… and is it really so different from China’s SCS?

What are the dangers of this type of social scoring? Perhaps more importantly, what are the implications of harnessing big data from our traditional public commons? We have long had CCTV cameras in many of our big cities, including Amsterdam, for security purposes, but now technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can use this data, combine it with other data and the use-cases are boundless. But the question is who will decide how this data should be used and when is it in the best interest of our citizens?

Good Intentions
They say history repeats itself and I cannot help but recall what happened here in the Netherlands…back in 1936 it became mandatory for each Dutch municipality to maintain a demographic record of its inhabitants and by 1939 everyone was required to carry a persoonskaart or a personal id card that contained information deemed important by the Nederland Bureau of Statistics including gender, age, religion, pollical party, heritage or “ethnic origins.” All of the information was stored centrally using, at the time, a technologically advanced “Hollerith punch-card” system. While the Dutch government collected and held the data for the best intentions, we all know what happened when Germany invaded and gained access to all of the centrally held data and processing power.

Fast forward 82 years and we no longer need personal identity cards when most of today’s cameras can recognize our faces in public and private domains. Should we be concerned? Is there a way to embrace technological advances for the “good” and somehow mitigate the risks? The famous historian, philosopher and author Yuval Harari said in his TedTalk that he “never underestimates human stupidity.” What I think he means by this is that history repeats itself in various ways and we often think it is a completely new situation, but it is often the same problem in a new context. For example there are lots of rights we rights we 21st century consumers will wave if we have to sacrifice convenience. The disruptive technology of today is a double-edged sword with wonderful potential to solve many of our world’s most pressing problems, but that potential also can, if we do not critically assess, have horrendous consequences. We, as citizens need to take responsibility and educate ourselves about what is happening in our increasingly complicated world. Unfortunately, it is as grave as it sounds. There is no reset button. It is our responsibility to make smart choices now for our future.

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Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Smart City Safari Tour

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What is the future of architecture and urban planning in our hyper-digital era? The ubiquity of smart phones and the internet of everything (IoT) are producing colossal amounts of data that, when used responsibly, become blueprints of how to build sustainable and inclusive cities like Amsterdam - now home to many new ‘species’ of technology and innovation.

Join us Thursday, 14 June @9pm for a Smart City “Safari” to discover these solutions in their natural habitat and how they are making smart cities like Amsterdam more responsive and resilient. For the first time, you’ll be able to explore a whole new world along the Amsterdam Waterfront at at sunset.

I’ve teamed up with to develop a prototype AR app (Augmented Reality) to show fellow architects and urban planners some technologies that are vital to our future cities, but normally invisible to the public eye.

With your own phone you’ll be able to locate the many air & water quality sensors, citizen kits, LoRa transmitters, eBike sharing, iBeacons, Smart Waste, Blue Roofs, clean tech and many more living smart city solutions. During this 30-40 minute walk we’ll be exploring the business cases like “What problem does this device solve for the city?”, “How do these technologies impact architects and urban planners?”, “How do the citizens benefit from these solutions?”.

At 9pm we’ll meet at iAmsterdam (VVV) Visitor Centre op het Stationsplein, Amsterdam. From Central Station we’ll walk along Oosterdokskade through the Nemo alto MarineTerrein and finish w/ drinks at Pension Homeland.

Also, We’re looking for field testers! Do you have a iPhone 6+ ? you can help test the new beta version of The Smart City Safari App by replying below, or contacting me directly!

Organised by: Club-A - Amsterdams architectennetwerk Club A is een initiatief van de BNA (regio Amsterdam).
Tour by: Tom van Arman
App by: & Tapp

Tom van Arman's picture Event on Jun 14th