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Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Intelligent Cities Challenge - Public Kick-off 2nd City Lab

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The ICC builds on the success of the Digital Cities Challenge (DCC), which helped 41 EU cities develop a strategic vision and a roadmap for digital transformation. Similar to its predecessor, the ICC cities will receive guidance and expert support though a city peer network that will share best practices regarding the uptake of advanced technologies.

The Amsterdam Region, represented by Amsterdam Economic Board and Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is proud to join the ICC as mentor alongside European mentors Aarhus, Antwerp, Barcelona, Espoo, Hamburg, Nice, Porto, Rijeka and international mentors Medellin, Singapore and Toronto. The Amsterdam region will share its experience and learn from other best practices related to multi-stakeholder collaboration, innovation ecosystems, circular economy and citizen participation.

The second ICC Lab will take place February 16-19. The first day of the program is open to the public and registration is possible via: <https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/events/1st-icc-city-lab>

Agenda:
13:00 – 13:10 Opening speech

  • John Higgins, Moderator
  • Ulla Engelmann, European Commission, Head of Unit for social economy
  • Nikos Maroulis, Programme Coordinator

13:10 – 14:30 Panel discussion on ‘City strategies for the recovery’

  • John Higgins, Moderator
  • Alice Charles, Project Lead, Cities, Infrastructure & Urban Services Platform, World Economic Forum
  • Dana Eleftheriadou, European Commission, Head of Advanced Technologies Team
  • Filipe Araújo, Vice Mayor, city of Porto
  • Goele Haest, Director of Business and City Marketing, city of Antwerp
  • Harri Paananen, Head of Economic Development, City of Espoo
  • Sébastien Viano, Director of the European Affairs and External Funding, Metropole Nice Côte d'Azur

14:30 – 15:30 ICC City needs and strategies: reflections and showcases from the community

  • John Higgins, Moderator
  • Paresa Markianidou & Morten Rasmussen, Programme Coordinators
  • Cristina Mora, Councillor of sustainable development and European programmes, city of Cartagena

15:30 End of public program

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Feb 16th
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Bloomberg Cities Mayors Challenge

The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is the farthest reaching, most ambitious to date. After uncovering the 50 most innovative urban solutions in the wake of COVID-19, the Challenge will award 15 grand prize winners $1 million each—to help cities implement their breakthrough ideas and, ultimately, to spread those ideas to other cities on a global scale.

The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is open to all cities with populations greater than 100,000 residents. All eligible cities must RSVP to the competition and submit a completed application no later than 21 March 2021.

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Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Launching ICC Renovation Action Group

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On 14 Οctober 2020, the European Commission published its Renovation Wave Strategy which aims to improve the energy performance of buildings.  The goal is to double renovation rates in the next ten years in order to cut emissions, boost the post-corona recovery and reduce energy poverty.  Action is urgently needed since buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions, yet only 1% of the building stock undergoes energy-efficient renovations every year.

On Tuesday, January 26, 10:30-12:30, the Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) community will kick-start a Renovation Action Group focused on knowledge exchange and collaboration among ICC cities and regions.  In its mentor capacity, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region is invited to share best practices and connect to other innovations in this field.  The meeting will take place via MS Teams and will consist of the following points:

  1. Policy agenda on the Renovation Strategy and Bauhaus
  2. Presentation of meeting, Thematic Action Group and best practices
  3. ICC city presentations on renovation practices
  4. Discussion on needs, best practices, solutions and collaboration topics

This meeting is by invitation only. Amsterdam Smart City partners and community members interested in joining the meeting should send an email to cornelia@amsterdamsmartcity.com briefly explaining their interest in the ICC Renovation Action Group.

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Jan 26th
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

CityFlows Launches City Analytics Startup

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CityFlows is an EIT Urban Mobility flagship project bringing together a diverse consortium of partners to launch a state-of-the-art Crowd Management Decision-Support System (CM-DSS) to improve the safety and comfort of busy pedestrian spaces. The recent launch of City Analytics, a start-up licensing the CityFlows CM-DSS software to government authorities, represents a major project milestone. City Analytics will boost the quality of pedestrian spaces, a timely development as cities look for reliable tools that can help them respond to the Corona crisis. Find out more by reading this extended article below.

Background
The safety and comfort of pedestrian spaces influences the quality of life in cities, but crowding can limit these gains. In recent years, a few European universities and municipalities have developed techniques to actively monitor crowd movements and proactively manage crowded spaces using real-time decision support systems. These pilot programs have shown that effective crowd management can substantially improve the liveability and sustainability of densely populated urban areas. Yet, at the beginning of 2020, there was no state-of-the-art CM-DSS ready for large-scale deployment.

This is the challenge that a diverse consortium of partners set out to address in the EIT Urban Mobility project, CityFlows. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) and its founding member Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), brought together researchers and practitioners in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan who have expertise in state-of-the-art sensor techniques, crowd management, governmental regulation, European privacy regulation, machine learning, data analytics and valorization of research output. This consortium consists of AMS Institute, TU Delft, as well as the city of Amsterdam, ALTRAN, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), the city of Barcelona, ENEA, the city of Milan and AMAT.

Shortly after the project launched in January 2020, the partners experienced a massive set-back in the wake of Covid-19 emergency, with Milan being particularly hard hit. The initial timelines and scope of the project were challenged as large events were cancelled and tourist crowds disappeared. Despite these set-backs, the partners persevered, adapting to the new reality. In this article the partners share an update as the project reaches an important milestone.

Living Lab Projects
A key desired outcome of the CityFlows project is to boost the quality and accessibility of urban space through different living lab projects in the three partner cities of Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona. Through these city-scale demonstrator projects, the CityFlows CM-DSS software developed by TU Delft and ALTRAN is being tested to illustrate the overall impact of the system and provide management strategies for various types of crowded spaces. These “living lab” projects are also integral to testing design assumptions and validating the software in different real-life contexts.

The first living lab project was planned at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff ArenA and was supposed to take place during the UEFA EURO 2020 soccer championship which has been postponed to 2021. The aim of this living lab is to showcase and evaluate the use of the CityFlows CM-DSS software during large sporting events. The software features a sensor system, including 2D sensors, that will be further built up using data from other sources. The system is fully operational and ready for testing once large sporting events can take place again. Additionally, the CM-DSS has also been adjusted for Covid-19 management, providing insights into levels of crowdedness and social distancing behavior in the area.

Similarly, the Amsterdam Covid-19 living lab represents an alteration to the original project which was supposed to manage crowds during the large-scale SAIL event that was cancelled. Instead, partners have adapted the operational crowd-monitoring system to monitor social distancing at several busy locations. Real-time data is produced and analyzed by city officials on a daily basis, helping to inform social-distancing measures and communications with the public through dashboards.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona living lab will produce simulations that predict the human behavior around Sagrada Familia. Data regarding flow dynamics will be collected primarily through RFID technology, providing the input for simulations which will eventually be used to redesign the pedestrian space surrounding Sagrada Familia. The pilot is currently in the final design stages and will be fully deployed in 2021.

The Milan Central Station living lab will be testing 5G technology through the set-up of a real-time crowd movement assessment system featuring highly sophisticated computer vision techniques. The municipality, ENEA and ALTRAN have designed a pilot using historical and real-time data collected by fixed and mobile sensors to feed the analysis of the crowd evolution inside the station. Moreover, the partners are developing an innovative 5G sensor system that analyzes and classifies pedestrian movements in CCTV images.

Launching City Analytics
The CityFlows consortium recently reached a key milestone with the launch of City Analytics. This start-up is a vehicle for turning the CityFlows CM-DSS into a license-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) software package available to managers of pedestrian spaces (i.e. public spaces, train stations, event grounds, shopping malls, schools). Compared to its main competitors, the City Analytics software package is hardware independent, cloud-based, highly scalable, GDPR-proof and above all, highly customizable to the user’s needs. In the coming year, City Analytics will further develop the business case, and also connect other modes of transport, including bicycle flows, car flows and public transport. The software package has been available to serve interested parties since the beginning of December.

Knowledge & Educational Activities
A key consideration in launching the CityFlows CM-DSS on a large scale is ensuring that system operators have access to the right knowledge and information to use it effectively. For this reason CityFlows partners are developing an impact assessment of the deployment of the CityFlows CM-DSS for various types of crowded places.

Additionally, an educational package considering innovative crowd-management decision-support systems is being developed. This package will be hosted open-access on the CityFlows website. Since September, three CityFlows webinars have been hosted bringing together project partners and the broader crowd-management community. Recaps and recordings of those webinars are available on the CityFlows website and a fourth webinar is planned for December 15th on the topic of 5G applications for crowd-management. Project partners will continue to develop educational activities into 2021, showcasing the results and lessons learned from the different living lab projects and other best practices for crowd-management. Researchers and practitioners working on innovative crowd-management projects are invited to share their work with this growing community of crowd-management professionals.

Scaling Results
The CityFlows project has already achieved impressive results. Despite initial delays due to the Corona emergency, living lab projects in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan are well under way. And, with the launch of the City Analytics start-up, the CityFlows CM-DSS is ready to scale, thereby helping boost the quality of pedestrian spaces across Europe and internationally. This is more urgent than ever, especially as cities are looking for tools which can help them keep Covid-19 under control in the upcoming months.

Contact
To learn more about the CityFlows project visit www.cityflows-project.eu or contact:

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Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

CityFlows Webinar #4: 5G Applications for Crowd Management

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The EIT-KIC project CityFlows aims to improve the liveability of crowded pedestrian spaces through the use of Crowd Monitoring Decision Support Systems (CM-DSS) to manage pedestrian flows. To facilitate knowledge exchange between project partners and stakeholders, the CityFlows project is hosting a webinar series in four parts.

Please note! This webinar was previously scheduled for December 1 and has been postponed to December 15.

Agenda:
• 14:55 – 15:00 Zoom meeting room open
• 15:00 – 15:05 Welcome & introductions
• 15:05 – 15:20 Crowd management innovations at Milan Central Station by Giuseppe Gammariello & Giovanni Criscuolo
• 15:20 – 15:35 Crowd management innovations at Johan Cruijff Arena by Willem Hegen
• 15:35 – 15:40 Reflection from Barcelona partners
• 15:40 – 16:00 Q&A with the audience
• 16:00 Program end

Crowd-management researchers and practitioners are encouraged to join this interactive webinar and to share their best practices and lessons learned.

For more information about the CityFlows project please visit: https://cityflows-project.eu

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Dec 15th
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

The Journey Continues — The Road to Smart City Live Reveals Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Follow-up

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The Road to Smart City Live was a three day program that featured more than 40 sessions covering a wide variety of smart city and urban innovation topics including smart governance, data platforms, digital twins, smart mobility and living labs. The goal was to bring together and connect the Dutch and Nordic smart city ecosystems, facilitate knowledge exchange, and help establish new collaboration opportunities.

The program was held in the lead up to this year’s digital alternative to the World Smart City Expo, Smart City Live. Amsterdam Smart City contributed to the program by organizing daily recap sessions together with Amsterdam Trade & Innovate and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).  The intention was to create a casual setting for participants to reflect on lessons learned and discuss opportunities for follow-up.

Here are six key outcomes from the recap sessions:

  1. Outdated Regulations — Cities and innovators are struggling with outdated regulations.  The role of governments should be to ensure the right regulations are in place for stimulating the transition to sustainable and liveable cities.  This is much more important and effective than facilitating specific pilots, which can be left to the market when the right regulations and incentives are in place.  However, changing regulations is easier said than done.  The City of Amsterdam is collecting input on what regulatory changes need to be overcome to facilitate the energy transition.
  2. Public-Private Collaboration — Despite a strong appetite for public-private collaboration, organizing it in practice remains a challenge.  City of Amsterdam has developed innovative procurement programs like Startup in ResidenceInnovatie Partners and AI4Cities to enable collaboration with start-ups and scale-ups. And, the City of Amsterdam is now sharing these tools and lessons learned nationally and internationally, for example through the Startup in Residence Toolkit.
  3. Post Corona Recovery — How can the corona emergency be used to implement and accelerate ambitions for circularity and sustainability?  FME hosted a session exploring best practices which can help cities recover from corona and build back better.  FME will facilitate follow-up discussion and exchange among parties interested in collaborating on post-corona recovery.
  4. Digital Transition — Digital technology is increasingly part of all aspects of urban life and software innovation is key to a safe, responsible and inclusive digital transition. ITEA is currently preparing several innovative projects on topics like smart mobility and future of work which are still open for input from potential partners.
  5. Digital Inclusion & Data Control — Covid-19 has deepened the digital divide and highlighted the need for building digitally inclusive cities.  In order to become a digitally inclusive city, the City of Eindhoven is working to ensure all citizens have access to digital tools and are aware of what’s happening with their data.
  6. Scaling Living Labs — Netherlands and Sweden are leaders in smart city pilots and living labs, but in both countries scaling remains a challenge. While some stakeholders express “pilot fatigue”, others argue that this great diversity of pilots (including many failures) is an indicator of a healthy innovation ecosystem.  Cleantech Scandinavia and RVO are looking for ways to better capture and share lessons learned from past pilot projects, and ways to "resuscitate" and scale them when appropriate.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) collaborated with ITEA, Cleantech Scandinavia and the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and The Hague to facilitate The Road to Smart City Live.  Video recordings from the different sessions will be made available in the upcoming weeks via the b2match platform.

For more information about any of the above lessons learned or follow-up opportunities, please connect with cornelia@amsterdamsmartcity.com.

Did you participate in (The Road to) Smart City Live?  Are there more insights or opportunities for follow-up which you would like to share with the community? Share your feedback in the comments below.

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