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

Some of the most inspiring projects of 2021 during our 14th Demoday!

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On December 14 2021, we had a very special demo day. Of course, it was the last of the year. As the Amsterdam Smart City core team, we are very proud of all the collaborations our partners and community started and that's why we wanted to highlight a few of them. To give the demoday a typical Christmas vibe, the pitchers had a 'gift' for the participants: their lessons learned that everyone could benefit from. And the participants had a gift in return: answers to the questions of the pitchers. In short, a demo day with new projects, questioning and sharing insights!

Responsible Sensing Lab and Drones
Hidde Kamst of the City of Amsterdam tells the participants about the Responsible Sensing Lab, a collaboration between the municipality and AMS Institute. This Lab works on the implementation of (social) values in technology in the city. Cameras and sensors in public space can put values such as privacy and anonymity under pressure. The Responsible Sensing Lab researches and designs alternatives. This also applies to the subject of Responsible Drones. A group of civil servants, companies and knowledge institutions worked on a vision on the responsible use of drones. The subjects 'proportionality', 'communications' and 'rules of the game' were discussed.

Hidde’s lessons learned: behind the scenes there are many parties working on drones, but the involvement of residents and civil society is low. It is important to change this because drones can have a big impact on our society. In addition, it is a complex topic where more research is needed. Hidde's request for help 'How do you convey the urgency of a subject that is important, but not yet urgent?' was very recognizable for the participants. A selection of their ideas: repeat the urgency over and over again, visualize the urgency, use storytelling and name the risks.

Shuttercam and Measuring Public Space
Pitch 2 had a big link with Hidde's story. Tom van Arman does various sensing projects on the Marineterrein, also covered by the Responsible Sensing Lab. An example is the Shuttercam, a camera that citizens can put on or off. In this way they can have an influence on the technology in the city. We start Tom's pitch with a question to the participants. Do they find it important that we measure a lot and collect data to improve the city or would they rather see more privacy for residents? A question that provokes discussion.

Tom has been engaged in measuring and testing in the public space for years, with an important role for public values. That's why he learned a lot of lessons: make sure you take the time to get legislation in order, take vandalism into account, do everything you can to make your work understandable for citizens. And a very nice one to remember: a hot camera attracts many insects. They block the image or get into the devices. One of the best tips he got from the participants: let passers-by write down what they see. That way you can get great feedback.

Braking energy and Pilot OV E-hub
André Simonse from Firan (Alliander) introduced us to the 'braking energy' issue, or as it is now is called: the OV E-hub pilot. This started as a search with partners such as AMS Institute, Arcadis, the City of Amsterdam, the
VRA and Alliander. Now the process evolved into a collaboration between Strukton Rail, Hedgehog Applications and Firan. Big cities can no longer cope with the increasing demand for sustainable energy. This makes it more difficult to access mobility hubs, such as stations, to provide electricity. It is therefore important to use existing energy smartly.

The lessons learned in this pitch were about taking action. Although talking is important for ideation and understanding and trusting each other, the art is to work together on a targeted plan for implementation. André's request for help was on how to organize political support. Willem from the City of Amsterdam wants to be part of the initiative and can help to achieve official support.

Social side of hubs
Willem van Heijningen of the City of Amsterdam took the floor to tell us more about its hub mission. A hub can organize mobility in an effective way. Together with others, he is looking how Q-park Europarking in the center of Amsterdam can be transformed to a hub. Think of shared mobility, charging cars and logistics, while preserving the monumental character of the city. Hearing the word ‘hub’, many people will think of a place to connect different forms of mobility. But it is also about energy. At some point, vehicles, vessels or even drones will come by. Since we want to get rid of fossil fuels, a hub will also become the place where these forms of mobility are charged. The success or failure of hubs is all in the hands of people. It depends on their behavior whether hubs will be useful. Until now, they have got too little attention. T

his is where Willem could use some help: What is needed to bring the social aspect of hubs further? How does the hub prove its effectiveness towards humans? A selection of the answers from the group: investigating the needs of the residents, connect with existing social initiatives in the city, involve local entrepreneurs.

ArenAPoort LIFE
Else Veldman and Hans Roeland Poolman from AMS Institute took us on a tour to their Southeast Energy Lab. This is a collaboration to accelerate sustainability in the southeast of Amsterdam through practical research, meetings and concrete projects. One of the current projects is the LIFE project, an open platform to plan energy supply and demand in a smarter, inclusive way. An enormous ambition that is driven by partners such as Johan Cruijff ArenA, Alliander, Spectral, CoForce and the Utrecht University. AMS Institute is committed to ensuring this platform is not only a technical contribution to the energy transition, but also provides social value to the inhabitants of South-East.

Hans and Else asked the network to think about the latter. The result was a tidal wave of tips to involve residents: co-develop communication strategies such as storytelling and visualization, pay attention to the result, the dream, show what it means to participate in the process, and above all, invest time.

New narrative for the energy transition
The last pitch was about the New Narrative where Kennisland and What Design Can Do on behalf of RES Noord-Holland have been working on. Dave van Loon from Kennisland told us that a new story about the energy transition is being developed to move away from the negative image, people's concerns and to give a new impulse to the energy transition. This narrative is based on a design thinking process. Subsequently, the organizations developed building blocks to focus on:

  1. a shared sense of urgency
  2. a positive future perspective
  3. inspiration by concrete and recognizable examples and success stories
  4. a sense of pride
  5. a way to take of action

Dave's request for help was for a reflection on this process. And the reactions were praising. On the one hand, the feedback focused on how to make the story as concrete as possible for the target groups and on the other hand on reaching the masses, while incorporating those who are left behind.

The next demoday will take in place in February or March. Do you have a nice story to tell or would you like to join as audience? You are more than welcome! Drop a line below to let us know!

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

2021 – the top 5 best read articles of the year

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The year 2021 is coming to an end. Traditionally this is the time of the year to look back, reflect and think about what the next year has in store. This is usually also the moment in which you can read ‘the lists’: the highlights of 2021. Of course we couldn’t stay behind, so we have collected the highlights of this past year for you. We have welcomed a lot of great new community members, read inspiring news and learned more about projects that will make our cities better. Curious?

Here is the list of the posts that were mostly appreciated by you, our community members and visitors:

1. Circular Pavilion is ready for the Floriade!
Floriade is the international horticultural show that is organized in the Netherlands every ten years since 1960. In April 2022 it will take place in Almere. Since the official theme is Growing Green Cities, circularity will place a central role. Read how this evolves in the buildings.

2. Sustainable shirts and skirts
What if our clothes could have less impact on the environment? What we can contribute to a better world wearing them? Anne-Ro Klevant Groen has a goal, philosophy and some impressive activities within Fashion for Good. This month we started introducing community members and this interview immediately hits the top 5 of the year list!

3. Bitter and sweet decisions
Last week, the Netherlands was captivated by discussions, debates and decisions on datacenters. Important for storing the data that we use and need, a burden on the energy grid. How to make decisions? Learn from the experts in this Data Dilemmas webinar we hosted earlier this year.

4. Flexible travels with Amaze
MaaS, a concept talked about a lot. Instead of owning transport, you're just paying for the use of transport which makes streets less crowded and air cleaner. New MaaS initiatives appear in cities. It wouldn't be 2021 if they didn't come with an easy to use app. Amaze was launched this year, what does this look like?

5. Gaming for a better world
Serious gaming isn’t a new concept. It’s a way to show people and the way of working and impact of developments. Lowkey! To understand the need for the energy transition, serious gaming is used as well. But we can do better! There are a lot of possibilities, how do we make sure they have impact? Read the blog written by our colleague Melchior and leave behind your suggestions.

Of course, there is a lot more. You are more than welcome to browse through our website and find all the great initiatives, new projects and people that are part of Amsterdam Smart City. Let’s create better streets, neighbourhoods and cities together!

The Amsterdam Smart City wishes you happy holidays and a smart 2022.

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Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Dirk Dekker: ‘There’s a connection between all of the individual elements that make a city what it is’

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Dirk Dekker is the co-founder and CEO of Being, a real estate developer that develops sustainable environments with the context of these environments in mind.

“Being part of something bigger: that’s our tagline. The work we do is not about us as a company but about the bigger picture. We are part of something bigger and want to positively influence the real estate market in the Netherlands. We also want to prove that you can do something good for society and make a profit.

We’re not content to simply discover a location to build on; there has to be a need for us to add a positive impact too. For us, this means adopting a holistic approach to projects based on four impact pillars: personal impact, public impact, ecological impact and economic impact. We research each site’s history and talk to various people: an environmental psychologist or city biologist, for example. We interview stakeholders: future users and local residents and organisations. As you might expect, we put together a business case as well.

As I see it, the different perspectives don’t result in concessions but in the creation of more value, which isn’t always possible to express in euros. One good example of this is YOTEL, a hotel we developed in the up-and-coming Buiksloterham urban district in Amsterdam. Interviews showed that neighbours wanted to see more public green spaces and accessible hospitality. We listened and made sure both were included in our design. The hotel has integrated into the neighbourhood well, from both a social and sustainable point of view. We also ‘greened’ the rear façade of The Pavilion office building in the Zuidas business district, because it faces a graveyard. It’s important for people, planet and profit to be in balance.”

Biophilic design
“I’m inspired by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) philosophy on architecture too. BIG does research to design well in extreme conditions—in the dessert or on the moon, for example. By carefully considering the context, it becomes possible to design something that complements the environment in question. Add nature into the equation and you have what is referred to in the industry as ‘biophilic design’. Mother Nature’s research department has far more experience than all the rest of us put together, so there’s a huge amount for us to learn from.

My ideal city is one with views that extend beyond the four years of a political term of office. It’s a place where residents are involved in decision-making, which is very achievable given the amazing digital resources at our disposal today in 2021. For example, I live in Amsterdam-West, where residents have been asked to vote on the € 300,000 our urban district has to spend on green and social initiatives suggested by citizens. That’s how you create a city together.”

Networks
“Green needs to be added not just next to buildings but on and in them too. And not just in stiff flowerbeds or like a green wallpaper of sorts; a far more natural approach is vital. Trees and plants communicate with and learn from each other via underground nature networks. Our job is to make sure this is possible in urbanised environments. The Fantastic Fungi Netflix documentary is a really useful programme to watch on this subject.

There’s a connection between all of the individual elements that make a city what it is. I would like to see politicians and the business sector immersing themselves in these networks far more and also looking very closely at everything happening on platforms like Amsterdam Smart City. Networks like this are essential for the future of our city and for connective growth.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Dirk, you can find him on this platform.

This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like to show up in the series? Drop us a message!

Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

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Vacancy: Community manager & Program officer Digital at Amsterdam Smart City (in Dutch)-CLOSED

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Ben jij expert op gebied van online community management? Wil jij onze on- en offline community laten groeien en meer betrokken maken? En wil je bijdragen aan het versnellen van de transities op het gebied van mobiliteit, energie, circulaire economie en verantwoorde digitalisering?

Kom dan het Amsterdam Smart City team versterken!

Gezocht: Community manager & Programmamedewerker Digitaal - Amsterdam Smart City (32-40 uur p/w)

Wie zijn wij?
Amsterdam Smart City is een onafhankelijk innovatieplatform dat innovatieve bedrijven, kennisinstellingen, overheden en proactieve bewoners samenbrengt en vorm geeft aan de stad en regio van de toekomst.

Wij zijn ervan overtuigd dat de veranderingen die nodig zijn voor vooruitgang alleen gerealiseerd kunnen worden door samen te werken. Al onze activiteiten zijn daarom gericht op het faciliteren van ontmoeting, interactie en samenwerking, zodat partijen samen tastbare, duurzame innovaties tot stand kunnen brengen. Amsterdam Smart City richt zich met name op de vier thema’s mobiliteit, de digitale stad, energie en circulaire economie.

Het Amsterdam Smart City team zorgt voor verbinding. We brengen partners en partijen bij elkaar, zorgen voor waardegedreven innovaties, op een creatieve manier. Het team bestaat uit zes teamleden, die vanuit hun eigen taakgebied nauw met elkaar én met onze partners samenwerken. Eén van onze pijlers daarin is onze (inter)nationale community. De leden van onze community ontmoeten elkaar, zowel offline als online, op ons platform www.amsterdamsmartcity.com.

Wat ga je doen?
Je zet je in op het community management, met een focus op het nog verder versterken van de synergie tussen de community en de activiteiten van onze partners. Je maakt gebruik van data om mogelijkheden voor groei en ontwikkeling van het platform te identificeren. Daarnaast werk je met onze partners aan het aanjagen van innovaties binnen het Transitiepad Digitaal. Binnen dit Transitiepad werken onze partners samen aan verantwoorde digitalisering, met als doel het maken van leefbare straten en steden. Je ondersteunt hun processen en legt ook daar verbindingen met de community.

Taken
• Je ontwikkelt de community strategie en vertaalt deze naar community doelstellingen.
• Je slaat een brug tussen de (online/offline) community en partners.
• Je zorgt voor een inhoudelijk relevant en technisch goed functionerend online platform dat de community verbindt en aanjaagt.
• Je stuurt het bureau aan dat de website beheert.
• Je ontwikkelt het publieke evenementenplan; bijeenkomsten waarmee we onze community en partners activeren en verbinden. Je zorgt voor de uitvoering hiervan, samen met anderen.
• Je coördineert een eigen transitiepad en monitort de voortgang van projecten binnen dit transitiepad.
• Je verbindt, mobiliseert en activeert partners tot het ontplooien van activiteiten en deelname aan partnerevenementen.

Profiel
• WO/HBO werk- en denkniveau.
• Minimaal 3 jaar ervaring met community management en met de ontwikkeling en het beheer van websites.
• Kennis van en ruime ervaring met diverse communicatiemiddelen on- en offline.
• Ervaring met het organiseren van publieke evenementen.
• Uitstekende beheersing van de Nederlandse en Engelse taal in woord en geschrift.
• Een nieuwsgierige en enthousiaste instelling die anderen aanzet tot actie.
• Initiatiefrijk en resultaatgericht.
• Werkt graag samen met een team en met externe stakeholders.
• Affiniteit met stedelijke ontwikkeling, technologie, innovatie en duurzaamheid.

Wat bieden wij?
Wij bieden je een fijne werkplek op het Marineterrein in Amsterdam, met een informele en collegiale sfeer. Op dit moment werken we uiteraard veel thuis. We zijn een klein team (6 personen) dat nauw met elkaar samenwerkt. Daarnaast werken we intensief samen met een groep gedreven mensen die zich inzetten voor een duurzame stad en regio, voor iedereen. Het is een regionale, nationale én internationale werkomgeving waarin je eigen inbreng en proactiviteit zeer gewaardeerd worden.

Het betreft een functie voor 32-40 uur per week. De startdatum is idealiter 1 februari a.s. Je start met een dienstverband voor de periode van een jaar met uitzicht op vaste verlenging. We hanteren een bruto startsalaris van 3.950 tot max 4.285,32 euro bij een 40urige werkweek.

Interesse gewekt?
Vind je dit goed klinken? Dan horen we graag van je! Stuur je CV en een korte motivatie voor 10 januari 2022 naar: info@amsterdamsmartcity.com. Als we je uitnodigen voor een gesprek, zal dit plaatsvinden op 17 januari a.s. De tweede gespreksronde staat gepland op 21 januari a.s.

Hopelijk spreken we elkaar snel!

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Amsterdam Smart City End-of-year-Demoday

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Demodays are part of our innovation process and intended to boost the progress of the various innovation projects, put requests for help on the table, share dilemmas and involve others in your projects or challenges. We host them every 8-10 weeks.

Invitations are sent but we're always open to adding a few new names to the list.

During Demo days, community members pitch projects and ask for input. In small groups we work on concrete questions. All in a very positive, open and cheerful vibe.

This time on the agenda:

Pitches:
- Responsible Sensing Lab & Responsible Drones
- Public Eye / Shuttercam
- Pilot Regenerative Braking
- Social functions of neighbourhood hubs
- ArenApoort LIFE
- What Design Can Do

Want to join? Have a question? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture Meet-up on Dec 14th
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Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Ronald Smallenburg: ‘We need creativity for a new generation of infrastructure’

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Ronald Smallenburg is co-founder of Pontiflex, a start-up which designs modular bridges out of sustainable materials.

“My business partner Joris Vermeulen and I started Pontiflex a few years ago. A key motivator was the state of the Nescio Bridge for bicycles spanning the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal between the Amsterdam suburb of IJburg and the city itself. This €15 million bridge opened in 2006, but only a few years later, its steel started to rust. It served as an inspiration to start thinking about designing more sustainable bridges on a competitive budget.

Joris asked me to join him in searching for solutions. We discovered there is a huge market for bridges and other infrastructure. A major portion of the post-WW2, so-called ‘boomer infrastructure’ in the Netherlands is at the end of its lifetime—just as it is in most Western countries. It needs to be replaced, repaired or refurbished as well as expanded, especially given the growth in cycling seen everywhere in the Western world. At the same time, society requires more sustainability. We saw excellent business opportunities.”

Alternative materials
“At Pontiflex, we believe we all need to find alternatives to classic steel and concrete, the building sector’s key materials. Their production is one of the most polluting processes in terms of CO2 emissions. That’s why we started to look for sustainable alternatives to use in new construction. They include FSC-certified wood, a revolutionary bio-composite, recycled plastics and cementless concrete made from old asphalt and industrial waste. Over the years, we were granted a total of four subsidies to finance our search for the best sustainable materials to use in new bridge construction.

Our answer to modern-day challenges is to double sustainability. Our modular bridges combine easy-to-build-and-adapt bridges with circular materials. Every element of our bridges can be replaced or reused at any time, independent of each other. This means that we can quickly build a bridge, or disassemble and move it if necessary, or adapt to new conditions, including length and width.”

Conservatism
“Developing sustainable infrastructure is challenging given the conservatism in the sector. I believe that the public sector and the industry need vision and boldness. Vision for a sustainable infrastructure, boldness in daring to design and implement new constructions and materials, either as a public client or as an architect, engineer or contractor. Calculated risks are the key words here. Do your research and test thoroughly, but dare to be different and accept your losses or approve your gains.”

New generation of infrastructure
“We participate in GO!-NH, an innovation program of the province of Noord-Holland in the Netherlands. With programs such as these, we expand our network and learn from the experiences of other entrepreneurs. I’m still new to Amsterdam Smart City, but I’m open to new connections. I’m also happy to share my entrepreneurial experience in the field of sustainability.

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and the Netherlands in general, offers a lot of creativity. Here, there are many people with different backgrounds and ideas. The construction industry will benefit greatly if we tap into this diversity—not only because we need more technicians, but because we also need people who think differently. Women, migrants and refugees can provide the industry with new input and new creativity, which is crucial for a new generation of infrastructure.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Ronald, you can find himon this platform.

This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like show up in the series? Drop us a message!

Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #CircularCity