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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

6. Appropriate density

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This article is part of the series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Read whether Increasing density of cities complies with the quality of the urban environment.

There is widespread agreement to use the available space more thoughtful than during the last decades. In the Nationale Omgevingsvisie (NOVI), the Dutch government has unambiguously expressed its preference for housing locations within existing built-up areas or in the vicinity of stations.

The need for density

Frequently, references are made to ‘urban sprawl' in the USA to illustrate the disadvantages of low density. However, but The Netherlands is also familiar with extensive growth of the urban area. The maps above show the growth of the Amsterdam area. Between 1900 and 2000, the population of Amsterdam grew from 317,000 to 727,000 inhabitants. Its surface from 560 to 11,500 hectares.
The spread of urban activities over an ever-increasing surface and the associated traffic movements have led to vast monotonous areas, car dependence, expansion of the road network, increasing congestion, impoverishment of social life, air pollution, emissions of greenhouse gases and decline of nature.
A summary of 300 OECD research projects shows that compactness results in more efficient use of facilities, but that there are also disadvantages in terms of health and well-being, usually as results of air pollution and traffic.

Advantages of density

Denser development is generally associated with the availability of amenities within walking distance, creating support for better public transport accessibility, and leading to more efficient use of utilities. Moreover - corrected for the composition of the population - CO2 emissions in urban areas are at least 30% lower than in the suburbs. An advantage that disappears in case of high-rises.

No necessity to expand building outside urban areas

According to many urban planners, there is no reason to divert to locations outside the existing built-up area. They claim that there is sufficient space in every city for new residential locations, for instance disused office buildings and factory locations. Many new homes can also come available through the division of oversized single-family homes and the renovation and raising of older (porch) homes.
These arguments only hold if at the same time the nuisance by densification is limited. For example, by reducing car useto prevent the roads from becoming even more crowded and the streets even more filled with parked cars. I don't see that happening yet.

Competing claims on urban land use

There is another important objection to further densification and that is the fact that other forms of land use also appeal to available land within the urban space. For example, the expansion of industry, trade, research etcetera. preferably in the vicinity of living areas to reduce the length of trips.
The most important claim on the available space is the need to expand the city’s greenery. Research into the development of 'green' in Amsterdam and Brussels since 2010 shows that the open space ratio (OSR) in both cities has decreased. In Amsterdam this was 3.68 km2 (4.7%) and in Brussels 9.17 km2 (11.9%). This is in line with a recent study by Arcadis, which shows that the four major cities in the Netherlands score very poorly on healthy outdoor space, greenery, air quality, noise nuisance, heat stress and safety.

Inner- and outer-urban development revisited

The report therefore concludes that extension of the use of urban space for housing must be weighed up against other claims for the use of space, such as urban greening, urban agriculture, and the maintenance and expansion of business activities. At the same time, the objections to ecologically responsive building activities outside the already urbanized areas must be reconsidered. Three-quarters of the agricultural land is used for intensive livestock farming, not exactly creating valuable nature. I will come back to it later.
In the 'Dossier leefbaar wonen' (in Dutch)' I wrote extensively about the subject of providing affordable housing. You can download this e-book using the link below:

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

5. Integration of high-rises

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This article is part of the series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Read how the design of high-rises might comply with the quality of the urban environment.
High-rises are under scrutiny in two respects. First, its necessity or desirability. Secondly, their integration in the urban fabric. This post is about the latter.

Options for high-rises

Suppose you want to achieve a density of 200 housing equivalents in a newly to build area of one hectare. A first option is the way in which Paris and Barcelona have been built: Contiguous buildings from five to eight floors along the streets, with attractive plinths. In addition, or as an addition, others prefer high-rises because of their capacity of enhancing the metropolitan appearance of the area. Not to increase the density in the first place.

Integrative solution

Almost all urban planners who opt for the latter option take as starting point rectangular blocks, which height along the streets is limited to 4-6 storeys, including attractive plinths. The high-rise will then be realized backwards, to keep its massiveness out of sight. The image at top left gives an impression of the reduced visibility of high-rises at street level on Amsterdam's Sluisbuurt. According to many, this is a successful example of the integration of high-rises, just like the Schinkelkwartier under development, also in Amsterdam(picture top right).

Separate towers

The last option is also recognisable in all urban plans with a metropolitan character in Utrecht and Rotterdamand more or less in The Hague too. This represents a turnaround from the past. Research by Marlies de Nijsshowed that only 20% of all high-rises built before 2015 met this condition. These buildings consist of separate towers without an attractive plinth. What you see at ground floor-level are blank walls hiding technical, storage or parking areas. The Zalmtoren in Rotterdam, the tallest building in the Netherlands, exemplifies this (picture below right). This kind of edifices is mostly surrounded by a relatively large space of limited use. Other disadvantages of detached high-rises are the contrast with adjacent buildings, their windy environment, the intense shadows, its ecological footprint, and the costs.


Two extreme examples of disproportionate high-rises can be found in Paris. Paris has always applied a limitation of the building height to 37 meters within the zone of the Périférique. The exception is the Eiffel Tower, but it was only meant to be temporary. In the two short periods that this provision was cancelled, two buildings have risen: The first is the 210-meter-high Tour Montparnasse, which most Parisians would like to demolish immediately. Instead, the building will be renovated at a cost of €300 million in preparation for the Olympic Games. After 10 years of struggle, construction of the second has started in 2021. It is the 180-meter-high Tour Triangle, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, so-called star architects. The photos at the bottom left and centre show the consequences for the cityscape.

Follow the link below to find an overview of all articles.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Mobility
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

2. Human density

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This article is part of the series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Read how design, departing from the human dimension contributes to the quality of the urban environment. Follow the link below to find an overview of all articles.
Human dimension means that residents nor visitors feel overwhelmed by the environment. An urban planner must avoid them thinking that it is all about other things, such as commerce, traffic, or the buildings themselves, which unfortunately often is the case indeed. Constructions by 'star architects' can be crowd pullers but usually also result into a disproportionate use of space. Cities therefore better tolerate only a limited number of such edifices. Alexander Herrebout (OTO Landscape) believes that space has a human dimension if you experience attention for you as a human being and that there are objects you can connect with. For many, this will be more often a historic building (church, town hall) than a modernist one.

Compactness (‘enclosure’)

Compact streets and squares give a sense of security. They encourage people to linger there, increasing the chance of unforeseen encounters. Sjoerd Soeters considers squares in the first place as a widening in the street pattern and therefore they are preferably no larger than 24 by 40 meters. A round or oval shape enhances the feeling of security. If the height of the surrounding buildings is also in line with this, there may be contact between residents and people on the street. Good examples are the square he designed in the Oostpoort shopping center in Amsterdam, but also a square in <em>The Point</em>, a new shopping center in Utah (US), resp. bottom left and bottom center and of course the Piazza der Campo in Siena.

If streets are too wide or narrow or buildings are too high?

Trees, for example a double row all around, will help if a street is too wide or a square is too big. Trees are also a source of reducing urban heat. The extent to which trees contribute to the sense of intimacy is expressed by comparing the images at the top left (Herring Cove Road, Halifax, Canada) and the top right (Course Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence). A square or a street that is too wide can be further visually reduced by the construction of terraces, the placement of a pavilion or the presence of water features, such as on the Brusselplein, Leidsche Rijn (bottom right). Sometimes also by allowing destination traffic and public transport.
A street that is too narrow can be widened psychologically by designing sidewalks and a carriageway in the same level and shades, possibly separated by a narrow band, as illustrated in the image of the Sluisbuurt in Amsterdam (top center).
If case of high-rises, the human dimension can be respected by planting trees and by placing taller buildings back from the plinth to limit their visibility from the street.  This is also illustrated by the image of the Sluisbuurt (top center).


Compactness presupposes a certain density. In a very dense city center is only room for pedestrians and not for traffic, in some cases except for the tram. Though, these areas must be always accessible to emergency services. Waste removal, deliveries and parking must be solved differently, for example on the inner space of blocks or by introducing strict time slots. Every city also needs space for events such as concerts, fairs, etcetera. Accessibility is more important than a central location.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

New series: 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities

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This article is the introduction to the series 25 building blocks for better streets, neighbourhoods and cities, which you can read every Tuesday and Friday starting next week. The link below refers to an overview of all upcoming posts.

It often strikes me how much people agree about the quality of the living environment. Many, especially younger ones, prefer a house built in the '30s. Older neighbourhoods almost always score higher than modern ones, due to the alleged lack of atmosphere, sociability, and intimacy in the latter. Urban planners, architects and politicians would like to change this, and they are doing so. Slowly.

In urban planning a breeze of fresh air comes in.

How cities in Europe currently look stems largely from the ideas of Le Corbusier through his role in the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). The Dutch architect and urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren was also a prominent representative. The influence of the Congress is visible in the spacious post-war residential areas with their long rows of single-family houses and medium-rise buildings. The underlying idea was to design a functional city in which living, working, shopping and recreation all have their own separated places.

Slowly, the voice of a new generation of urban planners in which Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl (pictures above) play a prominent role became louder. They detest post-war urban expansion and advocate mixing urban functions.  70 years after the publication of her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Planetizen magazine predicated urban activist Jane Jacobs as the most influential urban planner ever, even though she never studied this field. Jan Gehl, who did, follows in second place. By the way, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, is in 7th place; not because of what she studied but of what she put into practice.

Many others, including representatives of New Urbanism, play an important role in further developing the ideas of Jacobs and Gehl. For instance, they put back on the agenda the return to the 15-minute city. ‘New urbanists’ also top the list: Andres Duany, the author of Suburban Nation at four and Jeff Speck, who authored Walkable City, at ten.

The concept of high-quality living environment

Many contemporary ideas about urban development come together in the concept of high-quality living environment. A compact definition of this concept is improving human well-being in a condensing city. I have collected and clustered references to characteristics of high-quality living environments in many recent publications into 25 building blocks. Each block deals with one aspect of the quality of the living environment, or in other words the creation of better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Consider this a tribute to the mission of the Amsterdam Smart City community, of which I was a curator for several years.

I hope you get inspired and support the use of these building blocks.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
NEMO Science Museum, posted

Evenement: Unesco Werelderfgoed & Klimaat

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Werelderfgoed & Klimaat

Ook wel eens gedroomd van zwemmen met schildpadden op de Galápagoseilanden? Of van een tripje naar Yellowstone? Overal in de wereld is prachtig Werelderfgoed te zien, maar reizen daarnaartoe heeft een keerzijde. De klimaatcrisis zorgt ervoor dat ook Werelderfgoed het steeds lastiger te verduren krijgt. Kijk bijvoorbeeld naar het unieke en onvervangbare Great Barrier Reef in Australië waarvan de toekomst onzeker is. En het is maar de vraag of je over dertig jaar nog droge voeten houdt tijdens een vakantie in Venetië.

Praat mee op 28 september 2023 met onder andere klimaatambassadeur Kiki Boreel en spoken word-artiest Zaïre Krieger over het klimaat en Unesco Werelderfgoed. We gaan het hebben over hoe we bijzondere plekken in de wereld kunnen beschermen tegen klimaatverandering en hoe jij zelf in actie kunt komen. Zo hopen we samen tot een oplossing te komen zodat we door middel van duurzaam reizen nog steeds de mooiste plekken van de wereld kunnen bezoeken.

Over Unesco Werelderfgoed

NEMO organiseert deze bijeenkomst in samenwerking met de Unesco Jongerencommissie, de Nederlandse Unesco Commissie en Stichting Werelderfgoed. De organisaties zetten zich onder meer gezamenlijk in om Werelderfgoed te beschermen en te behouden.


  • Korte pitches door Ginger Weerheim (Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme en Congressen) en Tom van Nouhuys (Forteiland Pampus).
  • Spoken word door Zaïre Krieger.
  • Panelgesprek door Ginger, Tom, Emmeline van der Leen (Jonge Klimaatbeweging) en Annemieke Visser (Tienskip).
  • Tips voor duurzaam toerisme door de Unesco Jongerencommissie, over wat jij zelf kan doen.


Voor een bezoek aan dit evenement in De Studio reserveer je een apart ticket.

  • Toegangsprijs regulier: € 7,50
  • Toegangsprijs met CJP pas, college- of studentenkaart: € 3,75

Tickets zijn inclusief een bezoek aan de tentoonstelling Energy Junkies én een gratis drankje. 

*De Studio van NEMO is een extra locatie van NEMO Science Museum op het Marineterrein in Amsterdam. De programmering is speciaal voor volwassenen.

foto: Belle Co op Pexels⁠

NEMO Science Museum's picture Meet-up on Sep 28th
Amsterdam Economic Board, posted

Anders kijken en anders doen in de Metropool van Morgen

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Dringende oproep van Femke Halsema tijdens zesde State of the Region.

Van grenzen aan de groei en zonnepanelen voor iedereen tot talenten werven op een nieuwe manier en een nieuw perspectief op nieuwkomers: als we brede welvaart echt een kans willen geven, moeten we anders kijken en anders doen. En daarvoor is vertrouwen cruciaal, zegt Femke Halsema in haar oproep. Welkom bij de 6e editie van State of the Region, in de Meervaart Amsterdam.

Duurzaamheid. Wonen. De energietransitie. Als presentatoren Tex de Wit en Janine Abbring via de Mentimeter het publiek vragen naar de grootste uitdaging voor de Metropool Amsterdam verschijnt er een gevarieerde woordwolk op het scherm. Armoedebestrijding wordt genoemd, minder vergaderen en bereikbaarheid.

Ook noemen veel mensen brede welvaart. “En dat is vandaag een belangrijk thema”, zegt Abbring. “In eerdere State of the Regions lag de focus meer op cijfers, op economische welvaart. Nu richten we ons ook op minder materiële zaken.”

Dat zien we terug in een paar filmpjes. Pallas Achterberg, Challenge Officer bij Alliander roept daarin op beter te luisteren, tot samenwerken op een andere manier, een samenwerking waarin we ons eigen belang ondergeschikt maken aan het gemeenschappelijke belang. We zien een kinderarts die zich afvraagt waarom we ons niet veel meer richten op preventie. We zien ondernemers die bij het werven van talent verder kijken dan alleen het cv en ondernemers die zonnepanelen betaalbaar maken voor iedereen.

Geen lege term

Het zijn de concrete voorbeelden die nauw aansluiten bij de jaarlijkse State of the Region, de speech van Femke Halsema tijdens het gelijknamige evenement. Ze is burgemeester van Amsterdam, maar vandaag vooral voorzitter van de Metropoolregio Amsterdam én van Amsterdam Economic Board. Die organiseren dit evenement samen met de gemeente Amsterdam, amsterdam&partners en ROM InWest.

Halsema herhaalt de oproep die vandaag centraal staat: anders kijken en anders doen. “We moeten fundamentele keuzes maken om ervoor te zorgen dat brede welvaart geen lege term wordt. Dat we het werkelijk gaan uitvoeren. Wij doen nu deze oproep. En ik hoop dat we die samen met inwoners, bedrijven, maatschappelijke instellingen en u in de zaal werkelijkheid kunnen laten worden.”

Bijzondere samenwerking

De Board-voorzitter is net terug uit Hatay, de Turkse provincie die zo zwaar werd getroffen door de aardbeving. Door slechte samenwerkingen lukt het de regio niet goed om de enorme schades te herstellen. Het leven ligt er stil. In Nederland zit die samenwerking in ons bloed. De eerste Nederlandse dijk liep langs het Gooi, via Diemen en Amsterdam naar het IJ en was het gevolg van een bijzondere samenwerking tussen boeren, vissers, de graaf en inwoners.

“Die samenwerking vraagt nog wel onze aandacht. Ons verdienmodel is aan vernieuwing toe. Economische groei zal hand in hand moeten gaan met sociaal-maatschappelijke vooruitgang. Onze huidige voorspoed bereikt nog lang niet iedereen. Inkomensverschillen zijn groot, er is te veel uitstoot van fijnstof, er zijn te weinig arbeidskrachten en er is een tekort aan woningen.”

De Metropool als meent

Toch ziet Halsema geen reden voor pessimisme. Met dank aan grote en kleine bedrijven die in de Metropool hun uitvalsbasis hebben verdienen we hier 20 procent van het bruto binnenlands product. De voorzieningen en kennisinstellingen zijn van hoog niveau. En we zijn een veerkrachtige regio.

Vertrouwen is volgens Halsema de kern van onze toekomstige samenwerking. “We kunnen niet met elkaar blijven concurreren, we moeten elkaar versterken. We moeten onze Metropool zien als de meent van vroeger, een gemeenschappelijke weidegrond waar we samen verantwoordelijk voor zijn. Als jij die niet goed gebruikt, heeft dat gevolgen voor de andere gebruikers. De Metropool is te lang beschouwd als onbeheerde, woeste grond waar geen samenwerking voor nodig is.”

Halsema haalt econoom en nobelprijswinnaar Elinor Ostrom aan, die pleitte voor goede instituties voor gemeenschappelijk beheer. “We beheren goederen die we moeten laten floreren voor het welvaren van de gehele gemeenschap, zegt zij. Dat betekent dat we altijd het belang van de ander hebben mee te wegen, ook dat van mensen in de rest van Nederland en de wereld en ook dat van toekomstige generaties.”

‘Een mega radicale transformatie’

Anders kijken en anders doen klinkt misschien eenvoudig, maar vraagt van iedereen in de Metropool Amsterdam een nieuwe manier van denken en doen. Op het podium gaat Femke Halsema hierover in gesprek met Ingo UytdenHaage, co-CEO van Adyen, architect Thomas Rau en onderzoeken en community builder Soraya Shawki. Wat vinden zij van de oproep anders te kijken en anders te doen?

Wat Thomas Rau, architect, ondernemer, innovator betreft gaat de oproep niet ver genoeg. “Het is nog niet radicaal genoeg. We hebben het over 2050, maar ik vind dat we een duidelijk beeld moeten hebben van waar we over zeven jaar als Metropool willen staan. Daarbij moeten we niet doen wat mogelijk is, maar wat nodig is: een mega radicale transformatie. En dat is niet altijd comfortabel.”


Ingo Uytdenhaage , co-CEO van Adyen is wat positiever. “Bedrijven kijken vaak al verder dan alleen maar naar geld verdienen. Wij kijken ook naar onze impact op de regio, op de stad.” Die impact van Adyen is bijvoorbeeld dat er veel expats voor hen werken, zegt Abbring, en die hebben ook allemaal woonruimte nodig. Uytdenhaage ziet dat anders. “Ik noem ze geen expats, het zijn jongeren van begin 30 die een lokaal contract hebben en dezelfde uitdagingen hebben als andere jonge Amsterdammers. En ze willen ook helemaal niet allemaal in de stad wonen.” Hij krijgt bijval van Halsema: “We hebben internationale arbeidskrachten nodig voor het werk dat er ligt. We kunnen de tekorten niet oplossen met eigen inwoners.”

Soraya Shawki, researcher/community bouwer Open Embassy die nieuwkomers wegwijs maakt in de Nederlandse samenleving. Zij had graag een concretere oproep gezien. “Er is bijvoorbeeld nog veel systemische ongelijkheid. Er zijn heel veel mensen hier die pas na vijf jaar mogen werken. Dat zijn allemaal mensen die in de zorg en techniek aan de slag kunnen gaan.” Onlangs sprak ze een Iraanse wiskundelerares die Nederlands en Engels spreekt. “De gemeente vond dat ze zo snel mogelijk aan de slag moest gaan en stuurde een vacature voor een kassamedewerker door. Er ligt hier ook een rol voor werkgevers, om trajecten voor nieuwkomers beschikbaar te maken.”

Lessen aan nieuwkomers

Adyen is daar bijvoorbeeld al mee bezig en geeft programmeerlessen aan nieuwkomers. Ook laat het bedrijf in speciale lessen op scholen zien hoe technologie werkt, om zo de interesse van jongeren voor techniek te wekken. Wat Halsema betreft is het een goed voorbeeld van hoe bedrijven in de afgelopen jaren een andere taakopvatting hebben gekregen. “Waar ze voorheen misschien doneerden aan culturele instellingen, zie je nu dat ze veel meer investeren in de lokale economie en met jongeren en inwoners praten.”

Volgens Shawki mag dat nog wel wat verder gaan, bij overheden én bedrijven. “Participatie is vaak nog een vinkje op een lijstje, het is niet ingebed waardoor er bij bedrijven en overheden weinig kennis is over wat er precies nodig is. En dat terwijl mensen letterlijk expert zijn over hun eigen ervaringen. Wij hebben bijvoorbeeld expertpools van mensen die ervaring hebben met de nieuwe Wet inburgering.”

Nieuwe ontmoetingen

Soraya Shawki en Ingo UytdenHaage kenden elkaar tot vandaag nog niet, terwijl er wel wat overlap zit in hun werkzaamheden. Anders kijken en anders doen gaat ook over dit soort ontmoetingen, stelt interviewer Abbring vast. “De toekomst ligt altijd in de mensen die je niet kent”, bevestigt Rau. “In gesprekken met mensen die je niet kent. Dus ga het gesprek aan. Wij zijn de oplossing.”

En Halsema besluit: “De Metropoolregio was te lang een soort noodzakelijk kwaad, maar volgens mij moeten we het omdraaien. Alle grote onderwerpen moeten we op regionaal niveau met elkaar bespreken. We moeten wantrouwen inruilen voor vertrouwen. Alleen zo kunnen we radicale stappen zetten.”

Wil je direct aan de slag? Op Anders kijken, anders doen vind je inspirerende interviews en mooie voorbeelden. Je kunt er je eigen initiatieven en manier van werken onder de loep nemen. Past die wel bij de Metropool van Morgen? Ook kun je je er inschrijven voor de werkateliers die we na de zomer gaan organiseren.

Voor het hoofdprogramma waren er twee side-events:

State of the Youth

De Young on Board is in gesprek gegaan over het betrekken van jongeren bij het vormgeven van de toekomst van de Metropoolregio Amsterdam. Het thema participatie bleek na dit weekend relevanter dan ooit. Hoe zorgen we voor brede maatschappelijke betrokkenheid en hoe zorgen we ervoor dat jongeren weer vertrouwen krijgen in de politiek èn hun stemrecht?

Paula Smith (docent-onderzoeker Social Work bij InHolland) gaf ons een stoomcursus over jongerenparticipatie. Ze ging daarbij niet alleen in op de verschillen tussen jongeren en de rest van het electoraat, maar ook over de verschillen tussen jongeren. De belangrijkste boodschap van Paula is dat we jongerenparticipatie moeten gaan verankeren in (beleid)structuren. Als je jongeren nu betrekt creëer je namelijk geëngageerde burgers voor later.

Vervolgens zijn we met Younes Douari (Represent Jezelf) en Kimberley Snijders (voorzitter van De Nationale Jeugdraad) en Paula Smith in gesprek gegaan. Zij deelden hun ervaringen over wat er in de praktijk werkt om jongeren te betrekken in het maatschappelijke debat en bij het vormgeven van beleid. We hebben daarbij een aantal belangrijke lessen opgehaald, namelijk:

Betrek jongeren op tijd, en gebruik ze niet als windowdressing.
Maak gebruik van sociale structuren in wijken en dorpen en ga naar jongeren toe
Durf het aan om het resultaat echt uit handen te geven

Economische Verkenningen

Het andere side event was volledig gewijd aan de Economische Verkenningen MRA 2023.

Amsterdam Economic Board's picture #Citizens&Living
Kanteen 25, Hospitality at Kanteen25, posted

K25 market: Sustainable Producers

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A day full of music, delicious food and booze, warm and cheerful conversations, and the discovery of new sustainable producers...

It's K25 market, hosted by Kanteen25 restaurant. It represents sustainable and local food and beverage suppliers! As a restaurant, Kanteen25 wants to bring change to the community and save the environment with our supplier selections. Each of these suppliers has a unique story of how they started their business with concern for the environment. And we want more people to know about the choices and to try great products! Join, entrance is free!

What's in programm:

🍸 Free drink tasting
🍭 Kids' Workshop.
😎 Activities/Seminars for adults
🎶 Live music.
🏖 Chill-area
Free entrance!

𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗲: June 18, time 14:00-18:00
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲: Kanteen25

Stay tuned in Instagram - we'll be sharing more exciting details about K25 Market: https://www.instagram.com/kanteen25/

Kanteen 25's picture Meet-up on Jun 18th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Living with nature

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Today an article in the NRC about nature in the city. Last week, I published a new e-book (in Dutch) about this topic. Interested? Download it for free.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Marijn Emmers, Intern at De Gezonde Stad, posted

Uitdeelactie Bomen voor Amsterdam

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Wat als we Amsterdam zien als één groot bos? Stel je voor, dat je je deur opendoet en direct de natuur inloopt. Hoe chill is dat? Wij willen Amsterdam omtoveren tot stadsbos. En jij kan meehelpen.

Op 26 november doen wij 3000 biologische bomen cadeau aan de stad en wij hebben jouw hulp nodig om ze een mooie plek te geven. Zoek een geschikt privéterrein, bijvoorbeeld jouw tuin of eerst in een pot op je balkon. Zo planten we samen een heel nieuw bos middenin de stad.

Meld je hier gratis aan en kom langs op 26 november!

Meet-up on Nov 26th
Puck Hoogenboom, Communication at Waag, posted

Waag Talks at DDW: The State of Citizen Science

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Citizen science is on the rise and measurement communities are seen as equal by more and more governments and businesses. This is just as well, because they are the most important experts on their own living environment.

In this second edition of The State of Citizen Science we explore what it takes to democratise knowledge. How can citizen scientists and scientists work together in a satisfactory way? What do citizen scientists need from policymakers? And what can measurement communities around the country learn from each other?

The meetup will start with a panel discussion between a citizen scientist, scientist and policymaker. Then we'll break out into workshops. It promises to be an interactive meeting where the exchange of knowledge and experiences is central. At the end of the workshops there will be a tour of the DDW exhibitions in the Klokgebouw and drinks afterwards.


14:00-15:45 hrs - panel and workshops
16:00-17:00 hrs - guided tour of Klokgebouw including Waag installations
17:15-18:00 hrs - drinks back at Baltan Laboratories
This event is mostly Dutch. 

About Waag Futurelab

Waag Futurelab is a platform for designers and artists to research current societal issues. Waag brings together all relevant parties through expositions, presentations, experiments, debates and reflection. In the four-year Expeditions to planet B programme, Waag Futurelab is finding the answer to the following design questions: what if a planet B would exist? How would we re-design our world and our lives? And what does that teach us about the here and now?

Meet-up on Oct 23rd
Puck Hoogenboom, Communication at Waag, posted

Better Future Now: de Grote Spelbrekershow

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Tijdens de Grote Spelbrekershow gaan we in gesprek met spelbrekers; verschillende mensen die het anders doen en daarnaast actief zijn in verschillende domeinen, zoals wonen, mode, design, data, economie, klimaat, en de kunsten. Een ding hebben ze gemeen: allen staan ze voor systeemverandering.

We hebben het over waar de huidige systemen wrikken: waar wringen de regels, wie zijn de winnaars en de verliezers? En wat is er voor nodig om de regels open te breken? Samen kijken we naar alternatieven.

Ook kan je genieten en je laten inspireren door muziek en spoken word. Zien we je daar?

Met Met o.a. Melissa Koutouzis (co-initiator Woonprotest), Ruben Pater (designer & researcher), Thamar Kempees (marketeer & sneakerhead), Broke Ass Millionaires (creative producers & sustainable circulair fashion), Arne Hendriks (kunstenaar), Elten Kiene (spoken word) en Benjamin Fro (muziek)

Meet-up on Sep 24th
Dana van der Zee, Digital Innovation , posted

The Open Source For Public Services Conference

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Join us for a day of engaging workshops and sessions on solutions, outcomes, and visions that the partner cities and universities have come across during the SCORE project.

This conference aims to bring together the SCORE and OASC community, as well as any other interested parties, in a hybrid event format in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and online worldwide.

The SCORE partners are working together to improve efficiency and quality of public service delivery based on smart, open data driven solutions. Join us for an engaging day focusing on the latest findings within such services and topics - i.e. traffic flow, pollution, drainage, flooding through the use of digital twins, dashboards, registries and more - as we wrap up the SCORE project.

Conference on Jun 8th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

22. Two '100 smart city missions'- Twice an ill-advised leap forward

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The 22nd and penultimate episode in the *Better cities: The contribution of digital technology-*series will discuss two ambitious ‘smart city’plans of two governments and the associated risks.

Recently, the European Commission launched a 100-city plan, the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. One hundred European cities that aspire to be climate neutral by 2030 (you read that correctly) can register and count on supplemental funding. I immediately thought of another 100-city plan, India's Smart City Mission. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi announced that in six years 100 Indian cities would become 'smart'. The official term of the project has now ended, and I will examine below whether this goal has been achieved, I discuss the two plans and then explain why I call both of them a leap forward. At the end I will make a few suggestions for how the European mission can still learn from the Indian one.

India's Smart City Mission

The problem
In India, 377 million people live in cities. In 15 years, 200 million will have been added. Already, traffic in Indian cities has come to a complete standstill, each year more than 600,000 people die from air pollution, half of the urban areas have no drinking water connection, waste collection is poor and only 3% of sewage is treated. The rest is discharged into surface water, which is also the main source of drinking water.

The mission
The Smart City Mission was intended to implement substantial improvements on all these problems in 100 cities, which together comprise 30% of the population. In the improvements digital technology had to play an important role.
The 100 cities were selected because of favorable prospects and the quality of the plans, which usually consisted of a long series of projects.

The regular city governing bodies were deemed incompetent to lead the projects. That is why management boards (‘special purpose vehicles’) have been appointed, operating under company law and led by a CEO, supported by international consultancy firms. All rights and duties of the City Council regarding the execution of the mission were delegated to the appointed boards, including the power to collect taxes! Not surprisingly, this decision has been challenged in many places. Several cities have withdrawn from 'the mission' for this reason.

To implement their projects, each city would receive $150 million over five consecutive years. This money should be seen as seed capital to be supplemented from additional sources such as public-private partnerships, commercial bank lending, external financing, loans, and foreign investment.

Area-oriented and pan-urban approach
The plans contain two components: an area-oriented and a pan-urban approach. The first aims at adapting, retrofitting or new construction and should relate to a wide range of 'smart services'. For example high-speed internet, waste facilities, parking facilities, energy-efficient buildings, but also replacement of slums by high-rise buildings. The slick 'architectural impressions' that circulated at the beginning of the planning period (see above) mainly concern the area-oriented approach.
The pan-urban approach includes at least one 'smart' facility for a larger part of the city. The choice is often made to improve the transport infrastructure, for example the construction of new roads and highways and the purchase of electric buses. No fewer than 70 cities have built a 'smart' control center based on the example of Rio de Janeiro, which I believe was rather premature.

Now that the official term of 'the mission' has ended, a first inventory can be made, although observers complain about a lack of transparency about the results. About half of all the 5000 projects that have been started have not (yet) been completed and a significant part of the government funds have not yet been disbursed. This could still happen in the coming years. This is also because attracting external resources has lagged behind expectations. These funds came mainly from governments, and large technology companies. This has had an impact on the implementation of the plans.
The slow progress of most projects is partly because most of the population was barely aware of the mission and that city councils were not always cooperative either.

It was foreseen that half of the available resources would go to area-oriented projects; this eventually became 75-80%. As a result, on average only 4% of the inhabitants of the cities involved have benefited from 'the mission' and even then it is not clear what the benefits exactly entail. The city of New Delhi covers an area of almost 1500 km2, while the area concerned is only 2.2 km2: So you're not even going to have 100 smart cities. You're going to have 100 smart enclaves within cities around the country, said Shivani Chaudhry, director of the Housing and Land Rights Network.
It soon became clear that the mission would be no more than a drop in the ocean. Instead of $150 million, it would take $10 billion per city, $1000 billion in total, to address all ambitions, according to an official calculation.  Deloitte was a little more modest, calculating the need for $150 billion in public money and $120 billion from private sources.

Type of projects
The many topics eligible for funding have resulted in a wide variety of projects. Only one city has put the quality of the environment first. Most cities have initiated projects in the areas of clean energy, improving electricity supply, reducing air pollution, construction of new roads, purchasing electric buses, waste disposal and sanitation. What is also lacking, is a focus on human rights, gender, and the interests of the poorest population groups.
In some places, it has been decided to clear slums and relocate residents to high-rise buildings on the outskirts of the city. Indian master architect Doshi warns that the urban vision behind the smart city plans will destroy the informality and diversity that is the cornerstone of the country's rural and urban society. He challenges planners to shift the emphasis to rural areas and to create sufficient choices and opportunities there.

The European Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities

The problem
Cities produce more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and use more than 65% of total energy. In addition, cities in Europe only cover 4% of the total surface area and accommodate 75% of the population. The ecological footprint of the urban population is more than twice what it is entitled to, assuming a proportional distribution of the earth's resources.

The mission
On November 25, 2021, the European Commission called on European cities to express their interest in a new European mission on Climate-neutral and smart cities. The mission aims to have 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, which will act as a model for all other European cities.
The sectors involved in this transformation process are the built environment, energy production and distribution, transport, waste management, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses and large-scale deployment of digital technology. That is why the European Commission talks of a green and digital twin, or a simultaneous green and digital transformation.

Reaching the stated goal requires a new way of working and the participation of the urban population, hence the motto 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens.
According to the plan's authors, the main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technology, but the inability to implement it. The current fragmented form of governance cannot bring about an ambitious climate transition. Crucial to the success of the mission is the involvement of citizens in their various roles as political actors, users, producers, consumers, or owners of buildings and means of transport.

The additional investment to achieve the mission is estimated at €96 billion for 100 European cities by 2030, with a net positive economic benefit to society of €25 billion that will increase further in the period thereafter. The European Commission will provide €360 million in seed funding.
The overwhelming amount of funding will have to come from banks, private equity, institutional investors, and from the public sector at the local, regional and national level.

What went wrong with the Indian Mission and its follow-up

The gap between ambitions and reality
Almost all comments on 'the mission' emphasize that three necessary conditions were not met from the start, namely a widely accepted governance model, adequate funding, and involvement of the population and local government. There was an unbridgeable gap between ambitions and available resources, with the contribution of external capital being grossly overestimated.
The biggest problem, however, is the gap between the mission's ambitions and the nature of the problems that India it faces: Cities are bursting at the seams because of the millions of poor people who flock to cities every year in search of work and a place to live that find them only in the growing slums. The priorities for which the country must find a solution are therefore: improving life in rural areas, improving housing in the cities, ensuring safe drinking water, waste disposal, sanitation, and purification of wastewater, good (bus) transport and less polluting car traffic. Urgently needed is a sustainable development model that addresses ecological problems, makes urbanization manageable, controls pollution and will use resources efficiently.

Leap forward
The 'Mission' is a leap forward, which does not tackle these problems at the root, but instead seeks a solution in 'smartification'. Policymakers were captivated by the promises made by IBM and other technology companies that ICT is the basis for solving most urban problems. A view that I objected in the third episode of this series. IC solutions have been concentrated in enclaves where businesses and prosperous citizens are welcomed. The Government of India Special Rapporteur on Housing therefore notes that the proposals submitted had a predominant focus on technology rather than prioritizing affordable housing and doubts the correctness of this choice.
Instead of emphasizing the role of digital technology, the focus should have been on equitable, inclusive, and sustainable living areas for all. Not the area-oriented but the pan-urban approach should have prevailed.

Several authors suggest future actions consistent with the above comments:
• Setting a longer time horizon, which is much more in line with the problems as they are felt locally.
• Decentralization, coupled with strengthening local government in combination with citizen participation.
• A more limited number of large-scale pan-urban projects. These projects should have an immediate impact on all 4000 Indian cities and the surrounding countryside.
• More attention for nature and the environment instead of cutting down trees to widen motorways.
• Training programs in the field of urbanization, partly to align urban development with Indian culture.

The European mission revisited

Leap forward
Europe and India are incomparable in many ways, but I do see similarities between the two missions.
With the proclamation of the 'mission', the Indian government wanted to show the ultimate – perhaps desperate – act of determination to confront the country's overwhelming problems. I therefore called this mission a flight forward in which the image of the 'smart city' was used as a catalyst. However, the country’s problems are out of proportion to this, and the other means employed.
It is plausible that the European Union Commission also wanted to take an ultimate act. After the publication of the ambitious European Green Deal, each national governments seems to be drawing its own plan. The ‘100 cities mission’ is perhaps intended as a 'booster', but here too the feasibility of this strategy is doubtful.

Smart and green
The European Union cherishes the image of a 'green and digital twin', a simultaneous green and digital transformation. Both the Government of India and the European Commission consider digital technology an integral part of developing climate neutral cities. I hope to have made it clear in the previous 21 episodes of this series that digital technology will certainly contribute. However, the reduction of greenhouse gases and digitization should not be seen as an extension of each other. Making a city climate neutral requires way more than (digital) technology. Moreover, suitable technology is still partly under development. It is often forgotten that technology is one of the causes of global warming. Using the image of green and smart twins will fuel the tension between the two, just like it happened in India. In that case, it remains to be seen where the priority will lie. In India it was 'smart'.

Funding of the Indian mission fell short; much is still unclear about funding of the European mission. It is highly questionable whether European states, already faced with strong opposition to the costs of 'climate', will be willing to channel extra resources to cities.

The European mission wants to be by and for the citizens. But the goal has already been established, namely becoming climate neutral by 2030. A new 'bottom-up' governmental approach would have been to investigate whether there are cities where a sufficiently large part of the population agrees with becoming climate neutral earlier than in 2050 and how much sooner that could be and next, leave it to these cities themselves to figure-out how to do this.

Can Europe still prevent its mission from failing like India's? I propose to look for in the same direction as India seems to be doing now:
•      Opt for one unambiguous goal: Reducing greenhouse gases significantly earlier than 2050.
•      Challenge a limited number of cities each to form a broad coalition of local stakeholders that share this ambition.
•      Make extra resources available, but also ask the cities themselves to make part of the necessary investments.
•      Stimulate universities and industry to provide a European response to Big Tech and to make connections with the 'European Green Deal'.

My e-book Smart City Tales contains several descriptions of intended and alleged smart cities, including the much-discussed Saudi Arabian Neom. The Dutch version is here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
A. Hutanu, Engineer , posted

Replacing short car trips with LEV's may reduce CO2 emissions, study suggests

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Smart mobility and LEV’s: a general introduction

 #Smart-Mobility is an important aspect for daily life and commuting/recurrent transportation needs and in this day&age there are many potential solution(s) for smart-mobility in Amsterdam. Today some of these new vehicles types are mostly restricted on city streets and Amsterdam citizens cannot grasp the potential of this vehicles. These devices can go up to at least 20km of range for short trips and with vehicle speeds ranging from 20, 25, 45 km/h (e-scooter, e-bike, moped respectively) and some as far as 90km/h (micro-car 90), etc.

Potential CO2 emission reduction research

There is a study regarding CO2 potential emission reduction by the use of light electric vehicles (LEV's) in contrast to short car trips usage. LEV's CO2 emissions is averaged at 24g CO2 eq/km compared with conventional vehicles (including EV's) averaged at 203g CO2 eq/km. The findings are quite relevant since it could reduce CO2 emissions as much as 44% = 57 million tones CO2 eq per year. The full study can be found at URL link below.


If the Gemeente Amsterdam would lift the ban on LEV’s, this would be beneficial for Amsterdam citizens since they would have less noise (silent devices), cleaner air (by the study analysis) and maybe more fun alternative to ICE-scooters and cars.

A. Hutanu's picture #Mobility
Ioana Biris, co owner at Nature Desks, posted

De tweede, herziene druk van #UrbanNatureAmsterdam, de groenblauwe kaart van de stad is er!

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Bijna drie jaar na de lancering van de eerste versie van de groenblauwe kaart van Amsterdam en 3.000 exemplaren verder, hebben we een tweede - herziene - druk van #UrbanNatureAmsterdam gemaakt. Maandagavond 21 maart werd tijdens Vier de Lente! in Pakhuis de Zwijger het eerste exemplaar uitgereikt aan de nieuwe groenburgemeester van Amsterdam.

Wat is nieuw in deze tweede versie van #UrbanNatureAmsterdam? Ontdek bijvoorbeeld 🌱 de eekhoornbruggen in het Gijsbrecht van Aemstelpark, 🌱 twee nieuwe stadsparken, 🌱 het monumentaal groen of de eerste tiny forest van de stad, 🌱 nieuwe stadse Trage Tochten, 🌱 de natuur in de 'Port of Amsterdam', 🌱 nieuwe partners, 🌱 informatie over natuur inclusief bouwen of 🌱 de vernieuwde top-10 lijsten met dingen die je in de stad kunt doen.

Op de voorzijde van de kaart zie je letterlijk hoeveel groen en blauw in Amsterdam is te vinden: de parken, (binnen)tuinen, plantsoenen, natuurspeeltuinen, sportvelden, grachten, meren, polders en bossen. De achterzijde van de kaart vol met informatie fungeert als een oproep aan de gebruiker: ontdek de natuur, maar draag ook bij aan vergroening van de stad.

Met dank aan Urban Good CIC en aan onze nieuwe partners Buurtgroen020, Anmec en Natuurfontein. En partners Gemeente Amsterdam, Staatsbosbeheer, Waterschap Amstel, Gooi en Vecht en Recreatie Noord Holland.

Ioana Biris's picture #Citizens&Living
Rene visser, External Affairs , posted

Meld je aan voor de 5G Hub Innovation Challenge 'the Sustainability edition'

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Help je mee om de wereld mooier te maken? Doe dan samen met ons mee aan de 5G Hub Innovation Challenge #sustainability editie. Je kan je aanmelden tot 25 april!

Na de selectieronde is er voor iedereen de mogelijkheid om persoonlijk in gesprek te gaan voor advies. Voor de winnaars hebben we dankzij onze fantastische partners met inspirerende juryleden hele mooie prijzen. Deze zullen later bekend worden gemaakt. Uiteraard zorgen wij ervoor dat de meest aansprekende #innovatie een volgende stap kan zetten in de markt.

Wil je meer informatie check de website: https://5ghub.nl/nl/5g-hub-innovation-challenge/ of stuur me een bericht. Uiteraard kan je je ook direct aanmelden via de website.

Rene visser's picture #CircularCity
Floor Beckers, Communication professional at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Do you have the ultimate solution for a safe cycle path?

In the Netherlands, people like to cycle a lot. However, bicycle paths are not always safe due to the great variety of cyclists, such as cargo bikes and e-bikes, racing cyclists and bicycle delivery drivers. The Amsterdam Bike City (ABC) Innovation Lab from the Municipality of Amsterdam is looking for the best solution for the variety of speeds on the cycle path, to do something about this problem. The ten best submissions may present their solution to a jury of leading professionals.

Do you have the best idea to improve safety on bicycle paths? If so, you will win € 2,000 and have a chance of winning € 45,000 to implement your idea. Take that chance!

More information:

Erik Feleus, Digital Strategist & Smart Building Developer at Schiphol, posted

Let's go electric!

As in the rest of the Netherlands, the number of electric cars (EVs) at Schiphol will only increase in the coming years. Whereas Royal Schiphol Group currently has 400 EV charge points, we expect to grow rapidly towards 10,000 charge points over the next few years. We cannot achieve this growth alone. That is why we are looking for a partner who can help us manage this growth with smart technology. Can you help us? Check the link below to the tender on Negometrix

Erik Feleus's picture #Mobility
Paul Horsmans, Communicatieadviseur at Gemeente Haarlemmermeer, posted

Healthy Urban Living & Working bij SHARE Meets

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SHARE Meets gaat dit keer over Healthy Urban Living & Working. Van lang, gezond, vitaal, sociaal en zelfstandig samenleven. Rode draad tijdens deze ondernemersbijeenkomst zijn Landgoed Wickevoort en een proef met geluidadaptief bouwen op Schiphol Trade Park. Landgoed Wickevoort is een nieuw duurzaam woongebied in het historische dijkdorp Cruquius. Centraal staat 'Gezond Stedelijk wonen & werken': gezond, vitaal en sociaal samenleven. Hoe maakt ontwikkelaar AM dit waar? Bram Breedveld van Landlab vertelt welke klimaatadaptieve maatregelen zijn meegenomen voor minder hittestress, regenbestendigheid en meer natuur. Verder komen de nieuwe stadsboeren Martin Verzijden en zus Ada de Graaff-Verzijden van Wickevoort aan het woord.

Paul Horsmans's picture Online event on Dec 15th
Trisha van Engelen, Junior Community & Program Officer at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Green Deal ZES MRA Meetup #8

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Twee jaar geleden hebben meer dan 50 publieke en private partijen uit de Metropool Amsterdam de Green Deal Zero Emissie Stadslogistiek MRA ondertekend. Daarmee gaven zij aan zich in te willen spannen op weg naar emissie-vrije stadslogistiek in 2025.

In 2025 zijn vrachtvoertuigen in de stad emissievrij. Logistieke en verkeersdata zijn slim gekoppeld. Slimme en schone (stads)logistiek is een belangrijke voorwaarde voor de economische vitaliteit en de aantrekkelijkheid van de regio. In de transitie naar slimme en schone stadslogistiek is de ondertekening van de GDZES MRA in 2019 op en 2020 – op initiatief van de Amsterdam Economic Board – door meer dan 60 partijen van grote betekenis geweest.

Maar hoe staat het er nu voor? Welke acties zijn er door overheden, bedrijven en kennisinstellingen inmiddels opgezet en wat werkt wel en wat werkt niet?

Na anderhalf jaar zoomen organiseert de Amsterdam Economic Board de Green Deal ZES Meetup#8. Op 12 oktober komen we weer live bij elkaar. Hier zullen een aantal succesvolle en onverwachte samenwerkingen worden besproken en heb jij de kans om jouw voorstel, idee of vraagstuk met een korte pitch te delen met de community. En natuurlijk worden de nieuwe ondertekenaars ook nog voorgesteld!

Het programma is als volgt:

Welkom & Introductie
Richard Hoving

Updates & Calls
Met onder andere pitches van:
- Hurby, duurzame regionale sameday avondbezorging – Mark Fontein
- Vervoerregio, Regionale Uitvoeringsagenda Stadslogistiek – Ton Geuzendam (lees ook dit interview)
- Coding the Curbs, op weg naar slimme flexibele infrastructuur – Martijn Pater
- Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Future Food Logistics Challenge – Kees-Willem Rademakers

Introductie nieuwe GDZESMRA toetreders
Met o.a. Cargoledger, Cenex Group, Open Waste, Schneider Electric, CLIC, Alliander,
Goodman, Leap24, Bidfood, Pantar, Coding the Curbs, Babboe Pro, Cipiobox, Hurby, Feenstra, HAVI en EVConsult.

Feestelijk teken- en fotomoment

GDZES MRA Netwerkborrel

Wil je erbij zijn? Dat kan! Meld je aan via de link.

Trisha van Engelen's picture Meet-up on Oct 12th