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Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

SoTecIn Factory

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SoTecIn Factory is launched!

Committed to improving the resilience and sustainability of European industry, SoTecIn Factory will support the transformation of industrial value chains to become low-carbon and circular.

Our goal? Build 30 mission-driven ventures distributed in 20+ European countries!

Make sure to follow their journey through SoTecIn Factory and find out more about the projects here: https://sotecinfactory.eu/

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Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Science-Based Targets Network

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How can a modern multinational company transition its value chain to preserve nature and biodiversity rather than deplete it?

Metabolic, WWF-France and the Science-Based Targets Network have worked with Bel to understand what areas to target and where the most positive impacts on biodiversity could be made.

Bel will share their best practices, helping other companies to see which methods work overtime. Together with SBTN, we invite more companies to join the effort.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

'Better cities' is nu 'Steden en digitalisering'

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Vorige week heb ik de community geattendeerd op de publicatie van mijn e-book Better cities and digitization. Dat is een compilatie van de 23 posts op deze website het afgelopen half jaar.
Inmiddels is ook de Nederlandstalige versie Steden en digitalisering beschikbaar. Ik sta daarin eerst stil bij de technocentrische en de mensgerichte benadering van smart cities.  Daarna problematiseer ik de roep om 'datagestuurd beleid'. Ik ga vervolgens uitvoerig in op ethische principes bij de beoordeling van technologieën. Vervolgens beschrijf ik een procedure hoe steden met digitalisering zouden kunnen omgaan, te beginnen met Kate Raworth. Ook het digitaliseringsbeleid van Amsterdam krijgt aandacht.  Daarna komen vier toepassingen aan de orde: bestuur, energie, mobiliteit en gezondheidszorg.  Wie doorleest tot op de laatste bladzijde ziet dat Amsterdam Smart City het laatste woord krijgt;-)

Via de link hieronder kun je dit boek gratis downloaden.

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Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Metabolic 2021 Impact Report

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Based on years of research and project work, Metabolic identified six key areas where they'd like to have the greatest impact.

Successfully transitioning these six systems will likely address over 90% of the global negative environmental and humanitarian impacts.

Last year, Metabolic focused on four of them. Their impact report highlights some projects they are particularly proud of.

Check it out in the link below.

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

New and free e-book: Better cities and digitization

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For 23 weeks I have published weekly episodes of the series Better Cities. The role of digital technology on this site. I have edited and compiled these episodes in an e-book (88 pages). You can download this for free via the link below. The book has 17 chapters that are grouped into six parts:
1. Hardcore: Technology-centered approaches
2. Towards a humancentric approach
3. Misunderstanding the use of data
4. Ethical considerations
5. Embedding digitization in urban policy
6. Applications (government, mobility, energy and healthcare)
7. Wrapping up: Better cities and technology

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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.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

13. Ethical Principles and Applications of Digital Technology: Immersive Technology, Blockchain and Platforms

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In the 13th episode of the Better cities -The contribution of digital technology-series I will continue the description of applications of digital technology and their evaluation based on relevant ethical principles treated in episode 9. Episode 12 discussed: (1) Internet of Things, (2) robotics, and (3) biometrics. Below, I will cover (4) Immersive technology (augmented and virtual reality), (5) blockchain and (6) platforms. By way of conclusion, I return to the implications of all these applications for governance.
The ethical principles mentioned in chapter 9 are: privacy, autonomy, security, control, human dignity, justice, and power relations.

4. Immersive technology (augmented and virtual reality)

Augmented reality adds information to our perception. The oldest examples are messages that pilots of super-fast fighter planes could read on their glasses, so that they eyes without interruption could follow their "target". Its most popular application is the game Pokémon Go. Additional information via the smartphone screen is also often available when visiting 'places of interest'. The infamous Google Glasses were an excellent tool for this purpose but due to the obvious risk of privacy violations their application soon came to an end. This is unfortunate for certain groups, for example the hearing impaired.
Virtual reality goes much further by replacing our sensory perception by images of an artificial world. This requires a special helmet, such as the oculus rift. Applications mainly find their way through gaming. But it is also possible to show the interior of a house in three dimensions or to take a virtual walk through a neighborhood that is yet to be built.

A primitive form of virtual reality was Second live, in which the screen gave access to an alternative reality, in which your avatar communicates with others’. That could go a long way, like someone who reported being raped by a fellow avatar. Nowadays, the capabilities of augmented reality are expanding rapidly. Think of a virtual space where the user meets others to converse, listen, or to do whatever.

Metaverse
Augmented reality takes you to the metaverse, which was first described by Neil Stephenson in his dystopian book Snow Crash in 1992. As the power of computers grew, the idea of the metaverse gained new impetus and recently Marc Zuckerberg announced that his new company Meta Platforms will gradually turn Facebook into a fully digital world. This immerses the users in the most diverse experiences, which they partly evoke themselves, such as communicating with other avatars, attending a concert, going to the disco, and getting acquainted with strangers and of course going to shops, because it remains a medium to make money.
Only recently, Microsoft has also announced that it would bring its operating system (Windows), web servers (Azure), communication networks (Teams and Linkedin) hardware (HoloLens), entertainment (Xbox) and IP (Minecraft) together in a virtual reality. The recent €60 billion-acquisition of game producer Activision Blizzard, producer of the Call of Duty video games, fits in with this policy and indicates that the company expects to make a lot of money with its version of the metaverse.
In the expected struggle between the titans, Amazon will probably join in and build the virtual mall of and for everyone's dreams.

It remains to be seen whether a younger generation, less consumer-addicted and more concerned about nature, is waiting for a completely artificial world. I hope not.

Privacy
The risks of augmented reality have been widely mentioned from the start. For example, for research purposes, Google had been given the right to remotely track the movements of the eyes of people wearing Google glasses. For the rest, it is not only governments and companies that will spy on people, but above all people will spy on each other.

Safety
After a short time, those who move through the metaverse develop balance problems. Worse is that the risk of addiction is high.

Human dignity
There is a danger that people who frequently dwell in imaginary worlds can no longer distinguish fake and real and alienate from themselves in the 'real' world and lose the social skills that are necessary in it.

Power relations
Big Tech is getting even more tools to analyze our preferences and influence us, including through deep fakes, which can imitate existing people in real life. This raises questions about the risks that citizens run, and about the even greater role of companies that offer immersive technology.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain makes it possible to record transactions (of money, securities, contracts, and objects) without the mediation of an authorized body (government, employer, bank, notary). The first version of blockchain was bitcoin, initially only intended for financial transactions. Today, there are hundreds of variants, of which Ethereum is the most widely used.
The essence of blockchain is that the database of all transactions, the ledger, is stored on everyone's computer and is therefore accessible to every user. Miners ensure that a cryptocurrency is only used for one transaction or that a contract is not changed afterwards by one of the parties involved. Once most miners have approved a series of transactions, these transactions together form an unchangeable block.
Miners are eager to approve blocks, because whoever turns out to have done so first will receive a significant fee in cryptocurrency. Mining takes time and, above all, requires a huge amount of computing power and therefore energy. Alternative methods are diligently sought, such as a method that mainly concerns the reputation of the miner.

Blockchain stems from a drive for radical decentralization and reduction of the power of states, banks, and companies. That has worked out differently in practice. It is mainly governments and large companies in the US, Russia, China, South Korea, and the Netherlands, for example Albert Heijn, that are ensuring a steady increase.

As a means of securely storing transactions and recording mutual obligations, as in the case of digital autonomous organizations and smart contacts, blockchain has more potential than as a cryptocurrency. An absolute precondition is finding an alternative for the high consumption of energy.

Privacy
Blockchain grew out of the pursuit of escaping the ubiquitous eavesdropping enterprises and state. That is why dubious transactions are preferably handled with cryptocurrency. There is no complete anonymity, because cryptocurrency must be regularly exchanged for official money,

Autonomy
Perhaps more human autonomy comes into its own in blockchain than in any other system. For this it is necessary to know how it works well. This is all the truer in the case of non-financial transactions.

Safety
There are certain risks: The moment a miner has more than 50% of the computer capacity, it can completely corrupt the system. This situation is not imaginary. In 2019, there were two Chinese miners who together owned more than the half of computer capacity.

Power relations
Not much is known about the position of miners. There is a tendency towards ever-increasing concentration, which carries dangers about the sustainability of the system. As concentration increases, cryptocurrency holdings will also become increasingly skewed. After all, it is the miners who ensure the expansion of the available amount of money.

6. Digital platforms

Companies such as Amazon, Uber and Airbnb represent a new form of economic activity that has far-reaching consequences for other companies and urban life. They essentially consist of digital platforms that bring providers and consumers together.

Imagine you are in Amazon's virtual fitting room. You sit on a chair and a series of models pass by all of which exactly have your figure and size and maybe also your appearance. You can vary endlessly what they are wearing, until you have found or put together the outfit of your dreams. This can apply to all conceivable purchases, up to cars, including a driving simulator. With the push of a button, it is ordered and a few hours later the drone drops your order at your doorstep.
Digital platforms bring together a range of digital technology applications, such as Internet of Things, robotics, immersive technology, artificial intelligence and blockchain, to monitor the immense flows of goods and services.

Privacy
In the world of platforms, privacy is of little or no importance. Companies want to earn as much as possible from you and therefore collect masses of information about your behavior, preferences, and expenses. This in exchange for convenience and free gadgets such as navigation, search engines and email.

Autonomy
Some platforms are part of the sharing economy. They enable direct transactions between people and, as in the case of Airbnb, provide an unprecedented range of accommodations from which to choose.

Justice
Employees in platform companies often have poor labor conditions. For example, Uber drivers are followed, checked, and assessed all day long. In distribution centers, all remaining human actions are prescribed down to the minute.
In these companies, a large gap arises between the small inner circle of managers and technicians and the large outer circle of "contractors" that the company has nothing to do with and who have nothing to do with the company.

Power relations
These companies also contribute to widening the gap between rich and poor; the unprecedentedly large earnings go to top management and shareholders and, where possible, tax is avoided.
Platforms like Airbnb make it possible to distort competition on a large scale; the accommodations they rent out do not comply with the safety and tax rules that apply to regular companies.
The growth of platforms that have taken on monopolistic forms is the major cause of urban disruption without contributing to the costs it entails for the community.

Back to governance

In the previous articles, I have elaborated a framework for dealing with digitization in a socially responsible manner. Two lines of thought developed in this, that of the value of digital technology and that of its ethical use.

The value of digital technology
Digital technology must be given shape and content as one of the tools with which a city works towards an ecologically and socially sustainable future. To help articulate what such a future means, I introduced Kate Raworth's ideas about the donut economy. The design of a vision of the future must be a broadly supported democratic process, in which citizens also test the solution of their inclining problems against the sustainable prosperity of future generations and that of people elsewhere in the world.
The most important question when it comes to (digital) technology is therefore which (digital) technological tools contribute to the realization of a socially and ecologically sustainable city?

The ethical use of technology
In the world in which we try to realize the sustainable city of the future, digital technology is developing rapidly, in the fort place under the influence of commercial and political interests. Cities are confronted with these technologies through powerful smart city technology marketing.
The most important question for cities to ask is How do we assess available technologies from an ethical perspective.

In the government of cities, both trains of thought come together: Together, the answers to these questions can lead to the choice, design, and application of digital techniques as part of the realization of a vision for an ecologically and socially sustainable future of the city.

In the next two articles I examine how ethical principles are dealt with in practice. In the first article I will put Amsterdam in the spotlight and next, I look at how several municipalities are digitizing responsibly in the context of the Agenda stad.

The link below opens an overview of all published and future articles in this series.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

10 Accessibility, software, digital infrastructure, and data. The quest for ethics

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The 10th episode in the series Better cities: The contribution of digital technology deals with the impact of ethical principles on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure and data.

In the previous episode, I discussed design principles - guidelines and values - for digital technology. The report of the Rathenau Instituut Opwaarderen - Borgen van publieke waarden in de digitale samenleving concludes that government, industry, and society are still insufficiently using these principles. Below, I will consider their impact on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure, and data. The next episodes will be focused on their impact on frequently used technologies.

Accessibility

Accessibility refers to the availability of high-speed Internet for everyone. This goes beyond just technical access. It also means that a municipality ensures that digital content is understandable and that citizens can use the options offered. Finally, everyone should have a working computer.

Free and safe Internet for all residents is a valuable amenity, including Wi-Fi in public areas. Leaving the latter to private providers such as the LinkNYC advertising kiosks in New York, which are popping up in other cities as well, is a bad thing. Companies such as Sidewalk Labs tempt municipalities by installing these kiosks for free. They are equipped with sensors that collect a huge amount of data from every device that connects to the Wi-Fi network: Not only the location and the operating system, but also the MAC address. With the help of analytical techniques, the route taken can be reconstructed. Combined with other public data from Facebook or Google, they provide insight into personal interests, sexual orientation, race, and political opinion of visitors.

The huge internet that connects everything and everyone also raises specters, which have to do with privacy-related uncertainty and forms of abuse, which appeared to include hacking of equipment that regulates your heartbeat.

That is why there is a wide search for alternatives. Worldwide, P2P neighborhood initiatives occur for a private network. Many of these are part of The Things Network. Instead of Wi-Fi, this network uses a protocol called LoRaWAN. Robust end-to-end encryption means that users don't have to worry about secure wireless hotspots, mobile data plans, or faltering Wi-Fi connectivity. The Things Network manages thousands of gateways and provides coverage to millions of people and a suite of open tools that enable citizens and entrepreneurs to build IoT applications at a low cost, with maximum security and that are easy to scale.

Software

Computer programs provide diverse applications, ranging from word processing to management systems. Looking for solutions that best fit the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the former episode, we quickly arrive at open-source software, as opposed to proprietary products from commercial providers. Not that the latter are objectionable in advance or that they are always more expensive. The most important thing to pay attention to is interchangeability (interoperability) with products from other providers to prevent you cannot get rid of them (lock in).

Open-source software offers advantages over proprietary solutions, especially if municipalities encourage city-wide use. Barcelona is leading the way in this regard. The city aims to fully self-manage its ICT services and radically improve digital public services, including privacy by design. This results in data sovereignty and in the use of free software, open data formats, open standards, interoperability and reusable applications and services.

Anyone looking for open-source software cannot ignore the Fiwarecommunity, which is similar in organization to Linux and consists of companies, start-ups and freelance developers and originated from an initiative of the EU. Fiware is providing open and sustainable software around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven standards.

Infrastructure

Computers are no longer the largest group of components of the digital infrastructure. Their number has been surpassed by so-called ubiquitous sensor networks (USN), such as smart meters, CCTV, microphones, and sensors. Sensor networks have the most diverse tasks, they monitor the environment (air quality, traffic density, unwanted visitors) and they are in machines, trains, and cars and even in people to transmit information about the functioning of vital components. Mike Matson calculated that by 2050 a city of 2 million inhabitants will have as many as a billion sensors, all connected by millions of kilometers of fiber optic cable or via Wi-Fi with data centers, carrier hotels (nodes where private networks converge) to eventually the Internet.

This hierarchically organized cross-linking is at odds with the guidelines and ethical principles formulated in the previous post. Internet criminals are given free rein and data breaches can spread like wildfires, like denial of service (DoS). In addition, the energy consumption is enormous, apart from blockchain. Edge computing is a viable alternative. The processing of the data is done locally and only results are uploaded on demand. This applies to sensors, mobile phones and possibly automated cars as well. A good example is the Array of Things Initiative. Ultimately, this will include 500 sensors, which will be installed in consultation with the population in Chicago. Their data is stored in each sensor apart and can be consulted online, if necessary, always involving several sensors and part of the data. Federated data systems are comparable. Data is stored in a decentralized way, but authorized users can use all data thanks to user interfaces.

Data

There is a growing realization that when it comes to data, not only quantity, but also quality counts. I will highlight some aspects.

Access to data
Personal data should only be available with permission from the owner. To protect this data, the EU project Decode proposes that owners can manage their data via blockchain technology. Many cities now have privacy guidelines, but only a few conduct privacy impact assessments as part of its data policy (p.18).

Quality
There is growing evidence that much of the data used in artificial intelligence as “learning sets” is flawed. This had already become painfully clear from facial recognition data in which minority groups are disproportionately represented. New research shows that this is also true in the field of healthcare. This involves data cascades, a sum of successive errors, the consequences of which only become clear after some time. Data turned out to be irrelevant, incomplete, incomparable, and even manipulated.

Data commons
Those for whom high-quality data is of great importance will pay extra attention to its collection. In. this case, initiating a data common is a godsend. Commons are shared resources managed by empowered communities based on mutually agreed and enforced rules. An example is the Data and Knowledge Hub for Healthy Urban Living (p.152), in which governments, companies, environmental groups and residents collect data for the development of a healthy living environment, using a federated data system. These groups are not only interested in the data, but also in the impact of its application.

Open date
Many cities apply the 'open by default' principle and make most of the data public, although the user-friendliness and efficiency sometimes leave something to be desired. Various data management systems are available as an open-source portal. One of the most prominent ones is CKAN, administered by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It contains tools for managing, publishing, finding, using, and sharing data collections. It offers an extensive search function and allows the possibility to view data in the form of maps, graphs, and tables. There is an active community of users who continue to develop the system and adapt it locally.

To make the data accessible, some cities also offer training courses and workshops. Barcelona's Open Data Challenge is an initiative for secondary school students that introduces them to the city's vast dat collection.

Safety
As the size of the collected data, the amount of entry points and the connectivity on the Internet increase, the security risks also become more severe. Decentralization, through edge computing and federated storage with blockchain technology, certainly contribute to security. But there is still a long way to go. Only half of the cities has a senior policy officer in this area. Techniques for authentication, encryption and signing that together form the basis for attribute-based identity are applied only incidentally. This involves determining identity based on several characteristics of a user, such as function and location. Something completely different is Me and my shadow, a project that teaches Internet users to minimize their own trail and thus their visibility to Internet criminality.

There is still a world to win before the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the previous episode are sufficiently met. I emphasize again not to over-accentuate concepts such as 'big data', 'data-oriented policy' and the size of data sets. Instead, it is advisable to re-examine the foundations of scientific research. First and foremost is knowledge of the domain (1), resulting in research questions (2), followed by the choice of an appropriate research method (3), defining the type of data to be collected (4), the collection of these data (5), and finally their statistical processing to find evidence for substantiated hypothetical connections (6). The discussion of machine learning in the next episode will reveal that automatic processing of large data sets is mainly about discovering statistical connections, and that can have dire consequences.

Follow the link below to find one of the previous episodes or see which episodes are next, and this one for the Dutch version.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

5. Collect meaningful data and stay away from dataism

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The fifth episode of the series Better cities: The role of technology is about the sense and nonsense of big data. Data is the new oil is the worst cliché of the big data hype yet. Even worse than data-driven policy. In this article, I investigate - with digital twins as a thread - what the contribution of data can be to urban policy and how dataism, a religion that takes over policy making itself, can be prevented (must read: Harari: Homo Deus).

I am a happy user of a Sonos sound system. Nevertheless, the helpdesk must be involved occasionally. Recently, it knew within five minutes that my problem was the result of a faulty connection cable between the modem and the amplifier. As it turned out, the helpdesk was able to remotely generate a digital image of the components of my sound system and their connections and saw that the cable in question was not transmitting any signal. A simple example of a digital twin. I was happy with it. But where is the line between the sense and nonsense of collecting masses of data?

What is a digital twin.

A digital twin is a digital model of an object, product, or process. In my training as a social geographer, I had a lot to do with maps, the oldest form of 'twinning'. Maps have laid the foundation for GIS technology, which in turn is the foundation of digital twins. Geographical information systems relate data based on geographical location and provide insight into their coherence in the form of a model. If data is permanently connected to reality with the help of sensors, then the dynamics in the real world and those in the model correspond and we speak of a 'digital twin'. Such a dynamic model can be used for simulation purposes, monitoring and maintenance of machines, processes, buildings, but also for much larger-scale entities, for example the electricity grid.

From data to insight

Every scientist knows that data is indispensable, but also that there is a long way to go before data leads to knowledge and insight. That road starts even before data is collected. The first step is assumptions about the essence of reality and thus the method of knowing it. There has been a lot of discussion about this within the philosophy of science, from which two points of view have been briefly crystallized, a systems approach and a complexity approach.

The systems approach assumes that reality consists of a stable series of actions and reactions in which law-like connections can be sought. Today, almost everyone assumes that this only applies to physical and biological phenomena. Yet there is also talk of social systems. This is not a question of law-like relationships, but of generalizing assumptions about human behavior at a high level of aggregation. The homo economicus is a good example. Based on such assumptions, conclusions can be drawn about how behavior can be influenced.

The complexity approach sees (social) reality as the result of a complex adaptive process that arises from countless interactions, which - when it comes to human actions - are fed by diverse motives. In that case it will be much more difficult to make generic statements at a high level of aggregation and interventions will have a less predictable result.

Traffic models

Traffic policy is a good example to illustrate the distinction between a process and a complexity approach. Simulation using a digital twin in Chattanooga of the use of flexible lane assignment and traffic light phasing showed that congestion could be reduced by 30%. Had this experiment been carried out, the result would probably have been very different. Traffic experts note time and again that every newly opened road becomes full after a short time, while the traffic picture on other roads hardly changes. In econometrics this phenomenon is called induced demand. In a study of urban traffic patterns between 1983 and 2003, economists Gilles Duranton and Matthew Turner found that car use increases proportionally with the growth of road capacity. The cause only becomes visible to those who use a complexity approach: Every road user reacts differently to the opening or closing of a road. That reaction can be to move the ride to another time, to use a different road, to ride with someone else, to use public transport or to cancel the ride.

Carlos Gershenson, a Mexican computer specialist, has examined traffic behavior from a complexity approach and he concludes that self-regulation is the best way to tackle congestion and to maximize the capacity of roads. If the simulated traffic changes in Chattanooga had taken place in the real world, thousands of travelers would have changed their driving behavior in a short time. They had started trying out the smart highway, and due to induced demand, congestion there would increase to old levels in no time. Someone who wants to make the effect of traffic measures visible with a digital twin should feed it with results of research into the induced demand effect, instead of just manipulating historical traffic data.

The value of digital twins

Digital twins prove their worth when simulating physical systems, i.e. processes with a parametric progression. This concerns, for example, the operation of a machine, or in an urban context, the relationship between the amount of UV light, the temperature, the wind (speed) and the number of trees per unit area. In Singapore, for example, digital twins are being used to investigate how heat islands arise in the city and how their effect can be reduced. Schiphol Airporthas a digital twin that shows all moving parts at the airport, such as roller conveyors and stairs. This enables technicians to get to work immediately in the event of a malfunction. It is impossible to say in advance whether the costs of building such a model outweigh the benefits. Digital twins often develop from small to large, driven by proven needs.

Boston also developed a digital twin of part of the city in 2017, with technical support from ESRI. A limited number of processes have been merged into a virtual 3D model. One is the shadowing caused by the height of buildings. One of the much-loved green spaces in the city is the Boston Common. For decades, it has been possible to limit the development of high-rise buildings along the edges of the park and thus to limit shade. Time and again, project developers came up with new proposals for high-rise buildings. With the digital twin, the effect of the shadowing of these buildings can be simulated in different weather conditions and in different seasons (see image above). The digital twin can be consulted online, so that everyone can view these and other effects of urban planning interventions at home.

Questions in advance

Three questions precede the construction of a digital twin, and data collection in general. In the first place, what the user wants to achieve with it, then which processes will be involved and thirdly, which knowledge is available of these processes and their impact. Chris Andrews, an urban planner working on the ESRI ArcGIS platform, emphasizes the need to limit the number of elements in a digital twin and to pre-calculate the relationship between them: To help limit complexity, the number of systems modeled in a digital twin should likely be focused on the problems the twin will be used to solve.

Both the example of traffic forecasts in Chattanooga, the formation of heat islands in Singapore and the shadowing of the Boston Common show that raw data is insufficient to feed a digital twin. Instead, data are used that are the result of scientific research, after the researcher has decided whether a systems approach or a complexity approach is appropriate. In the words of Nigel Jacob, former Chief Technology Officer in Boston: For many years now, we've been talking about the need to become data-driven… But there's a step beyond that. We need to make the transition to being science-driven in ...... It's not enough to be data mining to look for patterns. We need to understand root causes of issues and develop policies to address these issues.

Digital twins are valuable tools. But if they are fed with raw data, they provide at best insight into statistical connections and every scientist knows how dangerous it is to draw conclusions from that: Trash in, trash out.

If you prefer the Dutch version of the Better cities series, find an overview of the already published episodes via the link below.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

2. Scare off the monster behind the curtain: Big Tech’s monopoly

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This post is about the omnipotence of Big Tech. So far, resistance mainly results in regulation of its effects. The core of the problem, the monopoly position of the technology giants, is only marginally touched. What is needed is a strict antitrust policy and a government that once again takes a leading role in setting the technology agenda.

A cause of concern

 In its recent report, the Dutch Rathenau Institute calls the state of digital technology a cause for concern. The institute advocates a fair data economy and a robust, secure and available Internet for everyone. This is not the case now. In fact, we are getting further and further away from this. The risks are pressing more each day: Inscrutable algorithms, deepfakes and political micro-targeting, inner-city devastation through online shopping, theft of trade secrets, unbridled data collection by Google, Amazon and Facebook, poorly paid taxi drivers by Uber and other service providers of the gig economy, the effect of Airbnb on the hotel industry and the energy consumption of bitcoin and blockchain.

The limits of legislation

Numerous publications are calling on the government to put an end to the growing abuse of digital technology. In his must read 'the New Digital Deal' Bas Boorsma states: In order to deploy digitalization and to manage platforms for the greater good of the individual and society as a whole, new regulatory approaches will be required… (p. 46) . That is also the view of the Rathenau Institute, which lists three spearheads for a digitization strategy: Strong legislative frameworks and supervision, value-based digital innovation based on critical parliamentary debate and a say in this for citizens and professionals.

More than growing inconvenience

In recent years, the European Commission has launched a wide range of legislative proposals, such as the Digital Services Act package, the Digital Market Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, these measures do not get to the kernel of the problem. The near-monopoly position of Big Tech is the proverbial monster behind the curtain. The Rathenau Institute speaks in furtitive terms of "the growing inconvenience" of reliance on American and Chinese tech giants. Even the International Monetary Fund is clearer in stating that the power of Big Tech inhibits innovation and investment and increases income inequality. Due to the power of the big technology companies, society is losing its grip on technology.

Surveillance capitalisme

To curb the above-mentioned risks, the problem must first be named  and measures must then be tailored accordingly. This is done in two recent books, namely Shoshana Zuboff's 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power' (2019) and Cory Doctorow's 'How to destroy surveillance capitalism' (2021). Zuboff describes in detail how Google, Amazon and Facebook collect data with only one goal, to entice citizens to buy goods and services: Big Tech's product is persuasion. The services — social media, search engines, maps, messaging, and more — are delivery systems for persuasion.

Big tech's monopoly

The unprecedented power of Big Tech is a result of the fact that these companies have become almost classic monopolies. Until the 1980s, the US had strict antitrust legislation: the Sherman's act, notorious for big business. Ronald Reagan quickly wiped it out in his years as president, and Margareth Thatcher did the same in the UK, Brian Mulroney in Canada and Helmut Kohl in Germany. While Sherman saw monopolies as a threat to the free market, Reagan believed that government interference threatens the free market. Facebook joins in if it sees itself as a 'natural monopoly': You want to be on a network where your friends are also. But you could also reach your friends if there were more networks that are interoperable. Facebook has used all economic, technical and legal means to combat the latter, including takeover of potential competitors: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

In the early 21st century, there was still a broad belief that emerging digital technology could lead to a better and more networked society. Bas Boorsma: The development of platforms empowered start-ups, small companies and professionals. Many network utopians believed the era of 'creative commons' had arrived and with it, a non-centralized and highly digital form of 'free market egalitarianism' (New Digital Deal, p.52). Nothing has come of this: Digitalization-powered capitalism now possesses a speed, agility and rawness that is unprecedented (New Digital Deal, p.54). Even the startup community is becoming one big R&D lab for Big Tech. Many startups hope to be acquired by one of the tech giants and then cash in on millions. As a result, Big Tech is on its way to acquire a dominant position in urban development, the health sector and education, in addition to the transport sector.

Antitrust legislation

Thanks to its monopoly position, Big Tech can collect unlimited data, even if European legislation imposes restrictions and occasional fines. After all, a lot of data is collected without citizens objecting to it. Mumford had already realized this in 1967: Many consumers see these companies not only as irresistible, but also ultimately beneficial. These two conditions are the germ of what he called the megatechnics bribe.

The only legislation that can break the power of Big Tech is a strong antitrust policy, unbundling the companies, an absolute ban on acquisitions and rigorous taxation.

Technology agenda

Technology does not develop autonomously. At the moment, Big Tech is indisputably setting the technology agenda in the Western Hemisphere. China is a different story. With Mariana Mazzocato, I believe that governments should take back control of technological development, as they did until the end of the last century. Consider the role of institutions such as DARPA in the US, the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands. Democratic control is an absolute precondition!

In the chapter 'Digitally just cities' in my e-book 'Cities of the future: Always humane, smart where it helps' (link below), I show, among other things, what Facebook, Amazon and Google could look like after a possible unbundling.

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Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Building back better with a systemic approach

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As the world grapples with vaccinations, variants, and how to return to "normal", it’s a good time to reflect on whether or not we are fully equipped to prevent future shocks.

Building true resilience means addressing the systemic issues that make our world increasingly fragile, by understanding the deeper structures and mental models at the root of a problem to create lasting solutions.

Check out our article done by Metabolic last year about building back better.

#circulareconomy

Beth Njeri's picture #Citizens&Living
Liza Verheijke, Community Manager at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Comenius Leadership Fellow grant to make AUAS students AI-ready

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The Centre of Expertise Applied AI of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has been awarded a Comenius Leadership Fellow grant of €500,000 for the AI4Students project. Over the next three years, the project headed by Professor of Responsible AI Nanda Piersma intends to use the Comenius grant to equip AUAS students for a future in which artificial intelligence (AI) will play an increasingly important role.

The assessment committee of the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) selected the project from a total of 15 applications and praised AI4Students for its innovative character and the expected benefits for students, lecturers and the professional field. “Because of the social relevance of the topic, the committee is confident that the outcomes will be valuable to students and lecturers as well as the professional field.”

AI-ready upon graduation

AI4Students is a project that should have an impact in all faculties of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. “We would like to ensure that all AUAS students are AI-ready by the time they graduate, not just with a general acquaintance with AI, but AI specifically geared to their field of study,” Piersma explains. “So it’s not about them studying with us first to become an accountant or physiotherapist, for example, and then having to take an additional training course as soon as they start their job. Instead, they should already be thinking with us about how AI is going to affect their job.”

The Comenius Leadership Fellow 2021 grant will enable Piersma to start fulfilling that ambition over the next three years. “What we want to do is start performing an AI impact scan for 9 degree programmes,” Piersma explains. “In what way is artificial intelligence going to impact a professional field? How will this affect what professionals need to be able to do, and what does that mean for the degree programme itself?”

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Christiaan Elings, Strategy & Collaboration for Sustainable Transitions at Royal Haskoning, posted

Gezonde stad: slim, samen en in samenhang

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Een gezonde stad is vitaal, veerkrachtig en toekomstbestendig – zowel maatschappelijk als economisch. Maar vanzelf gaat het niet. De druk op de stad is groot en de situatie is urgent, want er moet veel en liefst tegelijk: meer woningen, minder lawaai, schonere lucht, minder hittestress, een lager energiegebruik. Dit lukt alleen als we het slim, samen en in samenhang doen.

En er is goed nieuws: al die transities scheppen niet alleen verplichtingen, maar ook geweldige mogelijkheden. Zo biedt data science kansen om tot goede plannen en oplossingen te komen, om deze te visualiseren en communiceren én om participatie en besluitvorming te organiseren. In bijgaand artikel uit Binnenlands Bestuur geeft mijn collega Jan de Wit een overzicht van kansen.

Meer info: Gezonde stad: slim, samen en in samenhang

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Jochem Kootstra, Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Hoogbouw vraagt om een menselijke maat nu steden verdichten

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HvA-onderzoeksproject Sensing Streetscapes deelt eindresultaten en gaat op excursie naar vier steden met ontwerpoplossingen op ooghoogte.

De populariteit van de stad zet alsmaar door, en dat is te zien aan huidige bouwprojecten. Die gaan steeds meer de hoogte in nu de stad verdicht. Van Londen tot Oslo en van Vancouver tot Amsterdam. Lectoraat Bouwtransformatie van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) onderzocht met ontwerpbureaus, gemeenten, ontwikkelaars en woningbouwcorporaties binnen onderzoeksproject Sensing Streetscapes hoe je een menselijke maat kan creëren in gebiedsontwikkeling met hoge dichtheden. De onderzoekers zetten hiervoor ontwerpend onderzoek, neuroarchitectuur en AI in. Welke lessen voor de praktijk leverden dit 2-jarige onderzoek op en tot wat voor inzichten kwamen de experts rondom dit actuele vraagstuk?

De onderzoekers binnen het actieonderzoek Sensing Streetscapes analyseerden in Amsterdam, Vancouver, Toronto, Manchester, Londen en Oslo de toegepaste ontwerpoplossingen om hoogbouw te verschalen naar menselijke proporties op ooghoogte. Omdat zowel de ontwerpopgave als de methodiek van neuroarchitectuur nieuw zijn voor Nederland werkten zij samen met internationale partners en steden. De analyses tonen de gerealiseerde oplossingen voor dezelfde stedenbouwkundige regels. Grote verschillen werden hierdoor zichtbaar.

Kijken als professional: zes casestudies ontwerpend onderzocht

Terwijl Toronto zich manifesteert met extreme en harde keuzes die de hoogbouw letterlijk aan de straat tonen, is er in onder meer Vancouver, Manchester en Amsterdam veel meer gelaagdheid. Bovendien zijn er meer details toegepast waarmee de hoogbouw visueel minder nadrukkelijk aanwezig is voor de gebruikers in de straat. En dat is nodig, want een menselijke maat op straatniveau verbetert de leefbaarheid op hoogbouwlocaties en verhelpen gezondheids- en stressklachten gerelateerd aan deze milieus.

De Zuidas in Amsterdam als ‘mixed-use’ gebied is een voorbeeld waar de hoogbouw goed werkt, vertelt Frank Suurenbroek, lector Bouwtransformatie bij het Centre of Expertise Urban Technology van de HvA, tijdens een excursie door de Zuidas. ‘De verbinding tussen de zakelijkheid van kantoren en de zachte materialen voor woningbouw is hier grotendeels geslaagd. Daarnaast is er veel groen door mooie pocket parks (kleine parken), die deels toegankelijk zijn voor publiek én zelfs ontworpen zijn met bewoners.’ Internationale experts ‘vlogen digitaal in’ en een belangrijk deel van de Nederlandse praktijk — van ontwerpbureaus tot ontwikkelaars, brancheorganisaties en hoofdontwerpers van de grote steden — waren aanwezig bij de excursie als onderdeel van het eindseminar, waar de opgedane kennis na twee jaar onderzoek werd gepresenteerd en gedeeld.

Zo werd ook duidelijk dat bewoners in Londen soms in sociaal isolement verkeren door wonen in hoogbouw op schiereiland Isle of Dogs, vanwege weinig contact met de buren en de straat. Terwijl soortgelijke milieus in Amsterdam, Vancouver en Oslo een ander beeld laten zien vanwege de natuur waarmee zij omringd zijn. ‘De laatste jaren tonen aan dat groen een belangrijke drager voor ontwerp is geworden’, verklaart Gideon Spanjar, projectleider van Sensing Streetscapes. ‘Bewoners van hoogbouw hebben in Vancouver zicht op natuur en de grote en kleine korrel van gebouwen zijn bewust gemengd. Tevens werken zij met ontwerpoplossingen om de hoogbouw voor de voetganger aan het zicht te onttrekken door de gebouwen naar achteren te plaatsen, waarbij het bladerdak van bomen de ruimte subtiel begrensd. Dit noemen we ook wel Vancourism.’

Kijken als gebruiker: neuroarchitectuur ontsluit de beleving

Maar hoe ervaren de bewoners ontwerpoplossingen op ooghoogte zelf? Het nieuwe vakgebied van de neuroarchitectuur biedt de mogelijkheid om hier voor het eerst antwoord op te geven. Iedereen kent immers plekken die fijn aanvoelen en plekken waar je snel weer weg wilt. Met neuroarchitectuur wordt dit proces zichtbaar gemaakt met behulp van eye-trackers en een hiervoor ontwikkeld biometric dashboard. De eye-trackers registreren 30 keer per seconde waar de gebruiker naar kijkt, hoe lang en in welke volgorde. Door vele proefpersonen systematisch verschillende locaties voor te leggen, worden patronen zichtbaar op een heatmap (zie hoofdfoto als voorbeeld).

Uit de veld- en labtests blijkt het belang van wat op ooghoogte wordt ontworpen, zoals de ontwerpers voorspellen. Hierbij werd specifiek duidelijk dat mensen eerst op zoek gaan naar andere mensen. Daarvoor wordt de ruimte gescand op plekken waar je die kan verwachten, zoals balkons, portieken, entrees, fietsenrekken en auto’s. Evenals de functies op de begane grond en het materiaal van gebouwen. En terwijl te veel complexiteit in de straat veel aandacht trekt in negatieve zin, vallen zowel een dichte als een transparante plint minder op. De contouren van een verhoogde plint worden daarbij daadwerkelijk gezien en helpen hoogbouw verschalen. Tot slot werkt een geleidelijke overgang tussen straatwand en straatruimte goed.

De balans tussen succesvol en niet succesvolle ontwerpoplossingen is subtiel, verklaart lector Suurenbroek. ‘Als we willen dat mensen niet overweldigd raken door hoogbouw, dan zijn neuroarchitectuur-testen gedurende het ontwerpproces van belang. De ontwikkelde methode en patronen die daarmee zichtbaar worden tonen aan dat het ons echt kan informeren over de impact van ontwerpkeuzes.’

Kijken vanuit data: AI ontsluit rijke reeks leerzame locaties

Iedere bouwopgave binnen de bebouwde stad heeft te maken met unieke uitdagingen, maar goed gerealiseerde voorbeelden uit de praktijk kunnen dienen als referentie voor de impact van mogelijke ontwerpoplossingen. Met behulp van AI is binnen het onderzoek een search-engine gebouwd, waarmee via open data vergelijkbare locaties getraceerd kunnen worden. Hiermee helpt AI de ruimtelijk ontwerpers en opdrachtgevers een rijke reeks aan bijpassende referentielocaties te vinden, van Europa tot Noord-Amerika. De mate van hoogbouw, Floor Space Index, Mixed-use is een greep van parameters die je zelf kan instellen.

Suurenbroek: ‘Eenmaal gebouwd bepaalt een ruimtelijk project voor decennia het aanzien en de condities van de plek en omgeving. Juist daarom proberen we met ons onderzoek en de excursie het gesprek tussen de ontwerpers, opdrachtgevers, toekomstige gebruikers en internationale experts te faciliteren. Bovendien vertoont de groei van Amsterdam veel overeenkomsten van die van de meeste andere westerse steden. Ontwerpend onderzoek, neuroarchitectuur, de AI-tool en excursies helpen daarbij. Ontwerpen van het straatniveau valt immers deels tussen verschillende disciplines in.’

Meer informatie

Het eindseminar en de excursie zijn onderdeel van het 2-jarig onderzoeksproject Sensing Streetscapes, waar lector Bouwtransformatie Frank Suurenbroek, hoofdonderzoeker Gideon Spanjar en senior AI-onderzoeker Maarten Groen (lectoraat Resonsible IT) hun resultaten hebben gedeeld. Alsook diverse experts uit Oslo, Vancouver en Londen. Binnen het project werkt een interdisciplinair team van onderzoekers samen met de praktijk en internationale onderzoeksgroepen aan het ontleden van het begrip menselijke maat voor het ruimtelijk ontwerp. Om de resultaten te ontsluiten en de AI-tool open access te gebruiken, is een platform gebouwd: www.sensingstreetscapes.com.

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Jochem Kootstra, Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Op zoek: duurzame binding met je buurt

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Interview met onderzoeker Anneke Treffers (HvA) over het belang van ‘buurtdragers’ om de binding met de buurt te versterken. Eindpublicatie toont resultaten van onderzoek naar de Couperusbuurt, Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

De Couperusbuurt: een multicultureel stadsdeel in Amsterdam Nieuw-West waar jong en oud samenkomen, maar ook kunnen botsen in opvattingen over wat hun buurt zowel prettig als onprettig maakt. De Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) deed binnen project Ontwikkelbuurten onderzoek naar het belang van ruimtelijke structuren, plekken en programma’s die de binding van bewoners met hun buurt duurzaam kunnen versterken. Ofwel: ‘buurtdragers’. Onderzoekers Ivan Nio, Anneke Treffers en lector Bouwtransformatie Frank Suurenbroek presenteren na ruim twee jaar onderzoek de bevindingen.

De Nederlandstalige muziek van Café Content nabij de Couperusbuurt is eindelijk weer te horen nu de terrassen na lockdown open zijn. Vooral bewoners van het eerste uur komen hier regelmatig samen en dat is tekenend voor de buurt. Het is een voorbeeld van een ‘buurtdrager’ die samenhang en herkenbaarheid biedt, de leefbaarheid versterkt en de buurtbetrokkenheid van bewoners vergroot. Denk ook aan parkjes, hoven, portieken, winkelstrips en andere voorzieningen en faciliteiten in de nabijheid van de eigen woning.

Stedelijke vernieuwing in de Couperusbuurt

Maar niet elke buurtdrager is een voorziening voor iedereen. De Couperusbuurt kenmerkt zich als divers: jong en oud, multicultureel; maar de omgang met de verschillende groepen is laag. Daarnaast kent de buurt ook hardnekkige sociale problemen, waaronder een combinatie van een laag opleidingsniveau, een laag inkomen en een hoge werkloosheid. De veelal portiekwoningen, herkenbaar aan de typerende hovenstructuur van deze na-oorlogse wijk, zijn er erg klein, als gevolg van versnelde bouw na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Nu anno 2021 wonen in deze kleine woningen een diversiteit aan bewoners en dat levert spanningen op.


Voorbeelden van buurtdragers.

Maar er is hoop: de Couperusbuurt verwacht stedelijke vernieuwing en staat voor een nieuwe opgave de binding met de buurt en bewoners te versterken. ‘Dan is het nodig om de buurt in te gaan, te ervaren en de bewoners te spreken’, vertelt onderzoekster Treffers. ‘Niet iedereen staat te springen om vernieuwing. Wanneer je een goed overzicht hebt van hoe de buurt individueel beleefd wordt in relatie tot al bestaande buurtdragers, dan kun je pas gaan nadenken over fysieke ingrepen en investeringen die de leefbaarheid en de betrokkenheid bij de buurt kunnen verbeteren.’

Angst bij ouderen

Vooral bij ouderen heerst de angst dat het ‘dorpse gevoel’ door mogelijke ingrepen zou verdwijnen, vertelt Treffers. ‘Ze maken zich druk om de dagelijkse problematiek als grote hopen afval, geluidsoverlast en veiligheid; er zijn hangjongeren en spanningen tussen buren onderling. Maar ook nieuwe bewoners kennen een eigen soort ‘ongeduld’, meer gericht op de toekomst. Kort door de bocht gezegd verwelkomen zij zo snel mogelijk een Starbucks met latte macchiato's.’ En ook door observaties hoe mensen hun woonomgeving gebruiken, komt veel aan het licht: ‘We zien grote stenen pleinen zonder enkele functie, geen kind dat daar speelt. Net als tuinstoelen in het park door een gemis aan bankjes. Zijn die er wel, dan hebben die vaak geen rugleuning; wat moeten ouderen daarmee?’


Voorbeelden van dagelijkse problematiek.

Van persoonlijke kaarten naar kansenkaart

De interviews en observaties omtrent bestaande buurtdragers zijn per doelgroep vertaald naar persoonlijke kaarten als een mindmap van de buurt, met daarop gevisualiseerd: routes, locatie van vrienden en familie, positieve en negatieve plekken, dagelijkse voorzieningen en horeca en recreatie. Treffers: ‘Wanneer je die kaarten over elkaar heen legt, zie je al snel de overlappende pijnpunten (vuil, geluidsoverlast, verstening), evenals de plekken met potentie. Met name de Couperusstraat biedt kansen, die loopt dwars door de buurt en kan als drager van de buurt gaan functioneren.’


Persoonlijke kaart en kansenkaart - verbinding met de Couperusstraat.

In de eindpublicatie staan aanbevelingen voor gemeente en woningbouwcorporaties hoe de Couperusstraat bestaande en nieuwe buurtdragers aan elkaar kan verbinden. Zo kunnen alle groepen elkaar sneller kruisen, stelt Treffers. ‘Sociale cohesie in de buurt is misschien te hoog gegrepen, maar we kunnen wel publieke familiariteit realiseren. Wat dat is? We zagen iedere dag om 19.00 uur een aantal vrouwen van Turkse komaf op hetzelfde bankje in het park. Elke dag, op hetzelfde moment, kwam een man van in de 70 zijn hond daar uitlaten en maakte een kort praatje. Twee werelden die elkaar doorgaans niet snel ontmoeten in de Couperusbuurt. Die kortstondige ontmoetingen zonder verdere verplichtingen (publieke familiariteit) zorgen voor meer verbinding; zowel sociaal als fysiek.’

LEES DE EINDPUBLICATIE: BUURTDRAGERS IN DE COUPERUSBUURT

Meer informatie

Het project is de eerste verkenning in een langlopend onderzoek naar buurtdragers. Het vormt een waardevolle input voor de planvorming in de ontwikkelbuurten. Het onderzoek is vooral ook een middel om in nadere dialoog met gemeente en corporaties te verkennen naar wat voor soort buurtdragers we eigenlijk op zoek zijn. En waar zouden gemeente en corporaties maar ook andere partijen in moeten investeren in de buurt
Kijk voor meer informatie: projecten Buurtdragers en Ontwikkelbuurten.

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Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Marineterrein smart data shows our Corona curfew behavior

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Wednesday was the official end of the Avondklok curfew in the Netherlands. Since 22 January 2021 the royal Dutch government issued a 9pm curfew to combat the third wave of the corona virus. The AD.nl reports that over these last 3 months, the dutch police have issued more than 95,000 fines for violating curfews.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the DrukteMeter 3 month Avondklok period to see if the Marineterrein community actually adhered to the national curfew.

The data says: yes, we did!

The table in the picture above illustrates that there are little to no people on the Marineterrein between the hours of 9 and 6am. Each night, activity on the Marineterrein stops, or flatlines just before 9pm (and 10pm as of 01 April). These insights tell us that we were all home in time and avoided curfew penalties and fines.

The Marineterrein DrukteMeter (or busyness-meter) anonymously counts the number of people in and around the innovation campus in order to keep the Marineterrein livable - especially during the Corona pandemic. This summer we’ll be using the DrukteMeter to visualize the safe and responsible transition into the New Norm and measuring the post pandemic “PULSE” of Amsterdam most popular destinations.

Tom van Arman's picture #Citizens&Living
Noëlle Koomen, Communications Intern , posted

Amsterdam Smart City Program director on Smart Societies

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Program director Leonie van den Beuken joined the SmartCom Summit a few weeks ago to share her thoughts on Smart Societies. We give you a short recap on what came up and added a few interesting insights on the biggest challenges we face working from home and some possible solutions.

Due to the pandemic, we discovered that technology can lead to new opportunities. It also raised a lot of questions on ownership of data, privacy and autonomy. Technology needs not only to be trustworthy, but also to be perceived as trustworthy. Next to that it needs to me available and accessible. Let’s make sure that everyone can have access to hardware, wifi and understandable software. So every kid can join an online class and even older people are able to understand a mobility app.

“Climate change does not wait for us to decide who is in charge”

Used well, technology is an indispensable part of creating sustainable cities. Mobility and energy transitions need the use of data. That way we can create smart grids for example. But who is in charge of creating these smart sustainable societies? ‘A pack of leaders is in charge’,  Leonie says. ‘I like to compare it to the Tour de France. In different stages of the race, different cyclists take the lead. All aiming to support the star: sustainable society. And again, trust between parties is the most important thing when working together.’

Smart Communication

Covid has shown that with the support of technology we can meet anywhere online. But technology also comes with difficulties. The biggest challenges for the audience to work from home came out during a poll:
- 62% said ‘Not being around people’
- 24% said ‘Management’
- 100% said ‘Straining our Human Minds’

How can smart communication tools be of help within a company?

During the pandemic, employers manage 100 “offices” instead of one because everyone is working from home. There’s lots of technology available to monitor employees. Even though everyone agreed that trust is always better, camera’s and software to track activities on a device could stimulate and motivate.

Want to know more? Check out the talkshow.

Noëlle Koomen's picture #DigitalCity
Jochem Kootstra, Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Effectief groen voor klimaatadaptatie in de stad

De HvA start onderzoek naar concrete handvatten voor klimaatbestendig en verkoelend stedelijk groen

Een groene stad is niet automatisch een klimaatbestendige stad. Groen is wel de meest effectieve maatregel tegen hittestress en kan bijdragen aan waterbestendigheid. Mits de inrichting hierop is ontworpen. Samen met Wageningen University & Research (WUR) en ontwerpbureau Niek Roozen onderzoekt de Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) hoe een groene straatinrichting het meest effectief is voor verkoeling in verschillende wijktypen.

Wijktypen groen

Een belangrijk praktisch aspect van het onderzoek is het waterverbruik van groen voor koeling, in samenhang met de opbouw van de bodem en de benodigde buffercapaciteit. Maar een duidelijk stappenplan hiervoor mist, stelt Jeroen Kluck, lector Water in en om de stad. ‘We krijgen vaak vragen over welk type groen het beste is tegen en bij klimaatverandering. Dit project helpt daar antwoord op te geven. Wij ontwikkelen concrete handvatten voor ontwerp, aanleg, inrichting en beheer van klimaatbestendig en verkoelend stedelijk groen.’

Vier wijktypen onder de loep

Voor verschillende soorten en ontwerpen van straatgroen onderzoeken wij enerzijds de verkoelende werking en anderzijds de kwetsbaarheid tegen verdroging. Daarbij richten we ons op vier karakteristieke en veel voorkomende wijktypen: het stedelijk bouwblok, de bloemkoolwijk, de volkswijk en een verbindingsweg. Ieder type heeft specifieke fysieke kenmerken zoals bouwhoogte, breedte van de straat en vorm van groene inrichting, welke bepalend zijn voor de mogelijkheden en effectiviteit van een nieuwe groene inrichting. De inzichten verwerken we in praktijkrichtlijnen en sjablonen voor deze wijktypen. Daarnaast werken we aan een nieuwe bomentabel waarin klimaatbestendigheid van typen bomen is verwerkt.

'Als we steden klimaatbestendiger willen inrichten willen we ook weten welk type groen het beste bijdraagt en het beste bestand is tegen die klimaatveranderingen. Super om dit samen met de mensen met groene vingers te onderzoeken' — Jeroen Kluck, lector Water in en om de stad

Interdisciplinaire samenwerking

Het project is een samenwerking tussen de groene sector, ontwerpers, landschapsarchitecten, stadsklimatologen en beheerders van het stedelijk groen. Het project is een mooie aanvulling op het onderzoeksportfolio van het HvA-lectoraat Water in en om de stad en met name de onderzoeken naar het klimaatbestendig inrichten van de stad, het hittebestendig inrichten van de buitenruimte, hittemetingen in de stad en ook het gebruik van wijktypen als basis om klimaatrisico’s en maatregelen te structureren.

Meer informatie?

Houd de projectpagina van 'Effectief groen voor klimaatadaptatie in de stad' in de gaten voor alle ontwikkelingen.

Jochem Kootstra's picture #Citizens&Living