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UPDATE: MARCH 17
There is still time to participate in the #Waterchallenge. The current timeline is:
• March 30, 11:00-12:00 (UTC+1): Q&A session 2
• April 10: deadline contributions
• April 19, 14:00-17:00 (UTC+1): The three best scoring contributions will present for the jury
What if you could predict your house being flooded, so you can take measures to prevent this?
Does this seem far-fetched? It is not.
Most of the data to be able to do this is readily available, however most people are not aware and the data is sometimes difficult to understand. Take on the SCOREwater* #WaterChallenge and make this and other important water data accessible for everyone.
Participation in the #WaterChallenge is open to all: students, researchers, professionals, citizens etc. You can join this challenge as an individual or as a team of maximum 4.
Read more on the challenge website: https://www.scorewater.eu/waterchallenge
* This challenge is connected to the EU-funded (Horizon 2020) research and innovation project SCOREwater. It focusses on enhancing the resilience of cities against climate change and urbanisation by enabling a water smart society. The project develops smart (sensor based) solutions in three different cities, Amersfoort (Netherlands), Barcelona (Spain) and Göteborg (Sweden). The overarching vision is to link the physical and digital world for city water management solutions.
A link to a larger reproduction is here.
In the 14th episode of the Better cities - The contribution of digital technology-series, I investigate the digitization policy of the municipality of Amsterdam based on the guidelines and ethical principles formulated earlier.
25 years ago, Amsterdam Digital City was a frontrunner in access to public internet. Now the city wants to lead the way as a free, inclusive, and creative digital city. How the municipality wants to do this is described for the first time in the memorandum A digital city for and by everyone (2019). A year later in the Digital City Agenda (2020), the goals have been reformulated into three spearheads: (1) responsible use of data and technology (2) combating digital inequality and (3) the accessibility of services. These three spearheads resulted in a series of concrete activities, of which a first evaluation was submitted to the municipal council in 2021. 'Protecting digital rights' has been added to the three spearheads. The illustration above is mentioning the four spearheads and the 22 activities.
This article is looking closer at Amsterdam’s digitalization policy by examining how it relates to the guidelines and ethical principles for digitization, which I compiled in the 9th edition. Because of the overlap, I have merged these into one list (see HERE), named Principles for socially responsible digitization policy. This list contains eight principles, each accompanied by a non-exhaustive set of guidelines. For each of these principles, I examine what Amsterdam has achieved until now. The numbers after the principles below refer to one or more of the 22 activities mentioned above. I add an example from outside Amsterdam to each principle.
1. Embedding (1, 4)
The digital agenda is part of a democratically established and coherent urban agenda.
• The Municipality of Amsterdam is building a broad knowledge network in the field of responsible use of data and digital technology together with AMS Institute, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Waag Society, and others. This network will conduct research into the impact of technology on the city.
In 2017, the Foresight Lublin 2050 project was launched in the Polish city of Lublin to define opportunities and threats related to socio-economic, environmental, and technological development. Its mission is that decisions about technology should be made based on the real needs of residents and should be involved in the design and implementation of policies. As part of the democratic nature of decision-making in Lublin, residents determine the allocation of budget resources.
2. Equality, inclusiveness, and social impact (16, 17, 19, 20)
Making information and communication technology accessible to everyone
• The Municipality of Amsterdam is making public services accessible, understandable, and usable for everyone, online and offline. Research among low-literate target groups has provided clues to reach these goals.
• The Online Implementation Agenda provides information about current policy (volg.amsterdam.nl). Mijn Amsterdamprovides information about neighborhood-level projects and opportunities to participate in them.
• Vulnerable citizens will find hardware to use the Internet in several places and free Wi-Fi is also available. Several thousand laptops have been distributed.
• The development of digital skills is supported together with social partners. For example, a 'train-the-trainer' program has been carried out with Cybersoek and the Public Library will introduce all visitors in the coming years to the themes of data literacy and digital freedom.
• Through the partnership with TechConnect 50,000 extra people from underrepresented groups are made aware of the technology labor market.
• The municipality considers the roll-out of the 5G network desirable but is following critical research into the health risks of this network. The 5G Field lab is used to study the applications of 5G and their importance for residents.
Barcelona and Madrid are forerunners regarding of digital participation, thanks to their resp. networks Decide and Decide Madrid. Residents use these networks on a large scale as a source of information and to participate in discussions and (advisory) voting. Much of what the city council discusses came up through these forums.
3. Justice (2, 15, 20)
Prevent that the application of digital systems results in concentration and abuse of power.
• The Amsterdam Intelligence Agenda sets conditions for algorithms to prevent discrimination. Partly in this context, several algorithms will be audited annually, and algorithms will be placed in a register.
• The Civic AI Lab will explore the (unintended) implications of algorithms related to unequal treatment and discrimination.
• An exploration of the best way to provide low-threshold access has been launched for the domains of care and education.
With its 116-page Strategy for the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI), New York focuses on using AI to better serve residents, building AI know-how within government, modernizing data infrastructure, city policy on AI, developing partnerships with external organizations and promoting equal opportunities.
4. Human Dignity (20)
Prevent technology from alienating people from their unique qualities and instead ensure that it stimulates their fulfillment.
• The 'Modere overheid’ program investigates how digitization can support different domains of the municipal organization. Examples are better matching of job seekers and work, helping 18-year-olds manage their finances, (early) identification of people with debts, providing information about cleaning and management of the city.
The Database of ‘Affordable Housing Listings, Information, and Applications’ allows San Francisco residents to search the entire range of affordable housing and express their interest through a simple, multi-lingual form. A candidate resident is selected from the submitted applications by drawing lots, who then submits a more detailed application. The procedure has been developed entirely in open-source software and other cities are joining this initiative.
5. Autonomy and privacy (3, 5, 6, 14, 15)
Recognition of human autonomy and the right to reside and move in public space without being observed digitally
• The municipality has established a data strategy that gives residents more control over their own data.
• The municipality works with other municipalities on data minimization via the IRMA app. Via this app residents can pass on damage reports. In the future, this app can form the basis for making available a digital identity to all citizens.
• The Responsible Sensing Lab investigates privacy-friendly methods to collect data in a responsible way using sensing. The mmWave sensor, for example, measures crowds without collecting personal data.
• A register maps installed sensors. A sensor regulation will make it mandatory to register sensors in the public space.
To protect residents' privacy, Seattle's government has taken a series of steps that make the city an undisputed frontrunner in this regard. The city has appointed a chief privacy officer, established a set of guiding privacy principles, and established a privacy advisory committee composed of both citizens and government officials. An important part is the implementation of a privacy impact assessment every time the municipality develops a new project in which personal data is collected.
6. Open data, open software, and interoperability (9, 13, 18)
Data architecture, including standards, agreements and norms aimed at reusing data, programs and technology and preventing lock-in.
• The municipal policy regarding open data is 'open, unless. The urban platform data.amsterdam.nl attracts 2500 unique visitors per day.
• The municipality's sourcing and open-source strategy establishes the reuse of existing resources, the use of standards and the availability of software developed by the municipality.
• Together with knowledge institutions and companies, the municipality is developing the Amsterdam Data Exchange, in which the parties involved regulate which data they exchange. Agreements have been made with the Central Dutch Statistics Office (CBS) about making data available.
• The Tada principles are the starting points for responsible data use. They regulate the authority of the users and determine the use of data and that it is open and transparent. It is envisaged that other Amsterdam institutions and companies will also adopt these principles.
• Residents can view their personal data via My Amsterdam. This also applies to entrepreneurs.
To support startups, the Seoul City Council has developed My Neighborhood Analysis, a tool that contains an unprecedented amount of commercial information. This includes datasets from Seoul's entire business ecosystem, such as business licenses, ownership information, rental rates, and transportation ticket data. When users enter information about the proposed business type, they get an overview of business performance in the neighborhood to be explored and an indication of the expected level of risk for a new business. Users can select peer companies to understand their historical performance.
7. Safety (7, 9)
Preventing and combating internet crime and limiting its consequences.
• The municipality has drawn up a Digital Safety Agenda, partly aimed at keeping vital infrastructure in operation.
The municipality of The Hague has developed an IoT security monitor together with Cybersprint. It provides a real-time overview of all connected IoT devices within the city limits with detailed information such as their whereabouts and level of risk. The monitor has so far identified 3100 unsafe devices in The Hague. Usually, insecure devices don't use password or default passwords or outdated software.
8. Operational and Financial Sustainability (12, 20, 21)
Guaranteeing a reliable, robust Internet
• The municipality is in permanent consultation with the Internet and telephone providers to guarantee the stability of the networks.
Rolling out the fiber digital infrastructure accounts for 90% of the total cost. A "Dig Once" policy aims to reduce these costs through collaboration with stakeholders. In the case of new construction, the aim is to carry out all cable and pipeline work in one go, preferably by constructing a small, easily accessible tunnel under the sidewalk or street. This considerably increases the operational reliability of all (digital) facilities. With existing buildings, all maintenance and replacement work should be carried out in one go too.
As can be expected, various bottlenecks arise in the implementation of the digital policy in Amsterdam. After all, this is a fast process involving many parties and interests, while technological developments are rapid. A lot of work still must be done in several areas gain support, both within the municipal apparatus, and with companies, organizations and inhabitants. This includes the Tada principles, compliance with the municipal sourcing strategy, the 'open unless' policy and the data minimization policy. There is also work to be done to develop a reliable digital infrastructure and to counteract (unintended) effects when using artificial intelligence. Increasing digital self-reliance and creating the preconditions for all residents to participate digitally requires structural embedding and financing.
In my opinion, the municipality of Amsterdam has made great strides in the field of privacy (5) and open data (6). The biggest challenges are in the following areas (the numbers refer to the principles formulated by me):
• Embedding of the digitization policy in the other policy areas (1).
• Availability of Internet, computers, and digital skills for vulnerable groups (2).
• Use of digital means to increase the participation of the population in policy development and formulation (2).
• Conditions of workers in the gig economy (3).
• Oversight of the AI systems that make autonomous judgments about people (4).
• Fight against cybercrime (7).
• Future-proof infrastructure (8).
In the next episode I will shift the focus to digitizing activities of other Dutch municipalities.
The link below opens a preliminary overview of the already published and upcoming articles in the series Better cities: the contribution of digital technology. Click HERE for the Dutch version.
YIMBY Arnhem! is a bottom-up movement aiming at small scale food growing in the city of Arnhem (NL). The 10 ten years of green YIMBY Arnhem! experience shows the fun and cooperation of growing food in the city. The YIMBY experience also shows that in time small initiatives grow to major results in empowering green people in the city. Contact email@example.com for additional information.
Op 2 maart is het 50 jaar geleden dat het rapport ‘Grenzen aan de groei’ van de club van Rome verscheen. Het rapport schetste het scenario dat als de westerse maatschappij doorging met de consumptiemaatschappij, een immense catastrofe het gevolg zou zijn. Het rapport werd de aanjager van de milieubeweging van de jaren tachtig en lijkt met de huidige klimaatverandering en biodiversiteitscrisishelaas relevanter dan ooit.
Wat kunnen we, anno 2022, leren van het rapport? Wat is er de afgelopen jaren al wel gedaan en wat moeten we nog doen? Hoe kunnen we vergroening, digitalisering en een circulaire economie inzetten om het tij te keren?
Om deze vragen te beantwoorden en een blik in het verleden en heden te werpen slaan Future City Foundation, Stichting Steenbreek en de SKBN de handen ineen tijdens een online talkshow op 2 maart van 10.00 – 11.00 uur. Mediapartner van dit Webinar is Stadszaken.nl.
Datum: 2 maart, van 10.00 – 11.00 uur
Locatie: Online talkshow onder leiding van Jan-Willem Wesselink
In het rapport lees je de alarmerende boodschap: “De mensheid kan niet blijven doorgaan zich met toenemende snelheid te vermenigvuldigen en materiële vooruitgang als hoofddoel te beschouwen, zonder daarbij in moeilijkheden te komen. (…) Dat betekent dat we de keuze hebben tussen nieuwe doelstellingen zoeken teneinde onze toekomst in eigen handen te nemen, of ons onderwerpen aan de onvermijdelijk wredere gevolgen van ongecontroleerde groei.”
Welke nieuwe doelstellingen kunnen we nu zoeken om ervoor te zorgen dat we onze toekomst en die van onze kinderen in eigen hand nemen? Daarover gaan we met drie experts (namen volgen z.s.m.) in gesprek.
Wilt u meer weten en meepraten?
Over de Future City Foundation
De Future City Foundation is een ‘movement of communities’ die zich bezighouden met digitalisering en technologisering van regio’s, steden en dorpen. Wij verbinden professionals bij gemeenten, bedrijven en andere organisaties met elkaar om samen van die regio’s, steden en dorpen slimme gemeenschappen te maken met een gezonder leefomgeving, zoals bedoeld in Sustainable Development Goals van de Verenigde Naties en conform onze Europese democratische waarden.
Over Stichting Steenbreek
Stichting Steenbreek is een kennis- en netwerkorganisatie en biedt ondersteuning bij het duurzaam vergroenen van onze leefomgeving. De Steenbreekvisie is dat het besef dat groen goed is voor biodiversiteit, klimaatadaptatie en een fijne, aantrekkelijke leefomgeving gemeengoed wordt. En dat iedereen in Nederland, van bewoner tot bestuurder, hiernaar handelt. Bekijk de website
De Stichting Kennisalliantie Bedrijventerreinen Nederland (SKBN) is al tien jaar de landelijke kennisalliantie voor de (her)ontwikkeling van toekomstbestendige bedrijventerreinen en andere werklocaties. Bekijk de website
Stadszaken.nl informeert stedelijk professionals en RO-ers over ontwikkelingen in het vakgebied met dagelijks nieuws, achtergronden, tools, inspiratie en events. Dat doen we binnen de thema’s die er nu toe doen, namelijk economie, ruimte, circulaire economie, mensen en smart cities. Stadszaken.nl publiceert iedere werkdag actuele content en daarnaast minimaal drie keer per week achtergrond-, opinie- en/ of how-to-verhalen. Dat doen we samen met een netwerk van partners en een professionele redactie, ieder met zijn eigen specialiteit. Bekijk de website
Daarover gaan we in gesprek met de opdrachtgevers en onderzoekers van het Ecorys rapport: Maatschappelijke impact van Slimme en Duurzame verstedelijking.
Het afgelopen jaar verschenen er tal van rapporten over digitalisering en technologisering. Maar wat zijn de vervolgstappen? Welke lessen kunnen we trekken voor de slimme stad? Welke ideeën kunnen ons gaan inspireren in dit nieuwe smartcityjaar?
Dit soort gesprekken voer je normaal gesproken als je elkaar tegenkomt tijdens een nieuwjaarsborrel, een congres of een andere netwerkbijeenkomst. Helaas kan dit nu even niet fysiek, maar gelukkig laat het digitale ons niet in de steek. Zo kunnen we toch met elkaar nieuwe kennis delen en verspreiden.
Daarom is de Future City Foundation op zoek gegaan naar de makers en bedenkers dit rapport. We vragen aan Jessica Dirks, Walter Hulsker (onderzoekers van Ecorys), Noor van den Brink en Caspar de Jonge (ministerie van IenW) wat er volgens hen zwaar ingezet moet worden op slimme en duurzame verstedelijking.
Datum: 24 februari, 16.00 – 17.00 uur.
MELD U NU AAN
Uit het rapport van Ecorys in opdracht van het ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat blijkt dat het effectief combineren en inzetten van smartcityprojecten noodzakelijke oplossingen zijn voor het ruimtegebrek in Nederland. En dat slim en binnenstedelijk bouwen niet alleen leidt tot meer leefbare steden, maar ook tot andere positieve effecten leiden, die financieel en maatschappelijk meer opleveren dan traditioneel bouwen aan de randen van steden.
Daarover gaan op donderdag 24 februari in gesprek met de onderzoekers van Ecorys:
Wilt u weten wat de meerwaarde van smartcityprojecten is? En waarom ze niet langer ‘leuk om te hebben’, maar ‘noodzakelijk’ zijn? Meld u dan nu aan!
“The essence of systems thinking is that you don't look at an object on its own, you consider everything that it is connected to.” Eva Gladek, founder and CEO of Metabolic.
How does systems thinking look in practice? A systems map is a good way to show how everything is interconnected and how different parts influence each other.
At Metabolic, we use systems thinking as a core strategy to advance our vision of a circular and sustainable economy. Check out how this approach delivers sustainable solutions.
Register for the online event | As cities worldwide attract more and more people, public space is coming increasingly under pressure. To create liveable cities now and in the future, we need to find ways to address the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and other urban challenges. There are many ideas already out there, we want cities to share these ideas. In recent months, the Netherlands has called on its embassies, NBSOs and other representatives to use their networks to collect these ideas on the Closer Cities platform.
We have invited urban experts to an interactive online event to discuss:
Solving Urban Challenges Together: Best practices for liveable cities
Date: 14 February 2022
Time: 14.30-16.00 CET
Location: Online -Register here
For practical reasons, the programme is prerecorded. During the webcast on 14 February, we have an interactive chat open so speakers can answer your questions.
Who can attend
This online event is highly interesting for policymakers of governments, employees of companies, representatives of civil society and intergovernmental organisations active in the field of city development and urban resilience.
What to expect
At this interactive online event, we hear from urban experts on vital cities, citizens' initiatives, inclusive innovation and the importance of sharing. We share with you the lessons learned by the Closer Cities platform. We give the floor to urban actors who will relate their experiences. We also dive into how projects can be shared and adapted to be implemented elsewhere in the world. During the event, prizes will be awarded to the best urban solutions.
We look forward to seeing you on 14 February. Let's #solveurbanchallenges together
On behalf of the Netherlands,
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Closer Cities and partners
As cities worldwide attract more and more people, public space is coming increasingly under pressure. Climate change and rapid urbanisation are intensifying the problems faced by people living in urban areas. As governments around the world look to build back better, we want to help them by sharing great ideas online.
Watch our short campaign video.
Why: creating greater impact
As a small country, the Netherlands is committed to achieving the world’s sustainable development and climate goals by sharing ideas and working together to overcome challenges. By sharing our knowledge and expertise with our international partners, and learning from others, the Netherlands can create greater impact. That's why we have devised a series of symbolic actions. This symbolic action 'Connected Cities' seeks to help urban areas develop resilience by sharing solutions online.
What: sharing urban ideas and best practices
We are calling on urban innovators, inventors, creatives, makers, startups, scale ups, do-gooders and anyone else with a great idea to share it via the Closer Cities platform. Closer Cities is a non-profit initiative supported by the Easmus Initiative Vital Cities Citizens, the Institute for Housing and Development Studies and Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies and Leiden - Delft Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities.
How: What you can do?
Each and every day, the most amazing and impactful developments are made in cities around the globe. But all too often they go unnoticed. This is a real pity, since many of these projects are worth sharing. We need to make great projects that the world should know about more visible. The idea or project needs to meet the following criteria:
- Is this idea shareable and repeatable?
- Does it address the SDGs, climate change, wellbeing, diversity, youth, housing or education?
- Or does it just make the city a better place?
Projects at any stage of development will be accepted. Remember no Dutch involvement is required. It’s all about cities helping other cities to improve. At the same time, you become part of a bigger movement helping the transition towards creating liveable cities. Closer Cities will conduct scientific research into which factors drive successful sharing. By sharing ideas online, we can help solve global challenges together. If you know about ideas that help achieve the sustainable development goals, address climate change or just make the world a better place, then we want to hear about it on the Closer Cities website.
How can you submit a project
Simply follow the steps and fill in the form (takes approximately 30 minutes).
Step 1. Go to the Closer Cities website
Step 2. Click on Share a project
Step 3. Fill in the questionnaire (project form) and share!
Make sure you submit the ideas by the end of January! The best five ideas will be selected for a prize awarded during an online webinar on 14 February 2022.
Want to find out more about urban solutions? Join our interactive online event on Monday 14 February 14.30 - 16.00 CET on Solving Urban Challenges Together. During the event, you will hear from city innovators, urban experts, scientists, and urban innovators pitching their ideas. Register here.
If projects from your network join the campaign, let us know which ones they are! Or if you have any questions or suggestions? Contact the NL Branding team.
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!
Applications for the 2022 New European Bauhaus prizes are open. Following the success of the first prizes that received more than 2,000 applications last year, the 2022 edition will celebrate new inspiring examples of the transformations the initiative wants to bring about in our daily lives, living spaces and experiences. As in the first edition, the New European Bauhaus prizes 2022 will award young talents' ideas as well as existing projects for sustainability, inclusiveness and aesthetics bringing the European Green deal to people and local communities.
Prizes will be awarded to projects and ideas that contribute to beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places, in four categories:
- Reconnecting with nature;
- Regaining a sense of belonging;
- Prioritising the places and people that need it most;
- Fostering long-term, lifecycle and integrated thinking in the industrial ecosystem.
Applications are open until 28 February 2022 at 19:00 CET.
For more information and to submit your application visit: https://prizes.new-european-bauhaus.eu/
How are the Nordic countries and the Netherlands approaching food system transition for good?
The Nordic Chamber of Commerces and the Nordic Embassies in the Netherlands are very pleased to invite you to explore with us and our experts Katja Svensson, Nordic Council of Ministers, Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel, Foodvalley NL, Einar Kleppe Holthe,
Nordic Circular Hotspot and Natural State, David Kat, Wasteless, and our
moderator Andrea Orsag, MissionC on February 10, 2022, during the week
of Circular Economy.
We will dive into topics such as:
- The food systems transition
- Sustainable food systems and lifestyle
- Future of food
- Preventing the waste and role of data to get us there
For more information and to register for this event, visit the #NordicTalks website.
Vele steden hebben de overlast van ratten beheersbaar gekregen met de Smart Rioolvallen. In deze webinar vertellen we waarom rattenoverlast toeneemt, waarom traditionele bestrijding vaak te kort schiet. Benieuwd welke Smart Cities al gebruik maken van de slimme oplossingen van Anticimex? Met Rando Kromkamp en Smart City Specialist Marcel Scheel. Kosteloos en anoniem
Vind jij het leuk om met verschillende acties tegelijkertijd bezig te zijn? Ben je goed in plannen, een denker én een doener? En ook nog eens heel handig met allerlei programma’s en tools? Amsterdam Economic Board zoekt een Projectmedewerker zoals jij voor 32-40 uur per week. Stuur ons uiterlijk 24 januari je CV en motivatie.
House of Skills is op zoek naar ondersteuning op administratief en organisatorisch vlak. Ben jij een goede Secretaresse, houd je van werken in een hecht team met heel verschillende mensen en zoek je een baan voor 32 uur per week? Reageer dan uiterlijk maandag 17 januari.
Hi dear friends,
I am interested in doing research or collaboration in projects focus on age-friendly city and smart city. An important coincidence for these fields is Gerontechnology (Gerontology + Technology). Developing mobility apps to facilitate the transportation and mobility of elders is an example of Gerontechnology. This can promote the active aging of elders in our neighborhoods and help them to do most of their outdoor activities independently. Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you think I can contribute to your company/ projects.
How do we develop sustainable and nature-inclusive cities? Starting from this question, earth-scientist and artist Esmee Geerken created the course 'Urban Ecology: building as being' for the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture. Young architecture professionals examined crossovers between ecology and architecture, and ways to apply this by building in interaction with the environment.
Within a case study at the Amsterdam Science Park, they designed building proposals in which complexity, biodiversity, ecology and self-organization are central. Their ideas show us possibilities on how we can make urban areas more inclusive, sustainable and diverse.
On Saturday January 15 from 15:00 to 16:30 hrs, they will present their designs. Register now to attend the presentations online.
Dirk Dekker is the co-founder and CEO of Being, a real estate developer that develops sustainable environments with the context of these environments in mind.
“Being part of something bigger: that’s our tagline. The work we do is not about us as a company but about the bigger picture. We are part of something bigger and want to positively influence the real estate market in the Netherlands. We also want to prove that you can do something good for society and make a profit.
We’re not content to simply discover a location to build on; there has to be a need for us to add a positive impact too. For us, this means adopting a holistic approach to projects based on four impact pillars: personal impact, public impact, ecological impact and economic impact. We research each site’s history and talk to various people: an environmental psychologist or city biologist, for example. We interview stakeholders: future users and local residents and organisations. As you might expect, we put together a business case as well.
As I see it, the different perspectives don’t result in concessions but in the creation of more value, which isn’t always possible to express in euros. One good example of this is YOTEL, a hotel we developed in the up-and-coming Buiksloterham urban district in Amsterdam. Interviews showed that neighbours wanted to see more public green spaces and accessible hospitality. We listened and made sure both were included in our design. The hotel has integrated into the neighbourhood well, from both a social and sustainable point of view. We also ‘greened’ the rear façade of The Pavilion office building in the Zuidas business district, because it faces a graveyard. It’s important for people, planet and profit to be in balance.”
“I’m inspired by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) philosophy on architecture too. BIG does research to design well in extreme conditions—in the dessert or on the moon, for example. By carefully considering the context, it becomes possible to design something that complements the environment in question. Add nature into the equation and you have what is referred to in the industry as ‘biophilic design’. Mother Nature’s research department has far more experience than all the rest of us put together, so there’s a huge amount for us to learn from.
My ideal city is one with views that extend beyond the four years of a political term of office. It’s a place where residents are involved in decision-making, which is very achievable given the amazing digital resources at our disposal today in 2021. For example, I live in Amsterdam-West, where residents have been asked to vote on the € 300,000 our urban district has to spend on green and social initiatives suggested by citizens. That’s how you create a city together.”
“Green needs to be added not just next to buildings but on and in them too. And not just in stiff flowerbeds or like a green wallpaper of sorts; a far more natural approach is vital. Trees and plants communicate with and learn from each other via underground nature networks. Our job is to make sure this is possible in urbanised environments. The Fantastic Fungi Netflix documentary is a really useful programme to watch on this subject.
There’s a connection between all of the individual elements that make a city what it is. I would like to see politicians and the business sector immersing themselves in these networks far more and also looking very closely at everything happening on platforms like Amsterdam Smart City. Networks like this are essential for the future of our city and for connective growth.”
If you’d like to get in touch with Dirk, you can find him on this platform.
This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like to show up in the series? Drop us a message!
Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk
I am currently conducting research on climate adaptation strategies in London and Amsterdam for the university of Amsterdam. I am approaching this topic from a social justice lens, i.e. understanding how the city is incorporating social justice in its climate adaptation strategies and policies.
I am currently looking for community organisations that are involved in projects that are directly or indirectly involved with tackling the urban heat island effect. This could be projects that seek to increase green spaces, improve how homes perform during heatwaves or even raise awareness on these issues in their community.
Any help is appreciated!
Een groene en gezonde wereld begint in je eigen stad. Nergens in Nederland bouwen ondernemers en bewoners van zo dichtbij mee als in Almere. Verhalen van deze bewogen Almeerders hoor je in de podcast ‘Groen en Gezond Almere’.
Het is alweer tijd voor het derde seizoen, waarin Floriade Expo 2022 centraal staat, want die staat voor de deur! Het gebied rondom het Weerwater staat in de steigers, de groene loper wordt door de stad uitgerold. Maar wat houdt de Floriade nou precies in? En nog belangrijker: Wat blijft er allemaal over ná het evenement? De podcast wordt gepresenteerd door Kookboekenschrijfster, TV-kok en vooral betrokken Almeerder Nadia Zerouali. Nadia bespreekt de fysieke impact van de Floriade Expo op onze stad en spreekt met gebiedsontwikkelaars, energieleveranciers, bruggenbouwers en landschapsarchitecten.
Groen en Gezond Almere is het programma van de gemeente Almere waar jij mee kan bouwen aan de groene stad van de toekomst. Een groene en gezonde stad bouw je namelijk niet alleen, maar samen. Het platform laat lokale Almeerse initiatieven en projecten zien die de stad verduurzamen en klaarmaken voor de toekomst. Een inspirerend palet aan stadsmakers!
Hoe versterken we innovatie in de metropoolregio Amsterdam?
De uitdagingen waar we voor staan, zijn immens. We kunnen het alleen oplossen door dingen fundamenteel anders te doen, innovatie dus. Niet alleen door bestaande partijen, maar ook door startups en andere nieuwkomers. Nieuwe technieken zijn daarin essentieel. Daarmee kunnen we zorgen dat mensen anders met energie omgaan en veel beter onze grondstofstromen plannen. In de afgelopen tijd zijn deze verandering erg snel gegaan. Wat willen we hiervan behouden? En hoe zorgen we dat innovatie echt waarde toevoegt en bijdraagt aan een leefbare bruisende stad voor iedereen? Hoe zorgen we dat we tijdig de goede nieuwe ideeën spotten en groot maken?
Leonie van den Beuken Amsterdam Smart City
Zita Pels Provincie Noord-Holland
De overige sprekers en meer informatie volgen snel. Aanmelden kan via de website van Pakhuis de Zwijger.
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