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Music Makes Change is intimate and open impact platform, that allows us to (re)connect, to feel the power of music, and to make lasting positive change in our communities, through civic engagement.
Artist / singer-songwriter Norman Vladimir believes that "one hour can change the world”. And that is why he, in partnership with Waag Futurelab, is excited to invite you to experience this special MMC edition, that combines live artists, awareness & action all in one event.
For this event, we are honoured to present singer-songwriter Luka (Lisa Lukaszczyk), who will both perform and be in conversation with us about topics like her music, her creative path, navigating the music industry, and taking control. Check her out on Spotify.
When: Saturday september 24th
Time: 20:00 hr
Location: second floor New Metropolis Zuidoost (pay attention: accessible through stairs, no elevator available)
19.30 - doors open
20.00 - start program by Norman Vladimir
20.10 - introduction Luka and performance
20.40 - paneltalk with artiest + local community organizers moderated by Norman Vladimir
21:30 - Ending
During Better Future Now Festival, Waag Futurelab and impact platform Music Makes Change are combining forces! A typical MMC edition consists of a talented musician/artist who is invited to perform an intimate set of music, followed by a conversation with the artist and a local volunteer organisation. This time we will discuss the concept of ‘hope’. How can we change the rules instead of fighting the system? Previous artist have been Marle Thomson, Kris Berry and Celine Cairo.
How can you attend? The event is free of charge, meaning we don’t ask for a financial payment. However, as always at MMC, the event will conclude with a mandatory sign-up by every attendee for ONE HOUR of volunteering with our featured local organisation, to make a powerful, local impact in our community and to round out the MMC experience. Just one hour of your time can already change the world!
Born in Cape Town, raised and based in the Netherlands; singer-songwriter Lisa Lukaszczyk forms the creative foundation for her band Luka. Inspired by artists such as Feist, Sylvan Esso and Bon Iver, Luka exhibits a sound with touches of dreamy electro-pop, folk and soul. After having released 'Welcome, Generation Everything' in 2018, her debut album 'First Steps of Letting Go' (2020) is out now.
Tijdens de Grote Spelbrekershow gaan we in gesprek met spelbrekers; verschillende mensen die het anders doen en daarnaast actief zijn in verschillende domeinen, zoals wonen, mode, design, data, economie, klimaat, en de kunsten. Een ding hebben ze gemeen: allen staan ze voor systeemverandering.
We hebben het over waar de huidige systemen wrikken: waar wringen de regels, wie zijn de winnaars en de verliezers? En wat is er voor nodig om de regels open te breken? Samen kijken we naar alternatieven.
Ook kan je genieten en je laten inspireren door muziek en spoken word. Zien we je daar?
Met Met o.a. Melissa Koutouzis (co-initiator Woonprotest), Ruben Pater (designer & researcher), Thamar Kempees (marketeer & sneakerhead), Broke Ass Millionaires (creative producers & sustainable circulair fashion), Arne Hendriks (kunstenaar), Elten Kiene (spoken word) en Benjamin Fro (muziek)
Hoe versterk je de relatie tussen wetenschap, kunst, cultuur en de stad. Het Universiteitskwartier is een belangrijke speler in het kennis- en innovatie ecosysteem van de Amsterdamse regio en inspirerende omgeving voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in wetenschap en cultuur. Kom samen met Campus Amsterdam een kijkje nemen en leer meer over de ontwikkelingen in de binnenstad!
Mis dit niet! Kom samen met Campus Amsterdam een kijkje nemen. Tijdens deze middag maakt u kennis met het Universiteitskwartier en komt u in het bijzonder meer te weten over:
- hoe via communitybuilding en programmering ontmoeting tussen studenten, medewerkers, kennisinstellingen, creatieve ondernemers, culturele instellingen, bedrijfsleven en bewoners wordt gefaciliteerd;
- de bundeling van kennis en expertise op het gebied van geesteswetenschappelijke thema’s in de nieuwe Amsterdam Humanities Hub;
- de fysieke ontwikkeling van het Universiteitskwartier en de samenwerking die de gemeente en UvA zijn aangegaan in een gezamenlijk Strategisch Masterplan.
De meet-up zal plaatsvinden vanaf 15:00 t/m 18:30 op het VOX-POP, binnengasthuisstraat 9.
Meld je aan via hier: https://www.campus.amsterdam/s/article?urlname=MeetupUniversiteitskwartier
On Tuesday, the 13th of September 2022, the Fashion for Good Museum is organising a new edition of the Clothes Swap. A perfect way of giving your unworn items a new home and an easy and fun way to refresh your wardrobe with new (second hand) items. Good for you, the planet and your wallet!
Want to join?
Do you have any clothes you’re not wearing anymore? Those items that have been stuck in the back of your wardrobe for ages and never make the cut? Perfect clothing pieces to swap!
Collect your items and hand them in at the Fashion for Good Museum (Rokin 102, Amsterdam) from 31 august to 12 sept (daily between 11 am - 5 pm, please note: the museum is closed on Tuesdays!). Please note this timeframe is before the actual event, because we want to make sure all items handed in get a proper quality control, so that you can do happy and relaxed swapping!
Clothes Swap rules:
- You can hand in a maximum of 5 items per person
The following types of clothing are NOT accepted:
- Company workwear
- Shoes in fair condition (Note. we have a strict curation for shoes and only take the ones that are in perfect condition)
-Clothes must be clean and washed
- Torn, stained or worn out clothing will not be accepted
We will categorise the clothing handed in one of the following categories:
Yellow: fast fashion brands <> worth 1 token
Red: mid end brands <> worth 2 tokens
Blue: high end brands <> worth 3 tokens
Example of token system: you bring in 2 yellow items (=worth 2 tokens), 2 red items (=worth 4 tokens) and 1 blue item (=worth 3 tokens) gives you a total of 9 tokens available for ‘buying’ your new items! You could spend this on 9 yellow items, or 3 blue items for example.
Be quick! There is a limited amount of tickets available.
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/
Reused materials are an important element of circular construction. The more re-used components and recycled materials we use, the fewer virgin materials we need, and the lower our environmental impact. To do so effectively, the supply of reused components and recycled materials should influence the building’s design.
Learn more in the article below.
Part of the New European Bauhaus Festival, the Intelligent Cities Challenge will host a side session: Developing circular and sharing economy practices in cities, on Thursday, June 9th at 10.00 to 11.30am CET.
The event will explore the innovative ways five European cities and regions are implementing circularity and sharing solutions to create more liveable and resilient communities.
Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, represented by Space & Matter will share the case of the circular community of Schoonschip, and a vision for scaling up sustainable and citizen-driven communities across Europe via the Crowdbuilding platform.
Alongside Amsterdam Region, best practices and lessons learned will also be shared by fellow ICC cities of Leuven (Belgium), Pescara (Italy), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Porto (Portugal).
The event is open to both ICC community members and all other interested stakeholders. Please subscribe to this registration form in order to receive the calendar invitation.
Vacancy alert! The Metabolic Built Environment Team is looking for a Project Manager!
If you have a passion for circular construction, strong experience in project management, and a keen sense for relationship building, please do check out our vacancy and apply.
Do you know someone who would suit this role? Please share it with your network.
The expo: 'Fashion Week: A New Era' celebrates fashion through the years and explores how this phenomenon developed over time. How does the event influence the fashion industry? And what does the future hold for fashion week?
Every year during Fashion Week the latest fashion is shown on catwalks in Paris, Milan and New York and other metropoles across the globe. This iconic event has a major impact on the fashion industry and on our own wardrobes. In 'Fashion Week: A New Era', the Fashion for Good Museum unpacks the Fashion Week, delving into its past, present and future. View historic looks from the runways of Balenciaga, Versace, Moschino and many more; discover the innovative work of Dutch fashion designer Ronald van der Kemp and digital fashion house The Fabricant.
Is a T-shirt, made of organic cotton, sustainable? What is fast fashion actually? Should I buy vegan leather or real leather? What does circularity mean? Recycled polyester must be sustainable, right?
The world of sustainable fashion is very complex, but to guide you through it, on the 30th of June the Fashion for Good Museum organises an interactive session called “Tips for a Sustainable Wardrobe”. A fun and interactive talk - including quiz and sustainable price - to help you make your wardrobe more sustainable.
Learn more about the fashion industry, discover how clothing can be made as sustainable as possible in an "ideal world" and why it is so difficult to achieve this. Next to that many tips & tricks will be shared on how you can easily make your wardrobe more sustainable. A must-attend event for anyone interested in fashion, sustainability or innovation.
18:00 doors open
18:30 event starts
Fashion for Good believes that the fashion industry can and must change and is an expert in spreading the right knowledge about this. The museum on the Rokin in Amsterdam tells the stories behind the clothes you wear and how the right choices for those clothes can have a positive impact on the fashion industry.
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.
Learn from a diverse group of academics and professionals who are mavericks in their field. They bring their real world insights and expertise into the room providing access to the most up to date impact strategies and systemic change. Established founders and innovative business owners of top agencies, companies and startups will guide you.
In this session, DRIFT will share the process to stimulate transformative innovation. In this interactive masterclass, you will not only learn from theory, but also experience the method yourself and contribute. After this workshop you will understand how societal systems change work, and how you can stimulate transformative innovation.
- Time: 13:00 – 17:00
- Expert: Igno Notermans from DRIFT
- For who: Expand members (included) | Non-members and Explore members pay €299,95 per ticket
Over Space & Matter
Space&Matter is een Amsterdams ontwerpbureau voor ruimtelijk en strategisch ontwerp in de gebouwde omgeving. Met een integrale benadering werken wij aan complexe opgaven van gebouw tot gebiedsontwikkeling. Duurzaamheid en maatschappelijke impact staan hierbij altijd centraal. Je kent ons misschien van circulaire broedplaats De Ceuvel, Het Sweets Hotel (in de Amsterdamse brugwachtershuisjes) en de drijvende wijk Schoonschip.
Naast deze Amsterdamse projecten, die over de hele wereld bekendheid hebben verworven, werken wij internationaal aan projecten die een steentje bijdragen aan een circulaire maatschappij en een inclusieve leefomgeving.
Met onze projecten, concepten en initiatieven willen wij echt game-changing zijn en bijdragen aan een duurzame toekomst. Wij werken daarom graag voor maatschappelijk betrokken opdrachtgevers maar initiëren ook onze eigen projecten en ‘ventures’ waarbij wij samenwerkingen aangaan met gelijkgestemde partners.
Naast Space&Matter bevat ons ecosysteem: Common City Development, BoomBuilds, CrowdBuilding and Sumowala.
Samen hebben we de missie om voor 2030 één miljoen vierkante meter “binnen de Donut” te krijgen en nogmaals één miljoen vierkante meter nieuwe natuur te ontwikkelen.
Ben jij er klaar voor om als Researcher van Space&Matter aan onze missie bij te dragen?
R&D bij Space&Matter
Matter is de R&D tak van Space&Matter. Hier analyseren we het systeem achter de gebouwde omgeving en ontwikkelen we tools en methoden die mensen, organisaties en ideeën bij elkaar brengen om de leefbaarheid van steden te verbeteren, nu en in de toekomst. We richten ons op de commons, coöperatieve modellen, community land trust, circulariteit, tools voor digitale governance, sociale en ecologische meetinstrumenten en de donuteconomie in de gebouwde omgeving.
Ons onderzoek sluit vaak aan bij subsidieprogramma's waarmee we onze inspanningen kunnen financieren en bovendien verwachten we dat met de verschuiving naar circulaire en sociaal inclusieve benaderingen in de gebiedsontwikkeling we een toename zullen zien van de vraag naar onze kennis en tools.
We hebben momenteel een klein, toegewijd team en we zijn klaar om onze impact te vergroten.
Over de rol
Als onderzoeker breng je structuur aan in de maatschappelijke uitdagingen in de gebouwde omgeving en gebruik je wetenschap, logica en praktijkervaring om deze te ontleden in praktische, schaalbare oplossingen. Het is jouw taak om kennis te vergaren over eigendomsmodellen en bestuursprocessen en deze te vertalen naar heldere tools en instrumenten voor projectontwikkelaars, architecten, gemeenten en burgers.
Jouw verantwoordelijkheden omvatten:
- Schrijven en aanvragen van subsidies (in NL en EU)
- Ontwikkelen van “thought leadership” over onze meest relevante thema's (Coöperatief model, Community land Trust-model, bestuursmodellen, circulariteit in de gebouwde omgeving)
- Onze kennis over de commons implementeren in nieuwe concepten voor gebouwen en gebieden
- Presentaties geven voor verschillende doelgroepen
- Artikelen schrijven en publiceren over het onderzoeksdomein
- Opbouwen van een sterk netwerk met de academische wereld en kennisinstituten
- Je bent nieuwsgierig en wilt de systemen achter de bouwomgeving begrijpen
- Je stelt mensen centraal en kunt goed in teamverband werken
- Je hebt misschien een achtergrond in sociale geografie, economie
- Je houdt van leren. Je begrijpt de waarde van experimenteren en je bent niet bang om fouten te maken. Je bent je bewust van wat je niet weet.
- Je bent proactief en betrouwbaar. Je neemt verantwoordelijkheid voor wat je begint.
- Je maakt graag plezier!
Wat we echt willen zien
- Kennis over onze meest relevante thema's (samenwerkingsmodel, Community land Trust-model, bestuursmodellen, circulariteit in de gebouwde omgeving)
- Vloeiend Nederlands en gevorderd niveau Engels in woord en geschrift
- Ervaring als onderzoeker
- Ervaring met het schrijven en succesvol aanvragen van subsidies (in NL en EU)
- Ervaring met het geven van presentaties voor verschillende doelgroepen
Waar we extra blij van worden
- Relevante ervaring met betrekking tot stedelijke ontwikkeling en circulariteit
- Ervaring met het ontwikkelen van methoden, processen en tools
Wat we bieden
- Een gedreven team van internationaal en multidisciplinaire team;
- Een informele, ongedwongen maar energieke werksfeer;
- Veel verantwoordelijkheid en de vrijheid om je eigen ideeën te ontwikkelen;
- Een fijne werkplek in Amsterdam Noord met uitzicht op Schoonschip;
- Dagelijks een gezonde lunch & regelmatige team borrels/uitjes;
- Marktconform salaris, 25 vakantiedagen + 5 flexdagen
- 32 uur/week of fulltime contract
- Bij voorkeur vanaf juni 2022
Wil je als Onderzoeker ons team komen versterken ? Dan komen we graag met je in contact! Solliciteer via deze link.
Do you know about initiatives, projects, groups that are working to decrease the cost of living of a Dutch household? Energy, rent, food, care, etc, all those field could be interesting for our research. Successful or less, is not important, I am looking for lessons learnt.
We are an innovation studio funded by PostNL and Dasym looking into Application of technology to increase disposable income in the household (also by unlocking the potential of the neighbourhood).
Let me know if this resonates or rings any bell!
May 12, 6 pm, join us for the KICK-OFF SURPRISE PARTY, where we will reveal the hottest AI and HPC Innovations while enjoying cocktails made by a robot bartender. Shaken not stirred. 🥂
What to expect?
See with our eyes how technology brings your ideas into 3D universes.
How AI is training itself to become smarter.
How AI will transform the future of the fashion industry.
...But let’s not reveal too much 😏
Attend the event to say goodbye to our first showcasing startups and celebrate their success gained through the work with Hyperion Lab.
And meet the new startups to rock the stage of our showcase program.
😎 Drinks and food on us! You come with enthusiasm.
🚀 Sign up today with the link below!
Hyperion Lab is a community-driven project aiming to become the go-to place for AI and HPC innovations.
Our space hosts startup innovations from all around Europe, supporting them with hardware and expertise.
In addition, we host training and events related to the AI and HPC community.
Our mission at Hyperion Lab is to bring together the Dutch and International AI and HPC community within a large-scale smart city in Amsterdam South East. Join our community!
Mateusz Jarosiewicz And His Smart City Projects For A Smart Future - UAE TIMES, A Gulf Newspaper, Dubai News, Gulf News, Abu Dhabi News, UAE News
The Fashion for Good Clothes Swap is making its comeback!
On the 7th of April 2022, Fashion for Good is organising a Clothes Swap at the Fashion for Good Museum. An easy and fun way to refresh your wardrobe with new (second hand) items and also a perfect way of giving your unworn items a new home. Good for you, the planet and your wallet!
Want to join?
Do you have any clothes you’re not wearing anymore? Those items that have been stuck in the back of your wardrobe for ages and never make the cut? Perfect clothing pieces to swap!
Collect your items and hand them in at the Fashion for Good Museum (Rokin 102, Amsterdam) before April 6 (daily between 11 am - 5 pm, please note: the museum is not open on Tuesdays!). You will receive special tokens for the items you bring in, which you can then use on April 7th, during the Clothes Swap, to “buy” your new items.
Clothes Swap rules:
- You can hand in a maximum of 5 items per person
- A yellow token is worth 1 point (fast fashion brands), the blue token is worth 2 points (mid end brands), the red token is worth 3 points (high end brands)
- Underwear and swimwear are not accepted
- Clothes must be clean and washed
- Torn or worn out clothing will not be accepted
Be quick! There is a limited amount of tickets available
Want to become part of the Good Fashion Movement and contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry, visit the world's first museum for sustainable fashion innovation at the Rokin 102 in Amsterdam to learn what you can do to contribute or keep an eye on our calendar for more sustainable fashion related events!
The Metabolic Ventures arm has developed a Systemic Venture Framework to help entrepreneurs assess the potential of a venture to have large-scale, systemic impacts.
It acts as a qualitative lens to design, support, assess, and improve their systems.
How does it work? Take a look at the article linked below and share your thoughts.
If you are in the impact venture ecosystem and supporting the path of impact entrepreneurs, feel free to reach out to see any points of collaboration.
In the 18th episode of the Better Cities - The contribution of technology-series, I answer the question how digital technology in the form of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) will help reduce car use, which is the most important intervention of improving the livability of cities, in addition to providing citizens with a decent income.
Any human activity that causes 1.35 million deaths worldwide, more than 20 million injuries, total damage of $1,600 billion, consumes 50% of urban space and contributes substantially to global warming would be banned immediately. This does not apply to traffic, because it is closely linked to our way of life and to the interests of motordom. For example, in his books Fighting traffic and Autonorame: The illusory promise of high-tech driving, Peter Horton refers to the coteri of the automotive industry, the oil companies and befriended politicians who have been stimulating car use for a century. Without interventions, global car ownership and use will grow exponentially over the next 30 years.
Reduction of car use
In parallel with the growth of car use, trillions have been invested worldwide in ever new and wider roads and in the management of traffic flows with technological means.
It has repeatedly been confirmed that the construction of more roads and traffic-regulating technology have a temporary effect and then further increase car use. Economists call this induced demand. The only effective counter-measures are impeding car use and to discourage the perceived need to use the car, preferably in a non-discriminatory way.
Bringing housing, shopping, and employment closer together (15-minute city) reduces the need to travel by car, but this is a long-term perspective. The most effective policy in the short term is to reduce parking options at home, at work and near shopping facilities and always prioritizing alternative modes of transport (walking, micro-mobility, and public transport). Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been investing in bicycle infrastructure for years and are giving cyclists a green track in many places at the expense of car traffic.
For several years now, Paris has also been introducing measures to discourage car traffic by 1,400 kilometers of cycle paths, ban on petrol and diesel cars in 2030, redesign of intersections with priority for pedestrians, 200 kilometers of extension of the metro system and closure of roads and streets. Meanwhile, car use has fallen from 61% in 2001 to 35% now. Milan has similar plans and in Berlin a group is preparing a referendum in 2023 with the aim of making an area car-free larger than Manhattan. Even in Manhattan and Brooklyn, there is a strong movement to reduce car use through a substantial shift of road capacity from cars to bicycles, pedestrians, and buses.
Because of the pandemic, the use of public transport has decreased significantly worldwide as many users worked from home, could not go to school, took the bicycle or a car. Nevertheless, cities continue to promote public transport as a major strategy to reduce car use. In many places in the world, including in Europe, urban development has resulted in a high degree of dispersion of and between places to live, shop, and work. The ease of bridging the 'last mile' will contribute significantly to the increase in the use of public transport. While bicycles play an important role in this in the Netherlands, the ideas elsewhere are based on all forms of 'dockless micromobility’.
From a technological point of view, autonomous passenger transport involves type four or five at a taxonomy of automated cars. This includes the Waymo brand developed by Google. In some places in the US, these cars are allowed to drive with a supervisor ('safety driver') on board. Type 5 (fully autonomous driving under all circumstances) does not yet exist at all, and it is highly questionable whether this will ever happen. Besides, it is questionable too whether the automotive industry aspires building such a car at a substantial scale. Given their availability, it is expected that many people will forgo purchasing them and instead use them as a shared car or as a (shared or not) taxi. This will significantly reduce car ownership. To sell as many cars as possible, it is expected that the automotive industry will aim for level three automation, which means that the car can take over the actions of the driver, who must stay vigilant.
The impact on cities of autonomous shared cars and (shared) taxis is highly uncertain. Based on traffic data in the Boston area and surveys of residents, a study by the Boston Consultancy Group shows that approximately 30% of all transport movements (excluding walking) will take place in an autonomous car. But it also appears that users of public transport are a significant part of this group. Most people interviewed were scared using an unmanned shared taxi. Without sharing, there will be more cars on the road and more traffic jams in large parts of the city than now. A scenario study in the city of Porto (Portugal) that assumes that autonomous cars are mainly used as shared taxis and public transport is not cannibalized shows a significant decrease in car traffic.
Considering refraining from car use
Designing an efficient transport system is not that difficult; its acceptance by people is. Many see the car as an extension of the home, in which - even more than at home - they can listen to their favorite music, smoke, make phone calls or meet other persons unnoticed. Considering this, the step to alternative transport such as walking, cycling, or using public transport is a big one.
Most people will only decide to do so if external circumstances give sufficient reason. Hybrid working can lead to people wondering whether keeping an expensive (second) car is still responsible and cycling – in good weather – is also an option. Or they notice that because of restrictions driving a car loses part of its attractiveness and that public transport is not that bad after all. Some employers (Arcadis, for example) also encourage other forms of mobility than the (electric) lease car. <i>This lays the foundation for a 'mind set' in which people begin to break down their mobility needs into different components, each of which is best served by another mode of transport.</i> As soon as they realize that the car is an optimal solution only for part of the journeys, they realize that the price is shockingly high and a shared car is cheaper. For other journeys, a (shared) bicycle or public transport may be considered. Against this background, the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) must be placed.
Mobility as a Service: MaaS
MaaS is an app that offers comprehensive door-to-door proposals for upcoming journeys, ranging from the nearest shared bicycle or scooter for the first mile or alternatively a (shared) taxi, the best available connection to public transport, the best transfer option, to the best option for the last mile. For daily users of the same route, the app provides information about alternatives in the event of disruptions. In the event of a delay in the journey, for example on the way to the airport, an alternative will be arranged if necessary. No worries about departure times, mode of transport, tickets, reservations, and payment. At least, ideally.
These kinds of apps are being developed in many places in the world and by various companies and organizations. First, Big Tech is active, especially Google. Intel also seems to have all the components for a complete MaaS solution, after taking over Moovit, Mobileye and Cubic. In Europe, it is mainly local and regional authorities, transport companies (Transdec, RATP, NS) and the automotive industry (Daimler-Benz and in the Netherlands PON).
The Netherlands follows its own course. The national MaaS program is based on public-private partnership. Seven pilots are ready to take-off. Each of these pilots places a different emphasis: Sustainability, accessibility of rural areas, congestion reduction and public transport promotion, integration of target group transport, public transport for the elderly and cross-border transport.
The pandemic has delayed its start significantly. The Gaiyo pilot in Utrecht (Leidsche Rijn) is the only one that is active for some time, and the results are encouraging. Apart from the national MaS pilots, the RiVier initiative was launched in January 2019; a joint venture of NS, RET and HTM in collaboration with Siemens.
Worth mentioning is an initiative from the European Union (European Institute for Innovation and technology - Urban Mobility), Eindhoven University of Technology, Achmea and Capgemini. 21 partners have now joined, including the municipality of Amsterdam. The aim is a pan-European open mobility service platform, called Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS). The project aims to provide MaaS for the whole of Europe in the long term. UMOS expects local providers to join this initiative. Unlike most other initiatives, this is a non-profit platform. For the other providers, profitability will mainly be a long-term perspective.
The development of the MaaS app is complex from a technological and organizational point of view. It is therefore not surprising that five years after the first landing there are only partial solutions. <b>The basis for a successful app is the presence of a varied and high-quality range of transport facilities, a centralized information and sales system and standardization of various data and interfaces of all transport companies involved.</b> So far, they have not always been willing to share data. A company like London Transport wants to maintain direct contact with customers, and Uber and Lyft don't want to hand over the algorithms they use to calculate their variable fare. This type of data is indispensable for realizing a real-time offer of several door-to-door transport alternatives for every conceivable route, including pricing, and purchasing tickets. It is hoped that licensing authorities will mandate the provision of all data required for a fully functioning MaaS platform.
One of the most balanced MaaS applications is MaaX developed by Capgemini, the Paris Transport Authority and the RATP. This is comparable to the NS and OV9292 app, supplemented by options for carpooling, taxi transport, shared cars, shared bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, and parking.
Does MaaS is viable?
I believe that MaaS as such will encourage very few motorists to refrain from owning a car. This will mainly have to be done through measures that impede car use or reduce the need for it. Nevertheless, MaaS is useful for those who have just decided to look for alternatives. The app also has added-value for users of public transport, for instance if information in the event of disruptions is made available timely.
It is therefore clear to me that this app should be made available as a form of service, funded by the transport providers and the government and can make significant savings in infrastructure costs if car use decreases.
The above deepens two essays included in my e-book Cities of the Future: Always humane, smart if helpful. The first essay Livability and traffic – The walkable city connects insights about livability with different forms of passenger transport and policy. The second essay Towards zero road casualties: The traffic-safe city discusses policies to make traffic safer and the effect of 'self-driving' cars on road safety. The e-book can be downloaded here by following the link below.
The 17th edition of the Better cities - the role of digital technology series deals with strengthening local democracy through digitization.
In 1339, Ambrogio Lorenzetti completed his famous series of six paintings in the Town Hall of the Italian city of Siena, entitled The Allegory of Good and Bad Government. The above excerpt refers to the characteristics of good government: putting the interests of citizens first, renouncing self-interest, and integrity. But also developing a vision together with all those involved, transparency, justice and efficiently carrying out its many tasks.
In this article, I will discuss citizens’ involvement in government. The complaint is widely heard that democracy is reduced to voting once every few years and even then, it is not clear in advance what the policy of a new (city) government will be, due to the need to form coalitions. Digitization can substantially strengthen the citizen's input.
Being well-informed: the foundation of democracy
Digital channels are an excellent way to inform citizens, but digital disinformation and deepfakes are also on the rise. In this regard, YouTube has become notorious. Political microtargeting via Facebook has an uncontrollable impact and ruins the political debate. On the other hand, the 'Stemwijzer' app is a well-respected tool of informing citizens. Meanwhile, this tool has been adopted by a number of countries.
There are many other valuable digital sources of information, which increase the transparency of politics, for example by disclosing petty bribery, 'creative' accounting and preferential treatment. Prozorro (Ukraine) is a website that takes tenders away from the private sphere, My Society (UK) is an extensive collection of open source tools to hold those in power to account, Zašto (Serbia) is a website that compares statements of politicians with their actions and Funky Citizens (Romania) exposes irresponsible government spending, miscarriages of justice and forms of indecent political conduct.
Every time I am amazed at the fumbling with huge ballot-papers that then must be counted by hand. Estonia is leading the way here; people vote digitally from home without security risks. If this is not possible in other countries, then I have my doubts about the security of other digital applications
Estonia is the best example of far-reaching digitization of public and private services. Not only the usual municipal services, but also applying for building permits, registering for schools, health affairs, banking, taxes, police, and voting. All these things happen via one digital platform - X-road – that meets the highest security requirements. Data is stored in a decentral way via end-to-end encryption using blockchain technology. Citizens manage their own data.
More than voting
There is a widespread desire among citizens for greater involvement in political decision-making. This includes referenda and popular assemblies, which still take place in Swiss municipalities. But there is little room here for the exchange of views, let alone discussion. Moreover, several authors try to improve direct democracy by bypassing the role of political parties. In his book Against elections (2013), the Flemish political scientist David van Reybrouck proposes appointing representatives based on weighted lottery. A lottery alone does not yet provide a representative group, because never more than 10% of the chosen people respond to the invitation. What remains is a predominantly indigenous group, over 50 years of age with higher education, interested in politics.
The strength of citizens' forums is that they enable deliberation between independent citizens rather than representatives of political parties, who are bound in every way by coalition agreements.
Van Reybrouck’s ideas have been adopted in different ways and in different places, but always as a complement to representative democracy. Citizens' forums have achieved good results in Ireland. There are also several examples in the Netherlands. The biggest bottleneck has been the acceptance of the results by established political bodies. In April 2021, a committee led by Alex Brenninkmeijer advised positive about the value of citizens' forums in climate policy in an advisory report to the House of Representatives.
Another interesting option is liquid democracy. Here, like direct democracy, citizens can vote on all issues. However, they can also transfer their vote to someone else, who they believe is more involved. This person can also transfer the received mandates. With secure IT, this is easy to organize. Examples of useful apps include Adhocracy (Germany), a platform for participation, collaboration and idea generation, Licracy, a virtual people's parliament, Sovrin, an open source decentralized protocol for any kind of organization. Insights Management Tool is an application for converting opinions of a large amounts of citizens into 'insights' that can benefit politicians. I will add a few more applications, which are mainly intended for cities: EngageCitizens (many South European cities including Braga, Portugal), an application that enables citizens to submit ideas and discuss them in virtual discussion groups, Active Citizens (Moscow), an application where residents can participate in referendums, CitizenLab, a medium for citizens to discuss ideas about local issues. Finally, I refer to the comprehensive applications Decide Madrid and Decidem (Barcelona), which I have discussed elsewhere.
All these apps increase the involvement of part of the citizens in government. These are usually highly educated. Meetings are held in Madrid and Barcelona to let underprivileged residents also make their voices heard.
Due to the many and complicated tasks that city authorities must deal with and the often equally complicated decision making in the city council, it is not easy create room for decentralized citizen participation. Several cities try to improve citizen participation in political decentralization. The establishment of city districts with their own administrative bodies often leads to power struggles between central and decentralized politicians, without residents gaining more influence.
According to Jan Schrijver, the centralized administrative culture of Amsterdam the city’s ideals of citizen participation often clashes even though the impressive amount of policy instruments to promote participation: Initiating a referendum has been made more accessible, social initiatives can be subsidized, and confirmed in neighborhood rights, including the 'right to challenge' and neighborhoods have a budget of their own.
Very recently, a 'mini-citizen deliberation' was held under the leadership of Alex Brenninkmeijer on the concrete question of how Amsterdam can accelerate the energy transition. This meeting was very productive, and the participants were satisfied with the progress. It will become clear soon whether the city council will adopt the proposals.
A city of commons
Democratization is mostly conceived of as a decision-making process, the result of which the municipal organization carries out. The ultimate step of democratization, after decentralization, is autonomy: Residents not only decide on, for example, playgrounds in their neighborhood, they also ensure that these are provided. Increasingly, the latter is formally established in the right to challenge. For example, a group of residents demonstrates that they can perform a previously municipal task better and often cheaper themselves. This is a significant step on the participation ladderfrom participating in decision-making autonomy.
In Italy this process has boomed, and the city of Bologna has become a stronghold of urban commons. Citizens become designers, managers, and users of some municipal tasks. Creating green areas, converting an empty house into affordable units for students, the elderly, or migrants, operating a minibus service, cleaning, and maintaining the city walls, refurbishing parts of the public space and much more.
From 2011, commons have been given a formal status. The most important instruments in this regard are cooperation-pacts. In each pact, city authorities and the parties involved (informal groups, NGOs, schools, entrepreneurs) lay down agreements about their activities, responsibilities, and power. Hundreds of pacts have been signed since the regulation was adopted. The city provides what the citizens need - money, material, housing, advice - and the citizens make their time, skills, and organizational capacity available. In some cases, commons also have a commercial purpose, for example the revitalization of a shopping street by the entrepreneurs established there. In that case, they often unite in a cooperative.
Only a limited number of people feel attracted to talk along the lines of politics, but many more people want to do something. This is at the roots of the success of the commons-movement. This explains the success of the commons-movement in Italy and elsewhere.
Democracy after the commons
The commons-movement might influence urban governance in the longer term. The Italian political scientist Christian Iaione predicts the emergence of a city of commons. Here, all most urban tasks are performed by commons and cooperatives. The city is a network of both, decision-making is decentralized and deconcentrated.
A similar idea The city as a platform has emerged in the US coming from a completely different direction. Instead of simply voting every few years and leaving city administration to elected officials and expert bureaucrats, the networked city sees citizens as co designers, co-producers, and co-learners, according to Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder of GovLab. In the city as a platform residents look individually and collectively for new and better ways to meet their needs and enliven public life. These may be neighborhood-based initiatives, for example the redevelopment of a neighborhood or city-wide initiatives, for example cooperative of taxi drivers, competing with Uber.
Without saying it in so many words, everyone involved sees both the city of commons and the city as a platform as an opportunity to make citizens the engine of urban development again instead of multinational companies. But in view of the (financial) power of these companies, it could also turn out that they appropriate the city. We have already experienced this once when a sympathetic and democratic sharing platform such as Airbnb grew into a multinational enterprise with a far-reaching impact on urban life. For the time being, therefore, city administrators can best focus on enabling and supporting citizens' joint action to make cities more beautiful, liveable, and sustainable.
The above builds on two essays included in my e-book Cities of the Future: Always humane, smart if helpful. The first essay Strengthening Urban Democracy – The Well-Governed City elaborates on the concepts of direct democracy, decentralization and autonomy and describes digital applications for both improving services and urban democracy. The second essay Citizens' Initiatives – City of the Commons extensively examines activities in various places in the world to increase the involvement of residents in their place of residence, and in that context discusses in detail the idea behind 'commons'. The e-book can be downloaded by following the link below.
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