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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/

Beth Njeri's picture #Citizens&Living
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Building with recycled building materials

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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.

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Vacancy: Project Manager

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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.

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
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
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Systemic Venture Framework

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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.

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

Will MaaS reduce the use of cars?

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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.

Public transport

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’.

Autonomous transport

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.

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

How can digital tools help residents to regain ownership of the city?

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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.

Voting

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.

Digital instruments

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.

Political decentralization

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.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Simone Magilse, Community advisor/Building impact networks at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Onderzoeksrapport Facility Sharing in de MRA: Optimale benutting van (kennis) faciliteiten in de regio

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Campussen en kennishubs in de metropoolregio Amsterdam zijn rijk aan onderzoeksfaciliteiten, kennis, testruimtes en geavanceerde apparatuur. Uit de gesprekken met de gemeente Amsterdam en diverse campussen zoals het Amsterdam Science Park en het Amsterdam Life Sciences District komt de aanname naar voren dat veel aanwezige faciliteiten maar voor een klein deel benut worden. Dit terwijl faciliteiten vaak een flinke investering zijn geweest voor bedrijven en kennisinstellingen. Wij zien hier een grote kans voor de MRA. Optimale benutting van faciliteiten kan onnodige investeringen voorkomen, ruimte en grondstoffen besparen en mensen uit verschillende hoeken bij elkaar brengen.

Onder de noemer ‘Project Facility Sharing in de MRA’ hebben wij deze kans verkend. Deze verkenning bestaat uit afgenomen interviews en georganiseerde bijeenkomsten. Deze verkenning is uitgewerkt in het rapport: “Facility sharing: optimale benutting van (kennis) faciliteiten in de regio”

Voor meer informatie kun je mailen naar hello@campus.amsterdam 

ampus Amsterdam is het netwerk dat alle innovatiegebieden, campussen en kennislabs in de metropoolregio aan elkaar verbindt waardoor de kenniseconomie van de regio wordt versterkt.

Simone Magilse's picture #CircularCity
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Invitation to co-create European transition pathways for more resilient, greener and digital industrial ecosystems

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One of the key priorities of the European Commission is to support the twin transition to a green and digital economy.  One way the Commission is shaping this transition is by co-creating transition pathways for more resilient, green and digital industrial ecosystems, across different sectors.

Within the scope of the Intelligent Cities Challenge, Amsterdam Region contributed to a stakeholder consultation session on 9 February 2022. Mirko van Vliet, Amsterdam Economic Board  Strategic Advisor shared the region’s experience using future scenarios as a tool for assessing developments in inherently unpredictable and complex systems. In this approach, scenarios are not forecasts but alternative images of how the future can unfold. The approach can be used to stimulate discussion and action around key opportunities, threats, driving forces and no regret measures to achieve a desired vision.

Beyond visions, achieving the digital and green transition requires concrete initiatives. Mirko shared the example of LEAP,  a coalition of the willing that aims to speed up the transition to a sustainable digital infrastructure by deploying and accelerating existing and new technologies.  One of the topics explored within LEAP is the possibility of shifting away from hyper-scale, monolithic data-centers to more flexible, distributed and disaggregated infrastructures.  LEAP exemplifies Amsterdam Economic Board's approach to building a robust ecosystem through multi-stakeholder collaboration in order to transition the data-center and digital infrastructure value chains.

Would you like to help shape the transition pathways for more resilient, greener and digital industrial ecosystems?  The Commission is inviting all interested stakeholders to co-create transition pathways for three sectors / ecosystems:

Based on the results of these consultations, the Commission will organise further meetings with stakeholders to finalise the various pathways in 2022.

For more information visit: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/consultations_en

Cornelia Dinca's picture #Citizens&Living
Mateusz Jarosiewicz, Founder at Smart Cities Polska, posted

New Cities

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We are building a new city in a national metaverse connected with a smart city and the Internet of People. Are you interested in such projects? We are looking for cooperation within the international community of builders of our Metaverse new and brand new Smart Cities.

NEOS Cities and Country

The New System consists of modern municipalities, cities and the Polish state managed from the bottom up by the nation, where decisions are made on the basis of reliable and credible information, and thanks to Blockchain technology, everything is transparent and open to the public.
NEOS Country Towns and Villages services include:

  1. Setting up companies in DAO blockchain
  2. A city with services for users
  3. IVoting or voting over the Internet
  4. Simulation of city development scenarios
  5. City management like a game
  6. Export of tried and tested solutions

Details: http://smartcitiespolska.org/en/new-operating-system-for-smart-cities/ http://smartcitiespolska.org/en/new-warsaw-19-district-of-the-future-2025-2050/

Mateusz Jarosiewicz's picture #Citizens&Living
Hanna Rab, Communication advisor at City of Amsterdam: Digitalization & Innovation, posted

Geef laptops aan de Cyberbank

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Amsterdam krijgt de eerste Cyberbank van Nederland; een soort voedselbank voor laptops en digitale ondersteuning. 💻♻️
Heb jij een laptop of heeft jouw organisatie laptops die de Cyberbank een tweede leven kan geven? Vraag je werkgever oude laptops te doneren aan de Cyberbank en deel deze oproep binnen je netwerk!
Hoe meer laptops, hoe meer mensen er blij gemaakt kunnen worden.
#decyberbankzoektlaptops

Hoe het werkt?
➡️ Organisaties en particulieren doneren hun oude laptops.
➡️ Jongeren met een afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt knappen ze op.
➡️ Mensen met een Stadspas met groene stip kunnen tegen statiegeld van €20 euro aanspraak maken op een laptop. De eerste opgeknapte laptops worden begin 2022 verdeeld.

Informatie over de inzameling van gebruikte laptops en de eisen vind je op https://decyberbank.nl/

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

Breaking news for Amsterdam: The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 is available

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In the recent past, the value of startups in Amsterdam Delta (Amsterdam metropolitan region) has taken a giant leap. In 2015, Amsterdam startups were valued at $11.1 billion. Today, Europe's number 3 ecosystem is worth $83.3 billion. The extraordinary success stories of Adyen and Takeaway have been a major contributor to this success, but its base is much broader. On the annually published Global Startup Ecosystem ranking Amsterdam Delta rose from the 19th place in 2015 to 12th place in 2020. Everyone was curious about the 2021 ranking. Well, as the table shows, Amsterdam Delta has been overtaken by Paris and Tokyo, but only lost one place due to a significant drop in Stockholm.

The value of rankings is easily overestimated. However, the value of startups should not be underestimated. More than 30% of the 4000 startups in the Netherlands are located in the Amsterdam metropolitan region. Together, the Dutch startups have created more than 100,000 jobs and are responsible for 60% of the annual job growth.

Globally, 2020 and 2021 were amazing years for startups as the pandemic fueled technology. According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021, Internet capacity increased by 35% and global broadband traffic by 51%. Consumers bought 30% more food online. Global venture capital funding nearly doubled to $288 billion in the first half of 2021, compared to the first half of 2020. Startups have benefited from the explosive technology market, supported by significant government support. Following China and the US, the European Union has been generous to startups, and the same goes for its member states. The Dutch government offers tax credits to innovative companies and environmentally friendly investments. The city of Amsterdam promotes startups that support inclusive growth and diversity, for example by subsidizing female entrepreneurs.

The Amsterdam Delta startup ecosystem can be characterized as vibrant. Still other ecosystems in the world are growing faster, including those in some European cities. In the global top ten emerging ecosystems, we find Copenhagen in second place and Barcelona, Madrid, and Zurich in places 5, 8 and 9.

To detect possible vulnerabilities in the Amsterdam Delta startup ecosystem, analyzing of success factors of the 30 highest-ranked ecosystems in the report is informative. In terms of performance, Amsterdam's composite score is in a middle position (6 out of 10 points). In terms of funding, the position is good (8). In terms of market reach, the overall score is satisfactory (7): The Amsterdam Delta startups are primarily focused on global markets and score low on the local market. Like most European ecosystems, Amsterdam Delta scores excellent (9) in connectedness, which is related to its strength on the global market. In terms of talent, the overall score is satisfactory (7), but the components differ considerably. The quality of technology students and graduates is good, but their number is insufficient, resulting in high salary costs. The scalability of the Amsterdam startup ecosystem is also insufficient, due to a lack of experience, which keeps many startups small. The overall knowledge success is assessed as poor (1) because the number of life science patents is disappointing.

When assessing the success factors, it should be considered that the population of Amsterdam Delta is about 10% of the population of London, and in this perspective the need to improve the global 13th place is not urgent. On the contrary, understanding why the Amsterdam Delta is performing so well is more relevant than looking for opportunities to improve it.

The explanation of Amsterdam's success has its roots in the fundamental strength of the Netherlands as a whole, which has at least ten other vibrant startup ecosystems. Against this background, one might be curious about the Global Startup Ecosystem ranking of the Randstad, including Eindhoven as a whole. According to the report, the strength of the Netherlands is its well-educated population, international orientation and English proficiency, excellent infrastructure, an 'extremely high quality of life' and business-friendly laws. Amsterdam is also the headquarters of many international companies, a large pool of potential startup founders.

In a next post, I will focus on Amsterdam's policy towards startups and evaluate whether a higher ranking is within reach or whether more qualitative objectives are preferable, taken into account the considerations in a former post on the Amsterdam Smart City website.

I will regularly share ‘snapshots’ of the challenge of bringing socially and ecologically sustainable cities closer using technology if useful. These posts represent findings, updates, and additions to my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #SmartCityAcademy
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
Eline Meijer, Communication Specialist , posted

Redesign of public space in your own area possible?

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Would this simple redesign of the public space in the suburbs of Utrecht, be an option in your area? In a special serie of short videos, Geert Kloppenburg visit suburbs of the large cities in the Randstad in Holland. Here is part 1 Utrecht. Curious what you think of the idea and feel free to share!

Watch the video here:
https://youtu.be/l_l5PRhzfVU

Eline Meijer's picture #Mobility
Jasmyn Mazloum, Communicatie at Gemeente Almere, posted

Onderzoek: Deelmobiliteit in Almere! / Enquête

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Almere is een stad waarin de mogelijkheden om jezelf te verplaatsen eindeloos zijn. Niet alle vervoersmiddelen zijn even praktisch, milieuvriendelijk of gezond. Veel van onze auto’s staan het grootste gedeelte van de tijd stil op de parkeerplaats. Ze nemen kostbare ruimte in en daarbij zorgt het gebruik van de auto voor een minder gezonde lucht.

Wat is deelmobiliteit?
Een oplossing hiervoor kan zijn om voertuigen te delen. Dit noemen we ook wel deelmobiliteit. Niet iedereen een eigen auto, maar één auto die wordt gebruikt door meerdere personen. Naast een auto kun je ook (e-)fietsen of scooters delen. Deze zijn belangrijk om bijvoorbeeld het laatste stukje van het treinstation of bushalte gemakkelijk naar je werk te komen.

De gemeente Almere is benieuwd hoe jij hierover denkt. Jouw mening kunnen we gebruiken bij het opzetten van deelmobiliteit in onze stad. We gaan betrouwbaar om met uw gegevens en de reacties worden anoniem verwerkt. Vul voor ons de enquête in!

Jasmyn Mazloum's picture #Mobility
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Transforming the food system through impact-driven ventures

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A sustainable food system is critical to our social and planetary well-being.

New initiatives have a big role to play, and Metabolic's newest venture, Fresh Ventures Studio, is looking to help build promising companies to solve systemic challenges.

Fresh Ventures is a venture-building program and startup studio based in The Netherlands. They co-found companies with experienced professionals and entrepreneurs to address systemic challenges in the food system.

If you're an entrepreneur looking into building a venture that responds to the world's sustainability challenges, sign up with Fresh: https://www.freshventures.eu/

More about its establishment and purpose from this article.

Beth Njeri's picture #Citizens&Living
David Bosch, Communication Consultant at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Carefree through Amsterdam on a shared bike

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Amsterdam is investing heavily in shared transport. Shared cars, scooters and  bicycles make the city more accessible. That last option is healthy, clean and popular. For those who don’t have a bike, or looking for a second bike, we have a shared bike. The city of Amsterdam will receive 1,400 shared bicycles, including 100 shared electric cargo bikes. Some are allready on the streets; the rest will follow from August 15.

Where can you find shared bikes?
At the Zuidas, along the ‘Westlijn’ of the metro, in Oost and Zuidoost. Electric shared cargo bikes can be found in Oost and Zuid. There is a maximum number of shared bicycles per area. It is a 2 year experiment. Then we'll see if we continue.

• FlickBike: 400 shared bicycles along metro stations on the ‘Westlijn’ (from Henk Sneevlietweg to Isolatorweg) and the bus to Westpoort, from 15 June
• Cargoroo: 100 electric shared cargo bicycles in Oost and Rivierenbuurt (Zuid), from 15 June
• Donkey Republic: 300 shared bicycles in Oost, from 15 August
• Soon to be announced: 400 shared bicycles Zuidoost and 200 shared bicycles Zuidas from 15 August

Where do I park the shared bike?
A shared bicycle is a good means of transport for commuters and visitors. The bicycles are usually located near a public transport junction. They have their own parking spaces and must be returned to 1 of the parking spaces of that provider. Only in those places can you stop the rent. The shared cargo bikes have their own parking space, clearly marked on the ground. You can of course park the bike somewhere else in between, but then you will continue to pay. That way the bikes won't roam, is the idea.

Note from ASC: Have a question? Let’s hear it in the comments!

David Bosch's picture #Mobility
David Bosch, Communication Consultant at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Whitepaper Shared Mobility Employers (Dutch)

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Due to the many working from home, employers are moving away from fixed travel allowances on a large scale and business lease fleets are also shrinking for the first time in years. In order to meet the travel needs of employees in a good way, more employers are switching to shared mobility as a financial solution.

By focusing on shared mobility, you save valuable parking space, offer your employees a flexible mobility solution and possibly save on your CO2 emissions. Research by the Kennisinstituut Mobiliteit (KiM) shows that a car sharer annually emits 175 to 265 kg less CO2 than before he started car sharing. In addition, shared mobility contributes to better accessibility of the region. Shared mobility is therefore booming: in 2020 the number of shared car users rose by no less than 42% to 730,000.

Municipality of Amsterdam is investing heavily in shared mobility
The City of Amsterdam is working hard to make shared mobility a fully-fledged alternative for everyone who wants to move around in the city. Shared mobility is one of the solutions to keep mobility, quality of life, space on the street and accessibility in the city in balance. There are experiments with shared bicycles and scooters on the street and providers of shared cars are encouraged to offer their services in Amsterdam.

Breikers supports employers free of charge in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area
The mobility needs of every company and every employee are different. That is why Breikers provides free and independent tailor-made advice. Our interactive mobility scan is even free to use for Breikers participants! Do you need help developing your plans for the realization? In many cases you can re-enable Breikers to come up with the right solution.

To help you on your way, a white paper (in Dutch) has been prepared with the most up-to-date ins-and-outs in the field of Shared Mobility.

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

Tools for circular construction

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The impact of circular principles on the construction sector will be large and beneficial because buildings are responsible for more than 50% of the total use of materials on earth, including valuable specimen such as steel, copper, aluminium and zinc.

The picture above – the interior of the Circle pavilion of the ABN-AMRO bank in Amsterdam is an example of a new building that uses as many existing components as possible and new components of the building are designed to be reused. Think of:

• 1200 m2 of wooden floors
• Partition walls of a demolished building
• 16.000 garments of employees for isolation purposes

By circular construction we mean designing, building and demolishing a building in such a way that, in addition to the high-quality reuse of materials, justice is done to sustainability ambitions in the field of energy, water, and biodiversity and ecosystems.

New materials are often more expensive than new ones
In case of demolishment, nowadays many components are already reused, but at a very low level, for instance concrete and stones as the foundation of new roads. Apart from the limited necessity to construct many new roads, this type of recycling destroys the intrinsic quality of materials and does not diminish the use of new materials. The biggest problem is that recycled materials are often more expensive than new ones.

Evidently, progress can be made by planning, designing, developing, and building circular buildings. A number of options are mentioned below.

Dedicated urban planning
Challenges for planning are the use of inner-city vacant land and issuing mandatory requirements regarding the construction of new buildings, for instance the use of less cement, glass and steel, the mandatory application of a certain percentage of reused materials, and becoming energy positive or at least energy-neutral. Switching to sustainable timber is an option for 90% of homes and 70% of offices being built.

Mandatory reuse of existing components
Reuse of existing materials means that glass is reused as glass and concrete pillars as pillars. The same applies to doors, frames, carpets, wall-cladding materials and so on. To start with, after demolishment all materials must be selected, cleaned, registered, and stored in new-to-develop warehouses. A materials passport, which contains an overview of all materials and components that are used to construct of a house or building, is a useful tool as well. The obligation to reuse a large percentage of existing components has far-reaching consequences for the design and construction of new houses.

Industrial production and 3D printing
Construction of components in factories, deploying industrial processes, will reduce costs by 30 percent and the delivery time by at least 50 percent. In 2014, the Chinese company WinSun printed and assembled ten houses, each 195 square meters, in 24 hours, for an amount of €5,000 per house[1]. The company used 30 - 60 percent less material than in traditional construction. The “ink” for their 3D printers is a mixture of dry cement and construction waste. WinSun plans to open 100 recycling plants in China to convert waste into cost-efficient ink. This video below demonstrates the printing activities of WinSun

Sharing space
The size of apartments will decrease, partly due to costs, but also because of the presence of shared guest rooms, lounge areas and terraces for working and socializing, spaces for washing and drying laundry. The need for office space will decrease rapidly due to sharing space and working home. Already now, IBM has only one desk available for 12 employees. Given the presence of 300,000 employees, this has led worldwide to savings on real estate of around € 1 billion in the past 10 years.

Modularity and durability
A key barrier for better use of floor space is the lack of flexibility in the design of buildings and room configurations. A modular design, which provides for easy replacement of partitions and placement of complete pre-fab units (kitchens and bathrooms, walls, and roofs as well) facilitates adjustments in case of new construction or as the use of a building changes. DIRTT builds interior components that are modular and standardized and offer maximum interchangeability in both existing and new buildings[2]. This video gives an impression of the production and application of these flexible and inexpensive solutions.

Forget new construction at all
Anyway, a first step is more efficient use of existing buildings and houses.
As families become smaller and offices need less space, existing space becomes underused. Many thousands of one family houses can be transformed in apartments. Well-thought adjustments to the lay-out of existing houses and buildings can improve their efficiency without reducing their functionality and amenity. Look here for inspiring examples.

I will regularly share with you ‘snapshots’ of the challenge to bring social and ecological sustainable cities closer using technology if helpful. These posts represent findings, updates, and supplements of my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.

Note from ASC: What are your thoughts on this? Let Herman know bellow.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity