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Zie digitale tweelingen niet als dé oplossing voor maatschappelijke vraagstukken die in gebieden spelen. Data en modellen belichten namelijk slechts een deel van de werkelijkheid. Bij ruimtelijke opgaven, zoals het woningtekort, de energietransitie en natuurherstel, gaat het om het gesprek om te komen tot een gedeelde werkelijkheid. Zorg dat digitalisering hierbij een constructieve rol speelt.
Op de grens van Brabant en Limburg ligt de Peel. Daar komen onder grote tijdsdruk verschillende opgaven samen: transitie van de landbouw, omslag naar hernieuwbare energie inclusief netverzwaringen, woningtekort, verdroging van de Peel en de mogelijke heropening van de vliegbasis Vredepeel. Het maken van die ruimtelijke puzzel vergt samenwerking tussen twintig gemeenten, drie waterschappen, twee provincies, diverse departementen en tal van bedrijven, maatschappelijke organisaties en burgers. Daarnaast vraagt die puzzel een integrale afweging: ingrepen voor de ene opgave kunnen immers vergaande gevolgen hebben voor andere opgaven.
Voor de digitale tweeling is echter geen vraagstuk te complex, schreef Microsoft in een artikel op Ibestuur. Het bedrijf werkt zelfs aan een digitale tweeling van de aarde, met de ambitie om deze beter te besturen voor mens en natuur. Tijdens een conferentie over slimme steden in Barcelona viel de sterke aantrekkingskracht van de digitale tweeling voor beleidsmakers en bestuurders op. ‘Doe mij ook maar zo’n digitale tweeling’ leek de dominante gedachte te zijn. De talrijke pilots en experimenten met digitale tweelingen in het ruimtelijk domein onderstrepen dit.
Er lijkt sprake van een ‘hype’: digitale tweelingen als panacee voor gebiedsontwikkeling. Deze ‘hype’ hangt samen met de toenemende hoeveelheid en beschikbaarheid van (real-time) data over onze leefomgeving, zoals lucht-, grond- en waterkwaliteit en energieverbruik. Dit is mede het gevolg van het beter en goedkoper worden van monitoringstechnieken, zoals slimme meters in huis en allerlei soorten sensoren op straat, in drones en satellieten. Daarnaast stimuleert en verplicht de aankomende Omgevingswet het gebruik van data.
Partijen gebruiken verschillende definities voor de digitale tweeling. Doorgaans verwijst de term ‘digitale tweeling’ naar het idee dat een fysieke en virtuele ‘tweeling’ met elkaar in verbinding staan door de uitwisseling van data en informatie. Data over de fysieke wereld voeden de virtuele tweeling en inzichten daaruit kunnen weer worden gebruikt om te interveniëren in de fysieke wereld. Dat helpt bij het maken van allerlei producten – van de bouw van de Boekelose brug tot de BMW fabriek – en het verbeteren van bedrijfsprocessen, zoals het onderhoud en beperking van de CO2-uitstoot van de Airbus.
Hierdoor geïnspireerd, zien veel beleidsmakers en bestuurders de digitale tweeling als een belangrijk middel om besluitvorming – van beleidsvoorbereiding tot implementatie – te verbeteren door de gevolgen van keuzes te simuleren en te visualiseren. In het domein van politiek en bestuur is de digitale tweeling dus meer dan een technologische innovatie; het is een democratische innovatie. Dit roept de vraag op: hoe kan een digitale tweeling de besluitvorming daadwerkelijk verbeteren?
Er bestaat geen eenduidige werkelijkheid
Dat kan door de variëteit en veelzijdigheid van een gebied te erkennen. Een gebied is nooit één monolithische werkelijkheid; er spelen vaak duizend-en-een belangen en processen tegelijk. Toch is zo’n eenduidige werkelijkheid wel precies wat een digitale tweeling suggereert. En daarin schuilt zowel de kracht als het risico van dit instrument. Kracht, omdat het zorgt voor een basis voor een gesprek. En een goed gesprek is de basis voor goede besluitvorming. Risico, omdat zo’n eenduidige werkelijkheid ons kan doen vergeten dat de digitale tweeling selectief is. Hij laat slechts een beperkt aantal variabelen zien. Bovendien, datgene wat subjectief of lastiger meetbaar is, bijvoorbeeld de betekenis van een gebied voor haar inwoners, kunnen we gemakkelijk over het hoofd zien. Terwijl een democratisch proces juist ook voor die zachte waarden aandacht behoort te hebben.
Beschouw een digitale tweeling dus niet als de gedeelde werkelijkheid zelf, maar als gesprekspartner in een breder democratisch proces. Daarbij is ook transparantie van belang over welke data wel aanwezig zijn en welke niet. En over welke modellen gebruikt worden en de aannames die daarbij gemaakt worden. Zo laat de maatschappelijke aandacht voor bijvoorbeeld de stikstofmodellen van het RIVM zien dat data en modellen niet neutraal zijn en ook niet apolitiek, ook al worden ze soms wel zo gepresenteerd. Data, modellen en algoritmes hebben namelijk invloed op hoe we problemen definiëren en begrijpen, wie daarbij betrokken worden en hoe we vervolgens handelen. Of toegepast op besluitvorming: ze bepalen welke maatschappelijke opgaven wel en niet worden opgepakt en hoe en wie wel of niet mee mag praten en beslissen.
Dit artikel is een weergave van een aantal eerste inzichten in een project van het Rathenau Instituut naar de wijze waarop digitale tweelingen kunnen bijdragen aan besluitvorming over gebiedsontwikkeling. Hierin heeft het Rathenau samengewerkt met de Provincie Noord-Holland. Voor het vervolg van dit project is het instituut op zoek naar interessante praktijkcases.
De digitale tweeling als gesprekspartner dus. Hoe doe je dat op een verantwoorde manier? Wie kan hier praktijkcases van laten zien?
Dit artikel is geschreven door Romy Dekker (Rathenau Instituut), Paul Strijp (Provincie Noord-Holland) Allerd Nanninga (Rathenau Instituut) en Rinie van Est (Rathenau Instituut) en gepubliceerd op iBestuur. De auteurs danken Brian de Vogel, Henk Scholten, Arny Plomp, Herman Wilken, Rosemarie Mijlhoff, Jan Bruijn en Martine Verweij voor hun waardevolle inbreng in het project.
This is the 11th episode of a series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. In this post, I wonder whether nature itself can tackle the environmental problems that humans have caused.
According to environmental scientists, ecosystems are providers of services. They are divided into production services (such as clean drinking water, wood, and biomass), regulating services (such as pollination, soil fertility, water storage, cooling, and stress reduction) and cultural services (such as recreation, and natural beauty). In case of nature-inclusive solutions ecosystems are co-managed to restore the quality of life on the earth in the short term and to maintain it in the long term, insofar as that is still possible.
The green-blue infrastructure
The meaning of urban green can best be seen in conjunction with that of water, hence the term green-blue infrastructure. Its importance is at least fourfold: (1) it is the source of all life, (2) it contributes substantially to the capture and storage of CO2, (3) 'green' has a positive impact on well-being and health; (4) it improves water management. This post is mainly about the third aspect. The fourth will be discussed in the next post. 'Green' has many forms, from sidewalk gardens to trees in the street or vegetated facades to small and large parks (see collage above).
Improving air quality
Trees and plants help to filter the water itself. They have a significant role to play in managing water and air pollution. Conifers capture particulate matter. However, the extent to which this occurs is less than is necessary to have a significant impact on health. Particulate matter contributes to a wide range of ailments. Like infections of the respiratory system and cardiovascular disease, but also cancer and possibly diabetes.
Countering heat stress
Heat stress arises because of high temperature and humidity. The wind speed and the radiation temperature also play a role. When the crowns of trees cover 20% of the surface of an area, the air temperature decreases by 0.3oC during the day. However, this relatively small decrease already leads to a 10% reduction in deaths. Often 40% crown area over a larger area is considered as an optimum.
Reduce mental stress and improve mood
According to Arbo Nederland, 21% of the number of absenteeism days is stress-related, which means approximately a €3 billion damage. A short-term effect of contact with nature on stress, concentration and internal tranquility has been conclusively demonstrated. The impact of distributing greenery within the residential environment is larger than a concentrated facility, such as a park, has.
Strengthening immune function via microbiome
The total amount of greenery in and around the house influences the nature and quantity of the bacteria present. This green would have a positive effect on the intestinal flora of those who are in its vicinity and therefore also on their immune function. The empirical support for this mechanism is still rather limited.
Stimulate physical activity
The impact of physical activity on health has been widely demonstrated. The Health Council therefore advises adults to exercise at least 2½ hours a week. The presence of a green area of at least ¼ hectare at 300 meters from the home is resulting more physical activity of adults in such areas, but not to more activity as a whole.
Promoting social contact
Well-designed green areas near the living environment invite social contacts. For instance, placement of benches, overview of the surroundings and absence of traffic noise. The state of maintenance are important: people tend to avoid neglected and polluted areas of public space, no matter how green.
Vegetation dampens noise to some extent, but it is more important that residents of houses with a green environment experience noise as less of a nuisance. It is assumed that this is due to a mechanism already discussed, namely the improvement of stress resistance because of the greenery present.
For years buildings made people sic. A growing number of architects want to enhance the effect of 'green' on human health by integrating it into the design of houses and buildings and the materials used. This is the case if it is ensured that trees and plants can be observed permanently. But also, analogies with natural forms in the design of a building
The 'Zandkasteel', the former headquarters of the Nederlandse Middenstandsbank in Amsterdam, designed by the architects Ton Alberts and Max van Huut, is organically designed both inside and outside, inspired by the anthroposophical ideas of Rudolf Steiner. The (internal) water features are storage for rainwater and the climate control is completely natural. The building has been repurposed for apartments, offices and restaurants.
Worldwide, there is a direct correlation between the amount of greenery in a neighborhood and the income of its residents. Conversely, we see that poorer neighborhoods where new green elements are added fall victim to green gentrification over time and that wealthier housing seekers displace the original residents.
The challenge facing city councils is to develop green and fair districts where gentrification is halted and where poorer residents can stay. Greening in poor communities must therefore be accompanied by measures that respect the residential rights and aim at improving the socio-economic position of the residents.
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Most important causes of death worldwide (Source: The Lancelet, le Monde)
This is the 10th episode of a series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. In this post, I mainly focus on health problems which are directly related to the quality of the living environment
Are cities healthy places?
According to the WHO's Global Burden of Diseases Study, 4.2 million deaths worldwide each year are caused by particulate matter. The regional differences are significant. Urban health depends on the part of the world and the part of the city where you are living. More than 26 million people in the United States have asthma and breathing problems as a result. African-American residents in the US die of asthma three times as often as whites. They live in segregated communities with poor housing, close to heavy industry, transportation centers and other sources of air pollution.
Globally, the increasing prosperity of city dwellers is causing more and more lifestyle-related health problems. Heart disease, and violence (often drug-related) has overtaken infectious diseases as the first cause of death in wealthy parts of the world.
Very recently, Arcadis published a report on 'the healthy city'. This report compares 20 Dutch cities based on many criteria, divided over five domains. The four major cities score negatively on many aspects. In particular: healthy outdoor space, greenery, air quality, noise nuisance, heat stress and safety. Medium-sized cities such as Groningen, Emmen, Almere, Amersfoort, Nijmegen, and Apeldoorn, on the other hand, are among the healthiest cities.
In Amsterdam, the level of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2018 exceeded World Health Organization standards in many streets. The GGD of Amsterdam estimates that 4.5% of the loss of healthy years is the result of exposure to dirty air.
Collaborative measuring air quality
In various cities, groups of concerned citizens have started measuring the quality of the air themselves. A professional example is the AiREAS project in Eindhoven. An innovative measuring system has been developed together with knowledge institutions and the government. Sensors are distributed over the area of the city and the system provides real-time information. The AiREAS group regularly discusses the results with other citizens and with the city government. The measurement of the quality of the air is supplemented by medical examination. This research has confirmed that citizens in the vicinity of the main roads and the airport have an increased risk of mortality, reduced lung function and asthma.
The AiREAS project is linked to similar initiatives in other European cities. Occasionally the data is exchanged. That resulted in, among other things, this shocking video.
Could the future not be that we are busy doing the obvious things for our health, such as walking, cycling, eating good food and having fun and that thanks to wearables, symptoms of diseases are watched early and permanently in the background, without us being aware of it? The local health center will monitor and analyze the data of all patients using artificial intelligence and advise to consult the doctor if necessary. An easily accessible health center in one's own neighborhood remains indispensable.
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This article is part of the series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Read how the design of high-rises might comply with the quality of the urban environment.
High-rises are under scrutiny in two respects. First, its necessity or desirability. Secondly, their integration in the urban fabric. This post is about the latter.
Options for high-rises
Suppose you want to achieve a density of 200 housing equivalents in a newly to build area of one hectare. A first option is the way in which Paris and Barcelona have been built: Contiguous buildings from five to eight floors along the streets, with attractive plinths. In addition, or as an addition, others prefer high-rises because of their capacity of enhancing the metropolitan appearance of the area. Not to increase the density in the first place.
Almost all urban planners who opt for the latter option take as starting point rectangular blocks, which height along the streets is limited to 4-6 storeys, including attractive plinths. The high-rise will then be realized backwards, to keep its massiveness out of sight. The image at top left gives an impression of the reduced visibility of high-rises at street level on Amsterdam's Sluisbuurt. According to many, this is a successful example of the integration of high-rises, just like the Schinkelkwartier under development, also in Amsterdam(picture top right).
The last option is also recognisable in all urban plans with a metropolitan character in Utrecht and Rotterdamand more or less in The Hague too. This represents a turnaround from the past. Research by Marlies de Nijsshowed that only 20% of all high-rises built before 2015 met this condition. These buildings consist of separate towers without an attractive plinth. What you see at ground floor-level are blank walls hiding technical, storage or parking areas. The Zalmtoren in Rotterdam, the tallest building in the Netherlands, exemplifies this (picture below right). This kind of edifices is mostly surrounded by a relatively large space of limited use. Other disadvantages of detached high-rises are the contrast with adjacent buildings, their windy environment, the intense shadows, its ecological footprint, and the costs.
Two extreme examples of disproportionate high-rises can be found in Paris. Paris has always applied a limitation of the building height to 37 meters within the zone of the Périférique. The exception is the Eiffel Tower, but it was only meant to be temporary. In the two short periods that this provision was cancelled, two buildings have risen: The first is the 210-meter-high Tour Montparnasse, which most Parisians would like to demolish immediately. Instead, the building will be renovated at a cost of €300 million in preparation for the Olympic Games. After 10 years of struggle, construction of the second has started in 2021. It is the 180-meter-high Tour Triangle, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, so-called star architects. The photos at the bottom left and centre show the consequences for the cityscape.
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This article is part of the series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Read how design, departing from the human dimension contributes to the quality of the urban environment. Follow the link below to find an overview of all articles.
Human dimension means that residents nor visitors feel overwhelmed by the environment. An urban planner must avoid them thinking that it is all about other things, such as commerce, traffic, or the buildings themselves, which unfortunately often is the case indeed. Constructions by 'star architects' can be crowd pullers but usually also result into a disproportionate use of space. Cities therefore better tolerate only a limited number of such edifices. Alexander Herrebout (OTO Landscape) believes that space has a human dimension if you experience attention for you as a human being and that there are objects you can connect with. For many, this will be more often a historic building (church, town hall) than a modernist one.
Compact streets and squares give a sense of security. They encourage people to linger there, increasing the chance of unforeseen encounters. Sjoerd Soeters considers squares in the first place as a widening in the street pattern and therefore they are preferably no larger than 24 by 40 meters. A round or oval shape enhances the feeling of security. If the height of the surrounding buildings is also in line with this, there may be contact between residents and people on the street. Good examples are the square he designed in the Oostpoort shopping center in Amsterdam, but also a square in <em>The Point</em>, a new shopping center in Utah (US), resp. bottom left and bottom center and of course the Piazza der Campo in Siena.
If streets are too wide or narrow or buildings are too high?
Trees, for example a double row all around, will help if a street is too wide or a square is too big. Trees are also a source of reducing urban heat. The extent to which trees contribute to the sense of intimacy is expressed by comparing the images at the top left (Herring Cove Road, Halifax, Canada) and the top right (Course Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence). A square or a street that is too wide can be further visually reduced by the construction of terraces, the placement of a pavilion or the presence of water features, such as on the Brusselplein, Leidsche Rijn (bottom right). Sometimes also by allowing destination traffic and public transport.
A street that is too narrow can be widened psychologically by designing sidewalks and a carriageway in the same level and shades, possibly separated by a narrow band, as illustrated in the image of the Sluisbuurt in Amsterdam (top center).
If case of high-rises, the human dimension can be respected by planting trees and by placing taller buildings back from the plinth to limit their visibility from the street. This is also illustrated by the image of the Sluisbuurt (top center).
Compactness presupposes a certain density. In a very dense city center is only room for pedestrians and not for traffic, in some cases except for the tram. Though, these areas must be always accessible to emergency services. Waste removal, deliveries and parking must be solved differently, for example on the inner space of blocks or by introducing strict time slots. Every city also needs space for events such as concerts, fairs, etcetera. Accessibility is more important than a central location.
The Digital Government Act (Wet Digitale Overheid) aims to improve digital government services while ensuring citizens' privacy. An important part of this law is safe and secure logging in to the government using new electronic identification methods (eIDs) such as Yivi (formerly IRMA). The municipality of Amsterdam recently started a pilot with Yivi. Amsterdam residents can now log in to “Mijn Amsterdam” to track the status of complaints about public area’s. But how do you get this innovation, which really requires a different way of thinking, implemented?
Using the Change Curve to categorise barriers
At the Transition day (June 2023), Mike Alders (municipality of Amsterdam) invited the Amsterdam Smart City network to help identify the barriers and possible interventions, and explore opportunities for regional cooperation. Led by Coen Smit from Royal HaskoningDHV, the participants identified barriers in implementing this new technology from an organisational and civil society perspective. After that, the participants placed these barriers on a Change Curve, a powerful model used to understand the stages of personal transition and organization stage. Using the Change Curve, we wanted to give Mike some concrete guidance on where to focus his interventions on within the organisation. The barriers were categorised in four phases:
- Awareness: associated with anxiety and denial;
- Desire: associated with emotion and fear;
- Knowledge & ability: associated with acceptance, realisation and energy;
- Reinforcement: associated with growth.
Insights and next steps
In the case of digital identity and the implementation of eID’s, such as Yivi, it appears that most of the barriers are related to the first phase of awareness. Think of: little knowledge about digital identity and current privacy risks, and a lack of trust in a new technology. Communication is crucial to overcome barriers in the awareness. To the user, but also internally to employees and the management. Directors often also know too little about the topic of digital identity.
By looking at the different phases in the change process, we have become aware of the obstacles and thought about possible solutions. But we are still a long way from full implementation and acceptance of this new innovation. For that, we need different perspectives from business, governments and knowledge institutions. This way, we can start creating more awareness about digital transformations and identity in general, which will most likely lead to wishes for more privacy-friendly and easier way of identifying online. Besides focusing on creating more awareness about our digital identity, another possible next step is to organise a more in-depth session (deepdive) with all governmental organisations in the Amsterdam Smart City network.
Do you have any tips or questions in relation to Mike’s project about Digital Identity and electronic Identification? Please get in touch with me through email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Without a doubt, our lives are becoming increasingly dependent on new technologies. However, we are also becoming increasingly aware that not everyone benefits equally from the opportunities and possibilities of digitization. Technology is often developed for the masses, leaving more vulnerable groups behind. Through the European-funded CommuniCity project, the municipality of Amsterdam aims to support the development of digital solutions for all by connecting tech organisations to the needs of vulnerable communities. The project will develop a citizen-centred co-creation and co-learning process supporting the cities of Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Porto in launching 100 tech pilots addressing the needs of their communities.
Besides the open call for tech-for-good pilots, the municipality of Amsterdam is also looking for a more structural process for matching the needs of citizens to solutions of tech providers. During this work session, Neeltje Pavicic (municipality of Amsterdam) invited the Amsterdam Smart City network to explore current bottlenecks and potential solutions and next steps.
Process & questions
Neeltje introduced the project using two examples of technology developed specifically for marginalised communities: the Be My Eyes app connects people needing sighted support with volunteers giving virtual assistance through a live video call, and the FLOo Robot supports parents with mild intellectual disabilities by stimulating the interaction between parents and the child.
The diversity of the Amsterdam Smart City network was reflected in the CommuniCity worksession, with participants from governments, businesses and knowledge institutions. Neeltje was curious to the perspectives of the public and private sector, which is why the group was separated based on this criteria. First, the participants identified the bottlenecks: what problems do we face when developing tech solutions for and with marginalised communities? After that, we looked at the potential solutions and the next steps.
Bottlenecks for developing tech for vulnerable communities
The group with companies agreed that technology itself can do a lot, but that it is often difficult to know what is already developed in terms of tech-for-good. Going from a pilot or concept to a concrete realization is often difficult due to the stakeholder landscape and siloed institutions. One of the main bottlenecks is that there is no clear incentive for commercial parties to focus on vulnerable groups. Another bottleneck is that we need to focus on awareness; technology often targets the masses and not marginalized groups who need to be better involved in the design of solutions.
In the group with public organisations, participants discussed that the needs of marginalised communities should be very clear. We should stay away from formulating these needs for people. Therefore, it’s important that civic society organisations identify issues and needs with the target groups, and collaborate with tech-parties that can deliver solutions. Another bottleneck is that there is not enough capital from public partners. There are already many pilots, but scaling up is often difficult.. Therefore solutions should have a business, or a value-case.
Potential next steps
What could be the next steps? The participants indicated that there are already a lot of tech-driven projects and initiatives developed to support vulnerable groups. A key challenge is that these initiatives are fragmented and remain small-scale because there is insufficient sharing and learning between them. A better overview of what is already happening is needed to avoid re-inviting the wheel. There are already several platforms to share these types of initiatives but they do not seem to meet the needs in terms of making visible tested solutions with most potential for upscaling. Participants also suggested hosting knowledge sessions to present examples and lessons-learned from tech-for-good solutions, and train developers to make technology accessible from the start. Legislation can also play a role: by law, technology must meet accessibility requirements and such laws can be extended to protect vulnerable groups. Participants agreed that public authorities and commercial parties should engage in more conversation about this topic.
In response to the worksession, Neeltje mentioned that she gained interesting insights from different angles. She was happy that so many participants showed interest in this topic and decided to join the session. In the coming weeks, Neeltje will organise a few follow-up sessions with different stakeholders. Do you have any input for her? You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll connect you to Neeltje.
Beep for help ontzorgt alle Amsterdammers die wel wat hulp thuis kunnen gebruiken.
De oplossing voor ouderen die prettig thuis willen blijven wonen, overbelaste mantelzorgers of mensen die meer tijd willen voor ontspanning.
Makkelijk boeken van hulp bij boodschappen, koken, schoonmaken, tuinieren, huisdieren of gezelschap. Zonder wachtlijsten. Simpel en snel. Wij zijn er trots op een Amsterdamse startup te zijn. Wij werken graag samen met andere organisaties om elkaar te versterken. Neem contact op voor de mogelijkheden.
Public administrators, public tech developers, and public service providers face the same challenge: How to develop and use technology in accordance with public values like openness, fairness, and inclusivity? The question is urgent as we continue to rely upon proprietary technology that is developed within a surveillance capitalist context and is incompatible with the goals and missions of our democratic institutions. This problem has been a driving force behind the development of the public stack, a conceptual model developed by Waag through ACROSS and other projects, which roots technical development in public values.
The idea behind the public stack is simple: There are unseen layers behind the technology we use, including hardware, software, design processes, and business models. All of these layers affect the relationship between people and technology – as consumers, subjects, or (as the public stack model advocates) citizens and human beings in a democratic society. The public stack challenges developers, funders, and other stakeholders to develop technology based on shared public values by utilising participatory design processes and open technology. The goal is to position people and the planet as democratic agents; and as more equal stakeholders in deciding how technology is developed and implemented.
ACROSS is a Horizon2020 European project that develops open source resources to protect digital identity and personal data across European borders. In this context, Waag is developing the public stack model into a service design approach – a resource to help others reflect upon and improve the extent to which their own ‘stack’ is reflective of public values. In late 2022, Waag developed a method using the public stack as a lens to prompt reflection amongst developers. A more extensive public stack reflection process is now underway in ACROSS; resources to guide other developers through this same process will be made available later in 2023.
The public stack is a useful model for anyone involved in technology, whether as a developer, funder, active, or even passive user. In the case of ACROSS, its adoption helped project partners to implement decentralised privacy-by-design technology based on values like privacy and user control. The model lends itself to be applied just as well in other use cases:
- Municipalities can use the public stack to maintain democratic approaches to technology development and adoption in cities.
- Developers of both public and private tech can use the public stack to reflect on which values are embedded in their technology.
- Researchers can use the public stack as a way to ethically assess technology.
- Policymakers can use the public stack as a way to understand, communicate, and shape the context in which technology development and implementation occurs.
Are you interested in using the public stack in your own project, initiative, or development process? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know more by emailing us at email@example.com.
Vorige week heb ik de community geattendeerd op de publicatie van mijn e-book Better cities and digitization. Dat is een compilatie van de 23 posts op deze website het afgelopen half jaar.
Inmiddels is ook de Nederlandstalige versie Steden en digitalisering beschikbaar. Ik sta daarin eerst stil bij de technocentrische en de mensgerichte benadering van smart cities. Daarna problematiseer ik de roep om 'datagestuurd beleid'. Ik ga vervolgens uitvoerig in op ethische principes bij de beoordeling van technologieën. Vervolgens beschrijf ik een procedure hoe steden met digitalisering zouden kunnen omgaan, te beginnen met Kate Raworth. Ook het digitaliseringsbeleid van Amsterdam krijgt aandacht. Daarna komen vier toepassingen aan de orde: bestuur, energie, mobiliteit en gezondheidszorg. Wie doorleest tot op de laatste bladzijde ziet dat Amsterdam Smart City het laatste woord krijgt;-)
Via de link hieronder kun je dit boek gratis downloaden.
In de afgelopen maanden is de maatschappelijke en politieke discussie over de vestiging van datacentra in een stroomversnelling geraakt. Naar aanleiding van de plannen voor de bouw van een groot datacentrum bij Zeewolde is veel gesproken over nut, noodzaak en wenselijkheid van vestiging van dit soort faciliteiten in Nederland. Daarbij kwamen zorgen naar boven over de verhouding tussen het energie- en grondstoffengebruik van datacentra en hun maatschappelijke en economische meerwaarde. Ook was er kritiek op hoe de besluitvorming over de vestiging van datacentra bestuurlijk is ingericht.
Het rapport 'Beter beslissen over datacentra' van het Rathenau Instituut onderzoekt de maatschappelijke betekenis van datacentra en de besluitvorming over hun vestiging. Het maakt inzichtelijk wat datacentra zijn, hoe ze werken en hoe ze onderling van elkaar verschillen, welke kwesties er spelen en hoe deze kwesties op dit moment bestuurd worden op lokaal, regionaal en nationaal niveau. De analyse mondt uit in vijf aanbevelingen voor een goede publieke governance van de digitale infrastructuur.
Het Rathenau Instituut pleit ervoor om bij de ontwikkeling van beleid, niet te focussen op de (grote) datacentra die nu volop in de belangstelling staan, maar te kijken naar de hele infrastructuur die de digitalisering van onze samenleving mogelijk maakt. Daarbij gaat het ook om kabels, zendmasten, ontvangers, schakelaars en routers, plus de functies die zij in samenhang vervullen. Wat willen we in Nederland met deze infrastructuur? Die vraag zou het voorwerp moeten zijn van een maatschappelijk debat. Naast bestuurders en deskundigen, moeten ook burgers daarbij betrokken zijn. Om het debat te voeden, is ook meer kennis nodig, bijvoorbeeld over de financieel-economische voordelen van datacentra.
De digitale infrastructuur is inmiddels zo belangrijk geworden voor de samenleving dat ze kenmerken heeft van een nutsvoorziening: een essentiële voorziening van algemeen belang. Dit betekent dat publieke waarden leidend moeten zijn bij de governance van deze infrastructuur. Het bestaande energiebeleid kan daartoe als model dienen. Het onderzoek laat zien dat relevante publieke waarden voor de digitale infrastructuur, veel gelijkenis vertonen met de waarden die ten grondslag liggen aan het Nederlandse energiebeleid. Ook hier immers gaat het om betrouwbaarheid, veiligheid, betaalbaarheid, duurzaamheid en goede ruimtelijke inpassing.
Meer hierover kunt u lezen op https://www.rathenau.nl/nl/digitale-samenleving/beter-beslissen-over-datacentra.
Foto bij bericht: Shutterstock
The Creative Industry Program's main objective is to enhance creative skills in all segments of the industry, stimulating the emergence of new business opportunities, in addition to offering business representation, professional education and technology for various creative sectors.
The Program works in the development of industries through forums, and through the articulation of a network that includes universities, development agencies, government and private initiative, and creative networks. Internationally, the Creative Industry Program is a reference for countries and international organizations.
Based on the needs and opportunities identified in the economic context, the Program works to develop innovative skills, in order to create a favorable environment for business.
The Creative Industry Program seeks to develop the potential of creative entrepreneurship networks, in addition to promoting distribution through communication channels.
to know more
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
On the 25 and 26st of November the Amsterdam Smart City network worked together to tackle big wicked problems that exist in the region. But is it even possible to tackle wicked problems? In a masterclass on the first day, initiated by the ASC wicked problems team, Marije Poel (HvA) and Nora van der Linden (Kennisland) tried to change the perspective: what if we aim to navigate wickedness together?
While we work on big and complex issues like the energy transition or the digital transition, we try to get a grip on problems and come up with a structured plan or linear project. But that approach is not always in line with reality, where we struggle with complex, unstructured and undefined messiness. In this masterclass, we shared a perspective on the character of wicked problems and on the consequences of working on these kind of challenges. Most of the participants recognised the reflexes we have, trying to master or control a wicked problem and come up with a concrete solution.
To give some perspective on how to deal with wickedness, we presented some overall strategies on navigating in wickedness. We suggested to make room for little mistakes (to prevent big ones), invite different perspectives and voices to the table, to be adaptive all along the way, and create time and space for reflection and learning.
The Wicked problems team got positive feed back on the workshop, leading to the idea next time we might dive a bit deeper into this topic and try to apply one or more concrete approaches and tools to navigate around wickedness.
We continue learning and sharing learnings about wickedness in the ASC network. Therefore we are open to work with wicked cases. So, Is your organization a partner of Amsterdam Smart City and do you deal with wicked problems? Let the Wicked Problems know and find out if we can inspire you and find innovative ways to navigate through them together. You can contact Francien who is coordinating this team from the Amsterdam Smart City Baseteam.
In the Wicked problems team are: Dave van Loon (Kennisland), Christiaan Elings (RHDHV), Gijs Diercks (Drift), Giovanni Stijnen (NEMO), Bas Wolfswinkel (Arcadis) en Marije Poel (HvA).
The fourth edition in the series Better cities. The Contribution of Digital Technology is about “digital social innovations” and contains ample examples of how people are finding new ways to use digital means to help society thrive and save the environment.
Digitale sociale innovatie – also referred to as smart city 3.0 – is a modest counterweight to the growing dominance and yet lagging promises of 'Big Tech'. It concerns "a type of social and collaborative innovation in which final users and communities collaborate through digital platforms to produce solutions for a wide range of social needs and at a scale that was unimaginable before the rise of Internet-enabled networking platforms."
Digital innovation in Europe has been boosted by the EU project Growing a digital social Innovation ecosystem for Europa (2015 – 2020), in which De Waag Society in Amsterdam participated for the Netherlands. One of the achievements is a database of more than 3000 organizations and companies. It is a pity that this database is no longer kept up to date after the project has expired and – as I have experienced – quickly loses its accuracy.
Many organizations and projects have interconnections, usually around a 'hub'. In addition to the Waag Society, these are for Europe, Nesta, Fondazione Mondo Digitale and the Institute for Network Cultures. These four organizations are also advisors for new projects. Important websites are: digitalsocial.eu(no longer maintained) and the more business-oriented techforgood.
A diversity of perspectives
To get to know the field of digital innovation better, different angles can be used:
• Attention to a diversity of issues such as energy and climate, air and noise pollution, health care and welfare, economy and work, migration, political involvement, affordable housing, social cohesion, education and skills.
• The multitude of tools ranging from open hardware kits for measuring air pollution, devices for recycling plastic, 3D printers, open data, open hardware and open knowledge. Furthermore, social media, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, big data, machine learning et cetera.
• The variety of project types: Web services, networks, hardware, research, consultancy, campaigns and events, courses and training, education, and research.
• The diverse nature of the organizations involved: NGOs, not-for-profit organizations, citizens' initiatives, educational and research institutions, municipalities and increasingly social enterprises.
Below, these four perspectives are only discussed indirectly via the selected examples. The emphasis is on a fifth angle, namely the diversity of objectives of the organizations and projects involved. At the end of this article, I will consider how municipalities can stimulate digital social innovation. But I start with the question of what the organizations involved have in common.
A common denominator
A number of organizations drew up the Manifesto for Digital Social Innovation in 2017 and identified central values for digital social innovation: Openness and transparency, democracy and decentralization, experimentation and adoption, digital skills, multidisciplinary and sustainability. These give meaning to the three components of the concept of digital social technology:
The multitude of themes of projects in the field of digital social innovation has already been mentioned. Within all these themes, the perspective of social inequality, diversity, human dignity, and gender are playing an important role. In urban planning applications, this partly shifts the focus from the physical environment to the social environment: We're pivoting from a focus on technology and IoT and data to a much more human-centered process, in the words of Emily Yates, smart cities director of Philadelphia.
Ben Green writes in his book 'The smart enough city': One of the smart city's greatest and most pernicious tricks is that it .... puts innovation on a pedestal by devaluing traditional practices as emblematic of the undesirable dumb city.(p. 142). In digital social, innovation rather refers to implement, experiment, improve and reassemble.
Technology is not a neutral toolbox that can be used or misused for all purposes. Again Ben Green: We must ask, what forms of technology are compatible with the kind of society we want to build (p. 99). Current technologies have been shaped by commercial or military objectives. Technologies that contribute to 'the common good' still need to be partly developed. Supporters of digital social innovation emphasize the importance of a robust European open, universal, distributed, privacy-aware and neutral peer-to-peer network as a platform for all forms of digital social innovation.
Objectives and focus
When it comes to the objective or focus, five types of projects can be distinguished: (1) New production techniques (2) participation (3) cooperation (4 raising awareness and (5) striving for open access.
1. New production techniques
A growing group of 'makers' is revolutionizing open design. 3D production tools CAD/CAM software is not expensive or available in fab labs and libraries. Waag Society in Amsterdam is one of the many institutions that host a fab lab. This is used, among other things, to develop several digital social innovations. One example was a $50 3D-printed prosthesis intended for use in developing countries.
Digital technology can allow citizens to participate in decision-making processes on a large scale. In Finland, citizens are allowed to submit proposals to parliament. Open Ministry supports citizens in making an admissible proposal and furthermore in obtaining the minimum required 50,000 votes. Open Ministry is now part of the European D-CENTproject a decentralized social networking platform that has developed tools for large-scale collaboration and decision making across Europe.
It is about enabling people to exchange skills, knowledge, food, clothing, housing, but also includes new forms of crowdfunding and financing based on reputation and trust. The sharing economy is becoming an important economic factor. Thousands of alternative payment methods are also in use worldwide. In East Africa, M-PESA (a mobile financial payment system) opens access to secure financial services for nine million people. Goteo is a social network for crowdfunding and collaborative collaboration that contribute to the common good.
These are tools that seek to use information to change behavior and mobilize collective action. Tyze is a closed and online community for family, friends, neighbors, and care professionals to strengthen mutual involvement around a client and to make appointments, for example for a visit. Safecast is the name of a home-built Geiger counter with which a worldwide community performs radiation measurements and thus helps to increase awareness in radiation and (soon) the presence of particulate matter.
5. Open Access
The open access movement (including open content, standards, licenses, knowledge and digital rights) aims to empower citizens. The CityService Development Kit (CitySDK) is a system that collects open data from governments to make it available uniformly and in real time. CitySDK helps seven European cities to release their data and provides tools to develop digital services. It also helps cities to anticipate the ever-expanding technological possibilities, for example a map showing all 9,866,539 buildings in the Netherlands, shaded by year of construction. Github is a collaborative platform for millions of open software developers, helping to re-decentralize the way code is built, shared, and maintained.
Cities can support organizations pursuing digital social innovations in tackling problems in many ways. Municipalities that want to do this can benefit from the extensive list of examples in the Digital Social Innovation Ideas Bank, An inspirational resource for local governments.
Direct support through subsidies, buying shares, loans, social impact bonds, but also competitions and matching, whereby the municipality doubles the capital obtained by the organization, for example through crowdfunding. An example of a project financed by the municipality is Amsterdammers, maak je stad.
Involvement in a project, varying from joint responsibility and cost sharing, to material support by making available space and service s, such as in the case Maker Fairs or the Unusual Suspects Festival. Maker Fairs or the Unusual Suspects Festival. Municipalities can also set up and support a project together, such as Cities for Digital Rights. A good example is the hundreds of commons in Bologna, to which the municipality delegates part of its tasks.
Digital social innovation projects have provided a very wide range of useful software in many areas, including improving communication with citizens and their involvement in policy. Consul was first used in Madrid but has made its way to 33 countries and more than 100 cities and businesses and is used by more than 90 million people. In many cases there is also local supply. An alternative is Citizenlab.
Municipalities should seriously consider setting up or supporting a fab lab. Fab Foundation is helpful in this regard. Another example is the Things Network and the Smart citizen kit.. Both are open tools that enable citizens and entrepreneurs to build an IoT application at low cost. These facilities can also be used to measure noise nuisance, light pollution, or odors with citizens in a neighborhood, without having to install an expensive sensor network.
Municipalities can offer citizens and students targeted programs for training digital skills, or support organizations that can implement them, through a combination of physical and digital means. One of the options is the lie detector program, developed by a non-profit organization that teaches young children to recognize and resist manipulative information on (social) media.
Incubators and accelerators
We mainly find these types of organizations in the world of start-ups, some of which also have a social impact. Targeted guidance programs are also available for young DSI organizations. In the Netherlands this is the Waag Society in Amsterdam. A typical tech for good incubator in the UK is Bethnal Green Ventures. An organization that has also helped the Dutch company Fairphone to grow. In the Netherlands, various startup in residence programs also play a role in the development of DSI organisations.
A digital-social innovative moonshot to gross human happiness
It is sometimes necessary to think ahead and wake up policymakers, putting aside the question of implementation for a while. A good example of this from a digital social innovation perspective is the moonshot that Jan-Willem Wesselink (Future City Foundation), Petra Claessen (BTG/TGG). Michiel van Willigen and Wim Willems (G40) and Leonie van den Beuken (Amsterdam Smart City) have written in the context of 'Missie Nederland' of de Volkskrant. Many DSI organizations can get started with this piece! I'll end with the main points of this:
… not a single Dutch person is digitally literate anymore, instead every Dutch person is digitally skilled.
… every resident of the Netherlands has access to high-quality internet. This means that every home will be connected to fast fixed and mobile internet and every household will be able to purchase devices that allow access. A good laptop is just as important as a good fridge.
… the internet is being used in a new way. Applications (software and hardware) are created from within the users. With the premise that anyone can use them. Programs and the necessary algorithms are written in such a way that they serve society and not the big-tech business community.
… every resident of the Netherlands has a 'self-sovereign identity' with which they can operate and act digitally within the context of their own opportunities.
… new technology has been developed that gives residents and companies the opportunity to think along and decide about and to co-develop and act on the well-being of regions, cities, and villages.
… all Dutch politicians understand digitization and technology.
… the Dutch business community is leading in the development of these solutions.
… all this leads to more well-being and not just more prosperity.
… the internet is ours again.
A more detailed explanation can be found under this link
This post is about the rise of the smart city movement, the different forms it has taken and what its future can be. It is the third edition of the series Better cities: The role of digital technologies.
The term smart cities shows up in the last decade of the 20th century. Most definitions refer to the use of (digital) technology as a tool for empowering cities and citizens, and a key to fuel economic growth and to attract investments. Some observants will add as an instrument to generate large profits.
Barcelona, Ottawa, Brisbane, Amsterdam, Kyoto, and Bangalore belong to the forerunners of cities that flagged themselves as ‘smart’. In 2013 approximately 143 ‘self-appointed’ smart cities existed worldwide. To date, this number has exploded over more than 1000.
Five smart city tales
In their article Smart Cities as Company Story telling Ola Söderström et al. document how technology companies crafted the smart city as a fictional story that framed the problems of cities in a way these companies can offer to solve. Over time, the story has multiplied, resulting in what I have called the Smart city tales, a series of narratives used by companies and city representatives. I will address with five dominant ones below: The connected city, the entrepreneurial city, the data-driven city, the digital services city and the consumers’ city.
The connected city
On November 4th 2011, the trademark smarter cities was officially registered as belonging to IBM. It marked a period in which this company became the leader of the smart city technology market. Other companies followed fast, attracted by an expected growth of this market by 20% per year from over $300bn in 2015 to over $750bn to date. In the IBM vision cities are systems of systems: Planning and management services, infrastructural services and human services, each to be differentiated further, to be over-sighted and controlled from one central point, such as the iconic control center that IBM has build in Rio de Janeiro (photo above). All systems can be characterized by three 'I's, which are the hard core of any smart city: Being instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.
The corporate smart city
In many cities in the world, emerging and developing countries in the first place, administrators dream about building smart towns from scratch. They envisioned being 'smart' as a major marketing tool for new business development.
Cisco and Gale, an international property development company, became the developers of New Songdo in South Korea. New Songdo was in the first place meant to become a giant business park and to enable a decent corporate lifestyle and business experience for people from abroad on the first place, offering houses filled with technical gadgets, attractive parks, full-featured office space, outstanding connectivity and accessibility.
Quite some other countries took comparable initiatives in order to attract foreign capital and experts to boost economic growth. For example, India, that has planned to build 100 smart cities.
The data driven city
The third narrative is fueled by the collection and refined analyses of data that technology companies ‘tap’ for commercial reasons from citizens’ Internet and mobile phones communication. Google was the first to discover the unlimited opportunities of integrating its huge knowledge of consumer behavior with city data. Sidewalk Labs - legally operating under the umbrella of Alphabet - responded to an open call for a proposal for redevelopment of Quayside, brownfield land around Toronto's old port, and won the competition. Its plans were on par with contemporary urbanist thinking. However, that was not Sidewalk Labs’ first motive. Instead, its interest was ‘ubiquitous sensing’ of city life’, to expand Google’s already massive collection of personalized profiles with real-time geotagged knowledge of where people are, what they are whishing or doing in order to provide them with commercial information.
As could be expected, privacy issues dominated the discussion over the urbanist merits of the plan and most observers believe that therefore the company put the plug out of the project in May 2020. The official reason was investors’ restraint, due to Covid-19.
The consumers’ smart city
The fourth narrative is focusing on rise of urban tech targeted on consumers. Amazon, Uber and Airbnb are forerunners disrupting traditional sectors like retail, taxi and hotel business. They introduced a platform approach that nearly decimated the middleclass in in the US. Others followed, such as bike- and scooter-sharing companies Bird and Lyme, co-working companies like We Work and meal delivery services like Delivero.
City tech embodies the influence of entrepreneurship backed by venture capitalists and at the same time the necessity for city governments to establish a democratic legitimized framework to manage these initiatives.
The smart services city
Thanks to numerous ‘apps’, cities started to offer a wealth of information and services to citizens concerning employment, housing, administration, mobility, health, security and utilities. These apps enable city administrators, transit authorities, utility services and many others to inform citizens better than before. With these apps, citizens also can raise questions or make a request to repair broken street furniture.
Some cities, for instance Barcelona and Madrid, started to use digital technologies to increase public engagement, or to give people a voice in decision making or budgeting.
All aforementioned narratives suggest a tight link between technology and the wellbeing of citizens, symbolizing a new kind of technology-led urban utopia. In essence, each narrative puts available technology in the center and looks for an acceptable rationale to put it into the market. The fifth one witnesses an upcoming change into a more human-centric direction.
An upcoming techlash or a second wave of smart cities
It is unmistakably that business leaders, having in mind a multi-billion smart city technologies-market overstate the proven benefits of technology. Garbage containers with built-in sensors and adaptive street lighting are not that great after all, and the sensors appearing everywhere raise many questions. According to The Economist, it is not surprising that a techlash is underway. As I accentuated in last week’s post, politicians are becoming more critical regarding behemoths like Google, Amazon and Facebook, because of their treatment of sensitive data, their lack of transparency of algorithm-based decision making, their profits and tax evasion and the gig economy in general. Skepticism within the general public is increasing too.
Nevertheless, a second wave of smart cities is upcoming. The first wave lacked openess for the ethics of urban technology and the governance of urban development. The second wave excels in ethical considerations and intentions to preserve privacy. Intentions alone are insufficient, politics will also have to break the monopolies of Big Tech
Besides, in order to gain trust in the general public, city governors must discuss the city’s real challenges with residents, (knowledge) institutions, and other stakeholder before committing to whatever technology. Governance comes prior to technology. As Francesca Bria, former chief technology officer of Barcelona said: We are reversing the smart city paradigm. Instead of starting from technology and extracting all the data we can before thinking about how to use it, we started aligning the tech agenda with the agenda of the city.
Apart from Barcelona, this also happens in cities such as Amsterdam, Boston, Portland and the Polish city of Lublin. The question is no longer which problems technology is going to solve, but which exactly are these problems, who is trusted to define them, which are their causes, whose intersts are involved, who is most affected, and which ones must be solved most urgently. Only after answering these questions, the discussion can be extended to the contribution of (digital) technology. In a next contribution, I explore digital social innovation, as a contribution to a revised smart city concept.
This post is a brief summary of my article Humane by choice. Smart by default: 39 building blocks for cities in the future. Published in the Journal of the American Institution of Engineers and Technology, June 2020. You will fine a copy of this article below:
The Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht Universities of Applied Sciences have received a SPRONG grant from Regieorgaan-SIA, with which they - together with 24 partners from the field - can build an infrastructure for a powerful research group. A group that is regionally and nationally recognised as the centre for practice-based research in the field of Responsible Applied AI.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is developing rapidly with far-reaching consequences for the whole of society (all sectors, professions and citizens). Although AI offers new opportunities for institutions and (SME) companies, there are also many questions.
For example, there is a demand for research methods to meaningfully implement AI technology in a specific context (e.g. retail and care), taking into account the user and other stakeholders. There are also questions about the design process of AI solutions: how can you take ethical and social issues into account?
METHODOLOGY FOR RESPONSIBLE APPLIED AI
Current AI research is mostly fundamental and focused on technology. As such, it hardly provides answers to the questions mentioned above. The three universities of applied sciences in the SPRONG group conduct practice-oriented research into responsible AI solutions for companies and institutions. With these research experiences and results, the SPRONG group aims to develop a Responsible Applied AI methodology that helps to design, develop and implement responsible AI solutions.
CO-CREATION IN HYBRID LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
To develop this methodology, knowledge building and sharing is needed, which the universities of applied sciences develop together with companies and organisations. The starting point of the project is the development of three hybrid learning environments around the application areas of retail, business services and media. AI developers, problem owners, end users, researchers and students work together in these environments.
The goal is to develop practical tools, instruments, education and training from the learning environment that can be widely used for the application of AI in the relevant sector. Each learning environment is linked to specific courses of the participating universities and practical partners who contribute to the programme. During the SPRONG programme, the number of application areas will be expanded and, where possible, scaled up nationally.
A central supporting infrastructure will be developed, including processes and facilities for data management and strategic human resource management, an IT infrastructure, training courses and an impact model.
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Distributed Ledger Technologies have a lot of potential "as a visible tool that improves the lives of citizens and their communities" and the focus should be on the concrete problems that the public sector faces in delivering services to citizens
“You’re going to have to say, it improves mobility, it improves the fight against climate change, affordable housing, a better city, better participation. It’s not going to be about DLTs.” - Francesca Bria, president of the Italian National Innovation Fund
Metabolic concluded the DLT4EU program in May with the goal to drive innovation in the public sector by connecting the expertise of top-notch entrepreneurs with real-world problems, to create new solutions.
Learn more from the link below.
Serious gaming is een mooi hulpmiddel voor samenwerking en
besluitvorming in de energietransitie. In de afgelopen jaren hebben we
voorbeelden gezien van spellen die complexe vragen begrijpelijk kunnen maken. Neem bijvoorbeeld de HEAT tool van Alliander, het WE-Energy spel van de Hanzehogeschool Groningen, de sustainability DNA game van de Ceuvel, het Klimaatspel Plan Zuid van de Gemeente Amsterdam en het participatiespel van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Stuk voor stuk interessante serious games die ingewikkelde processen van verduurzamingsopgaven eenvoudiger maken.
De Hogeschool van Amsterdam en Amsterdam Smart City zoeken samen hoe we de meerwaarde van serious gaming voor energieprojecten kunnen verhogen. Enerzijds omdat we ons afvragen of de potentie wel volledig wordt benut. Anderzijds omdat opvalt dat structurele toepassing, of op grotere schaal, uitblijft. De zoektocht staat nog ver aan het begin, maar we gaan graag met anderen hierover in gesprek. En daarom vragen we jou om met ons mee te denken.
Voor wie zijn serious games?
Serious games zijn er genoeg, maar ze verschillen in de inhoudelijke focus, schaalniveau en doelgroep. Sommigen gaan uitsluitend over energie, anderen ook om andere aspecten van gebiedsontwikkeling. Daarbinnen kan het gaan over een hele regio of een bepaalde buurt. Omdat de energietransitie gaat om multistakeholder samenwerking, hebben meerdere doelgroepen baat bij het spelen van een serious game over dit onderwerp. Denk aan beleidsmakers en (nuts)bedrijven, die bijvoorbeeld moeten samenwerken om een warmtenet te realiseren.
Een doelgroep die hier niet kan ontbreken is natuurlijk de bewoner. Voor hen lijkt de toegevoegde waarde van serious games nog wel het grootst. Juist vanwege de laagdrempeligheid van een serious game is het bij uitstek een middel om mensen te helpen complexe informatie te begrijpen. Hoe meer je speelt, hoe beter je het begrijpt. En het begrijpen van een onderwerp is een belangrijke voorwaarde om mee te kunnen denken, praten en besluiten over een onderwerp. Een belangrijke reden om dit soort spellen extra serieus te nemen. Bovendien biedt een spel de mogelijkheid om gelijkwaardig met elkaar in gesprek te gaan. Verschillen in sociaaleconomische status zijn eigenlijk niet van belang. Sterker nog, spellen bieden juist gelegenheid om in elkaars schoenen te staan. Het helpt om elkaars perspectieven te begrijpen, of je nu bij de gemeente werkt, bij een netbeheerder, een woningcorporatie, of je huurder bent of woningeigenaar. Zo zijn er nog wel meer voordelen te benoemen. Voordelen die ook kunnen gelden voor andere transities dan de energietransitie.
In de praktijk lijken we deze voordelen niet voldoende te benutten. Serious gaming voor de energietransitie is weliswaar op verschillende plekken ontwikkeld, maar in beperkte mate, en niet structureel toegepast. Daar komt bij dat we er ook weinig van weten. Welke spelmechanismes werken en welke niet? Wanneer zet je zo’n spel het beste in? Bij het ophalen van ideeën, de daadwerkelijke besluitvorming, of ook in de evaluatie? Zijn er eigenlijk ook risico’s? Zijn er redenen om serious gaming absoluut niet te willen gebruiken in het energieneutraal maken van wijken?
En dan nu de vraag aan jou!
Om de zoektocht kracht bij te zetten vraag ik namens Amsterdam Smart City onze community om hulp. Hoe kijk jij aan tegen serious gaming als middel om te werken aan transitieopgaven? Zie je de toegevoegde waarde van zo’n game voor buurtparticipatie? En van welke voorbeelden zouden we moeten leren – of wellicht als netwerk moeten door ontwikkelen?
We zijn benieuwd naar je ervaringen! Laat je reactie achter in de comments!
Mission-driven ventures are a big part of the transition towards a circular economy. However, unlike conventional startups, these ventures face an important challenge: how can they prioritize purpose over profit, while also overcoming the hurdles of venture-building?
Part of the answer lies in rethinking ownership, to welcome investment without compromising long-term impact. Metabolic has recently written an article explaining the concept of "steward ownership" and we'd love to hear your thoughts!
More of a webinar person? Take a look at this Fresh Talk instead: https://lnkd.in/dNJDXVSY
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