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The world in transition. From fossil to sustainable or from waste to raw materials, to name some. Amsterdam Smart City is working on better streets, neighbourhoods and cities for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, focusing on four transitions: Mobility, Energy, Circular Economy and Digital City. We don’t do this alone, but together. What is the role of Amsterdam Smart City in these transitions? How do we ensure better streets, neighbourhoods and cities?
A world in transition requires an independent place where changemakers can meet, enter into dialogue and collaborate. A place where companies, knowledge institutions, governments and societal organisations come together to work on the city and region of the future. And that's our place. We are that open and safe space for collaboration and innovation, and we are always trying to encourage this even further. We do this together with our partners and community using a number of instruments. We regularly highlight one of these instruments on our platform: the Demo Days. But there are more, and one of the most important will take place soon: The Transition Days (Dutch: De Transitiedagen).
The Transition Days are annual events that take place in the autumn. The Amsterdam Smart City core team organizes this for and together with the partners. This is the moment for the partners of Amsterdam Smart City to share with each other on which issues and ambitions they will focus in the coming year. Can common ground be found and which coalitions can be made? You cannot work on a transition alone, which is why it is important to find parties with whom you can tackle these issues together. We create the connections between parties to ensure that innovation can take place.
The Transition Days 2021 will take place on 25 and 26 November.
These two days will be all about previous results, ambitions for the future and new connections. Under the guidance of our partner RoyanHaskoningDHV, the Amsterdam Smart City team enriched by masterclasses devised by the network, our partners are provided with enough inspiration and energy to turn their questions into successful collaborations. Which will lead to the improvement of the streets and neighbourhoods in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
Due to the pandemic, the Transition Days 2020 took place online. A selection of the questions that were brought in then:
- How do we keep the more conscious mobility choices post-corona?
- The maximum reuse of items and materials at circular waste points.
- Scaling Government as a Platform (GaaP)
- Zero Emission Mobility in Hubs
You can read exactly what these issues entail in our report.
Ever wondered what life would look like in a sustainable, regenerative city?
With cities occupying only 3% of the global land surface but contributing to 70% of emissions, positive change can have a big impact. Metabolic CEO Eva Gladek reflected on how we can all become city makers. In light of COP26, it might be time to refocus on our cities.
Ready to take action? Find out how in the link below.
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 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is an initiative of the European Commission (EC) supporting municipalities in adopting new technologies to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild their economies while steering them in the direction of green, smart and sustainable growth. The focus is on supporting mid-size and smaller municipalities with improving the quality of life for citizens and business competitiveness.
Throughout the 2.5 year challenge, a series of five City Labs bring together ICC cities and stakeholders with the following objectives:
1. Inspire with state-of-the-art re-thinking of the city of the future and its role amidst new climate change and digital growth ambitions;
2. Peer-to-peer review of ICC core cities’ implementation plans;
3. Present initiatives which entered the phase of implementation and exchange of views on maximising impact;
4. Provide opportunities to explore the possibility of collaboration between cities with an interest in developing joint solutions;
5. Allow the exchange of knowledge between city teams during interactive thematic sessions;
6. Provide transversal support on access to finance, public procurement, and open data.
The 4th ICC City lab will kick off on November 30th with public sessions on up-skilling-and re-skilling open both to the ICC community and external participants.
As ICC mentor, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, will contribute to a Thematic Workshop on Green Economy and Local Green Deals on Wednesday, December 1st. During the workshop, Yolanda Schmal, policy advisor at the Province of North Holland will share best practices and current initiatives for accelerating the circular economy on a regional scale, with focus on plastics.
The full program and registration is available via: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/events/4th-icc-city-lab
<font ><font >SHARE Meets gaat dit keer over Healthy Urban Living & Working. Van lang, gezond, vitaal, sociaal en zelfstandig samenleven. Rode draad tijdens deze ondernemersbijeenkomst zijn Landgoed Wickevoort en een proef met geluidadaptief bouwen op Schiphol Trade Park. Landgoed Wickevoort is een nieuw duurzaam woongebied in het historische dijkdorp Cruquius. Centraal staat 'Gezond Stedelijk wonen & werken': gezond, vitaal en sociaal samenleven. Hoe maakt ontwikkelaar AM dit waar? Bram Breedveld van Landlab vertelt welke klimaatadaptieve maatregelen zijn meegenomen voor minder hittestress, regenbestendigheid en meer natuur. Verder komen de nieuwe stadsboeren Martin Verzijden en zus Ada de Graaff-Verzijden van Wickevoort aan het woord. </font></font>
<font ><font >Schiphol</font></font> <font ><font >Rabobank</font></font> <font ><font >SADC NV</font></font> <font ><font >Schenk Makelaars BV</font></font> <font ><font >Dura Vermeer</font></font>
Op 9 december organiseren het Responsible Sensing Lab (Gemeente Amsterdam en AMS) en Amsterdam Smart City de derde inhoudelijke sessie van Responsible Drones.
Responsible Drones is een verkennend en ontwerpend onderzoek naar de verantwoorde inzet van drones in de stad. We vinden het belangrijk om te onderzoeken hoe we deze op een verantwoorde manier gebruiken.
Dit keer staat de vraag ‘Hoe komen we tot de juiste spelregels?’ centraal.
Een uitdaging bij de discussie over drones is dat veel toepassingen klinken als toekomstmuziek. Hierdoor blijft het gesprek over deze technologie snel steken in abstracties. Intussen staat Amsterdam wel in de schijnwerpers
van de drone-industrie en staan bedrijven te trappelen om hier te mogen vliegen. Dit gaat het beeld van de publieke ruimte aanzienlijk veranderen. Het is daarom goed als we duidelijke spelregels hebben voor het verantwoord gebruik van drones in de stad.
Wat is de rol van de gemeente hierin, aangezien wet- en regelgeving voornamelijk Europees is? Welke partijen met bevoegdheden moeten we betrekken? Hoe betrekken we de quadruple helix, wat is hun rol en wat is er nodig om een gevoel van urgentie bij hen te genereren? Wat is er nodig om de abstractie weg te halen?
Wanneer: donderdag 18 november, 14.00 - 15.30 uur
We hebben persoonlijke uitnodigingen gestuurd, maar willen ook ruimte bieden aan onze community. Laat me hieronder even weten als je erbij wil zijn, wellicht hebben we nog plekken beschikbaar!
Resultaat Responsible Drones
Op 28 oktober en 18 november hebben we goede discussies gehad over proportionaliteit en transparantie en communicatie over drones. Op basis van al deze sessies zullen we adviezen over verantwoord dronegebruik en vervolgonderzoek opstellen. Deze resultaten presenteren we op de Amsterdam Drone Week in januari 2022.
Join us at the EIT Climate-KIC Sustainable Shared Mobility (SuSMo) closing webinar on the 7th of December 14:00 - 16:00 to find out how to introduce shared mobility in your city and learn from the experiences from European frontrunners.
The SuSMo partners will present learning material and guidelines for introducing, managing and regulating shared mobility in cities. In addition to the SuSMo partners we introduce speakers from CROW and autodelen.net. CROW will present their car sharing toolkit for Dutch municipalities while autodelen.net will discuss best practices from car sharing in Belgium. See the attached agenda for the full list of speakers and topics.
You do not want to miss this webinar!
Please register here: https://tinyurl.com/SuSMoWebinar
We look forward to meeting you online!
Wandel op 12 december mee langs de digitale sporen in Amsterdam en ga in gesprek over data, sensoren, en camera’s in de openbare ruimte. Kan een stad slim zijn of moeten we juist inzetten op slimme burger; smart citizens?
Wat wordt er aan data verzameld en wat gebeurt daarmee? Kun je je nog onbespied wanen in de publieke ruimte van mijn stad? Hoe ziet de ideale digitale stad van de toekomst er volgens jou uit?
Ooit bestond de stad uit bakstenen en staal, gebouwen en wegen. Maar steeds meer is deze infrastructuur vervlochten met een digitaal netwerk dat alles verbindt. Deze digitale sporen vind je overal. Ze helpen ons de stad en haar inwoners steeds verder in kaart te brengen. Tijdens de smart citizen-wandeling kom je deze sporen tegen. Van slimme bewegwijzering die ons leidt, tot camera’s die ons volgen. Je gaat in gesprek over de relatie van bewoners met de technologie in de stad en wordt uitgedaagd je aannames te bevragen en toekomstideëen te delen.
Wanneer: 12 December
Starttijden: 14:00 uur en 15:00 uur
Startpunt: Amsterdam CS, IJ-zijde West
Nodig: goede schoenen, opgeladen telefoon, flesje water
Afstand en duur wandeling: Amsterdam: 5,3 km - 1 uur en drie kwartier
Bij het startpunt van de wandeling krijg je informatie over de wandeling en ontvang je een wandelpakket met een routekaart en gespreksmateriaal voor tijdens de wandeling. We starten gezamenlijk, daarna wandel je in kleine groepjes, met max 4 mensen. Bij het eindpunt word je ontvangen met koffie en thee. Je kunt je aanmelden met vrienden, of meewandelen met iemand die je nog niet kent en je laten verrassen!
Manon den Dunnen is the Dutch police force’s strategic specialist on digital transformation and co-organiser of the IoT Sensemakers Community.
“The IoT Sensemakers Community has over 7,000 members worldwide. Our members share knowledge and experiences about Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and AI. IoT plays an important role in the smart city, as sensors are often used to make the city smarter. We believe you should do this in a responsible manner.”
“In the offline world, we fight discrimination and exclusion, but digital solutions introduce new forms of discrimination and exclusion that undermine our constitutional values. This may be caused by poorly chosen sensors (check out this viral video of the ‘racist soap dispenser’), the algorithms used in ‘smart’ applications or by data being unnecessarily collected and stored.”
“Sensemakers joined forces with Waag, Sensing Clues, Ombudsman Metropool Amsterdam and the City of Amsterdam to use sound sensors to analyse the noise nuisance in the city centre. At Marineterrein, a test area for creating liveable cities, we are now testing a sound sensor that can classify different types of noise. The sensor does not store data, but labels the different types of sound. A few years ago, we also tested sensors for measuring water quality, and we’re still testing indoor air quality.”
Tinkering with technology
“Every first Wednesday evening of the month, we meet at the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) Makerspace to tinker with technology. People can work on their own projects and discuss their ideas with the likeminded, but they can also start learning with Arduino or 3Dprinting. We also organise lectures, for example with Schiphol Real Estate about smart buildings and with designer Anouk Wipprecht about robotic wearables like her Spider Dress. In January we’ll have interesting speakers making sense of the Metaverse, the latest hype, or isn’t it…?”
“We just celebrated our 10th anniversary and are working on a lot of fun little projects. I really love the diversity and creativity. Recently, someone built an insect recogniser. We had an older volunteer in a care institution who wanted to program games for the elderly on a care robot. That evening, a teenage boy came to learn how to build a robot car. They were helping each other. I love that serendipity.”
“A lot of technology is supplier-driven. But as a society—as buyers of these solutions—we are insufficiently trained to ask the right questions to truly assess this new technology and its long-term risks. We sometimes even forget to critically analyse the problem we’re dealing with, overlooking obvious low-tech or no-tech solutions. With my work for Sensemakers, I hope that we all become more critical and have a network we can consult.”
If you’d like to get in touch with Manon, you can find her on this platform.
This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like to show up in the series? Drop us a message!
Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk
Een groene en gezonde wereld begint in je eigen stad. Nergens in Nederland bouwen ondernemers en bewoners van zo dichtbij mee als in Almere. Verhalen van deze bewogen Almeerders hoor je in de podcast ‘Groen en Gezond Almere’.
Het is alweer tijd voor het derde seizoen, waarin Floriade Expo 2022 centraal staat, want die staat voor de deur! Het gebied rondom het Weerwater staat in de steigers, de groene loper wordt door de stad uitgerold. Maar wat houdt de Floriade nou precies in? En nog belangrijker: Wat blijft er allemaal over ná het evenement? De podcast wordt gepresenteerd door Kookboekenschrijfster, TV-kok en vooral betrokken Almeerder Nadia Zerouali. Nadia bespreekt de fysieke impact van de Floriade Expo op onze stad en spreekt met gebiedsontwikkelaars, energieleveranciers, bruggenbouwers en landschapsarchitecten.
Groen en Gezond Almere is het programma van de gemeente Almere waar jij mee kan bouwen aan de groene stad van de toekomst. Een groene en gezonde stad bouw je namelijk niet alleen, maar samen. Het platform laat lokale Almeerse initiatieven en projecten zien die de stad verduurzamen en klaarmaken voor de toekomst. Een inspirerend palet aan stadsmakers!
MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF IMPACT ENTREPRENEURS
Get inspired by early-stage impact entrepreneurs during the Pitch Event of the Impact Hub Business Model Challenge #21! These ambitious entrepreneurs will share their business cases with an audience of Impact Hub members, experts and potential partners.
And you are invited! After every pitch, you can support the entrepreneurs with their next steps by giving them feedback and providing them with valuable contacts. At the end of the program you will also help to decide, together with our jury, which startup deserves a special prize!
This pitch event will be held online.
This event takes place during the Impact Hub Collaboration Day.
16.00-16.10: Welcome and introduction to BMC
16.10-17.00: Listen to 9 fresh pitches, meet the entrepreneurs here!
17.00-17.15 Keynote by BMC#20 winner: Plant Based Fashion
17.15-17.30: Winner announcement
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL CHALLENGE (BMC)?
In our three-month BMC incubator, we help impact entrepreneurs unlock the potential of their innovative ideas, and turn these ideas for a better world into scalable business models!
The EIT-KIC project CityFlows aims to improve the liveability of crowded pedestrian spaces through the use of Crowd Monitoring Decision Support Systems (CM-DSS) to manage pedestrian flows. Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona are the three CityFlows project test sites where various innovative crowd monitoring techniques will be evaluated in real-life settings. These tests will take place where large crowds meet, such as mass events, tourist spaces and transfer hubs. The CityFlows project also prepares a CM-DSS for market launch which incorporates state-of-the-art monitoring techniques.
One of the goals of the CityFlows project is to build a community of crowd-management researchers and practitioners which supports knowledge sharing between the various stakeholders. To this end, in 2020 we hosted a webinar series focused on knowledge sharing.
Now, we are putting out an open call for crowd-management best practices and are looking to collect international best practices.
Do you have a crowd-management solution or project which you would like to showcase to peers, policy makers and the public?
We invite all stakeholders, including public authorities, companies, start-ups, and knowledge institutions to share their crowd-management innovations and lessons learned.
A selection of the cases will be featured in a “Best Practices for Crowd-management” digital showcase.
Submitting your crowd-management solution / project is possible via this short form by providing answers to the following questions:
- What crowd-management technologies were deployed in the project?
- How did you turn data into actionable information? What key insights were gained from the project and how did this help improve managing crowds?
- How did you deal with privacy and other ethical challenges in your project?
- What were the main challenges encountered and how did you overcome them?
- What are the most important transferable lessons learned (positive or negative) from the project? What can other cities / stakeholders learn from this experience?
Please complete submission by 18:00 on Friday, December 10th.
For questions and more information about this call for solutions please contact:
This post is about the omnipotence of Big Tech. So far, resistance mainly results in regulation of its effects. The core of the problem, the monopoly position of the technology giants, is only marginally touched. What is needed is a strict antitrust policy and a government that once again takes a leading role in setting the technology agenda.
A cause of concern
In its recent report, the Dutch Rathenau Institute calls the state of digital technology a cause for concern. The institute advocates a fair data economy and a robust, secure and available Internet for everyone. This is not the case now. In fact, we are getting further and further away from this. The risks are pressing more each day: Inscrutable algorithms, deepfakes and political micro-targeting, inner-city devastation through online shopping, theft of trade secrets, unbridled data collection by Google, Amazon and Facebook, poorly paid taxi drivers by Uber and other service providers of the gig economy, the effect of Airbnb on the hotel industry and the energy consumption of bitcoin and blockchain.
The limits of legislation
Numerous publications are calling on the government to put an end to the growing abuse of digital technology. In his must read 'the New Digital Deal' Bas Boorsma states: In order to deploy digitalization and to manage platforms for the greater good of the individual and society as a whole, new regulatory approaches will be required… (p. 46) . That is also the view of the Rathenau Institute, which lists three spearheads for a digitization strategy: Strong legislative frameworks and supervision, value-based digital innovation based on critical parliamentary debate and a say in this for citizens and professionals.
More than growing inconvenience
In recent years, the European Commission has launched a wide range of legislative proposals, such as the Digital Services Act package, the Digital Market Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, these measures do not get to the kernel of the problem. The near-monopoly position of Big Tech is the proverbial monster behind the curtain. The Rathenau Institute speaks in furtitive terms of "the growing inconvenience" of reliance on American and Chinese tech giants. Even the International Monetary Fund is clearer in stating that the power of Big Tech inhibits innovation and investment and increases income inequality. Due to the power of the big technology companies, society is losing its grip on technology.
To curb the above-mentioned risks, the problem must first be named and measures must then be tailored accordingly. This is done in two recent books, namely Shoshana Zuboff's 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power' (2019) and Cory Doctorow's 'How to destroy surveillance capitalism' (2021). Zuboff describes in detail how Google, Amazon and Facebook collect data with only one goal, to entice citizens to buy goods and services: Big Tech's product is persuasion. The services — social media, search engines, maps, messaging, and more — are delivery systems for persuasion.
Big tech's monopoly
The unprecedented power of Big Tech is a result of the fact that these companies have become almost classic monopolies. Until the 1980s, the US had strict antitrust legislation: the Sherman's act, notorious for big business. Ronald Reagan quickly wiped it out in his years as president, and Margareth Thatcher did the same in the UK, Brian Mulroney in Canada and Helmut Kohl in Germany. While Sherman saw monopolies as a threat to the free market, Reagan believed that government interference threatens the free market. Facebook joins in if it sees itself as a 'natural monopoly': You want to be on a network where your friends are also. But you could also reach your friends if there were more networks that are interoperable. Facebook has used all economic, technical and legal means to combat the latter, including takeover of potential competitors: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
In the early 21st century, there was still a broad belief that emerging digital technology could lead to a better and more networked society. Bas Boorsma: The development of platforms empowered start-ups, small companies and professionals. Many network utopians believed the era of 'creative commons' had arrived and with it, a non-centralized and highly digital form of 'free market egalitarianism' (New Digital Deal, p.52). Nothing has come of this: Digitalization-powered capitalism now possesses a speed, agility and rawness that is unprecedented (New Digital Deal, p.54). Even the startup community is becoming one big R&D lab for Big Tech. Many startups hope to be acquired by one of the tech giants and then cash in on millions. As a result, Big Tech is on its way to acquire a dominant position in urban development, the health sector and education, in addition to the transport sector.
Thanks to its monopoly position, Big Tech can collect unlimited data, even if European legislation imposes restrictions and occasional fines. After all, a lot of data is collected without citizens objecting to it. Mumford had already realized this in 1967: Many consumers see these companies not only as irresistible, but also ultimately beneficial. These two conditions are the germ of what he called the megatechnics bribe.
The only legislation that can break the power of Big Tech is a strong antitrust policy, unbundling the companies, an absolute ban on acquisitions and rigorous taxation.
Technology does not develop autonomously. At the moment, Big Tech is indisputably setting the technology agenda in the Western Hemisphere. China is a different story. With Mariana Mazzocato, I believe that governments should take back control of technological development, as they did until the end of the last century. Consider the role of institutions such as DARPA in the US, the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands. Democratic control is an absolute precondition!
In the chapter 'Digitally just cities' in my e-book 'Cities of the future: Always humane, smart where it helps' (link below), I show, among other things, what Facebook, Amazon and Google could look like after a possible unbundling.
Expertise Day: All the advice you need to AI-ccelerate. For startups, entrepreneurs, aspiring founders. For the AI community!
📝 Subsidies, cloud computing, sales, investment readiness, startup enablement, IP law, hiring, community building, you name it!
🧑🏾💻 👩🏻💻Learn from experts such as Sanin Saracevic from Maestral Solutions, Inc., Maarten Robbers from Ugoo B.V., David Power from EscherCloud, Maurice Beckand Verwee from Curiosity, Kyra Dresen from Volta Ventures, Margriet Larmit from ROM InWest, Holger Seitz from EP&C, Michael Koenka from Koenka & Partners, Oliviana Bailey from Women in AI Netherlands & EscherCloud.
Register your online or offline attendance for any of the sessions.
Vanwege de nieuwe corona-regelgeving houden we op 2 december een online bijeenkomst via Zoom vanaf 16.30 uur. We geven je in korte tijd zoveel mogelijk informatie over hoe het gaat met AMdEX (Amsterdam Data Exchange) en de samenwerking met het Marineterrein. Zij willen de data, afkomstig uit de sensoren op het terrein, delen met geïnteresseerden. Natuurlijk moet dat wel op een manier die veilig en vertrouwd is.
- Welkom en introductie AMdEX – Willem Koeman (Amsterdam Economic Board)
- AMdEX, een vertrouwd grid voor het delen van data – Hayo Schreijer (deXes)
- Marineterrein Sensor Data: AMdEX en het Marineterrein werken samen aan het delen van sensordata – Tom van Arman (Tapp)
- AMdEX beleid – hoe dwing je regels digitaal af rondom het gebruik van (gevoelige) data af? – Thomas van Binsbergen (UvA)
Neem deel aan dit event via Zoom. Je bent welkom op 2 december om 16:30 uur.
AMdEX (Amsterdam Data Exchange) is een open coalitie van bedrijven en onderzoeksinstellingen die samen een open en vertrouwde infrastructuur voor het delen van gegevens ontwerpen en ontwikkelen. De coalitie wil de overgang naar een eerlijke en vertrouwde digitale economie versnellen waarin individuen en organisaties de volledige controle hebben over hun gegevens.
Data: een belofte voor het leven in de stad. Data stellen ons in staat om de grote uitdagingen van moderne steden aan te pakken en ze schoner, veiliger en gezonder te maken. Helaas is toegang tot deze gegevens niet zo eenvoudig als het lijkt. Wie wil bedrijfsgevoelige data delen met een concurrent? Of privacygevoelige data? Door onzekerheid over veiligheid, privacy en data-eigendom wordt minder dan 1% van alle data daadwerkelijk gebruikt, gedeeld en geanalyseerd.
On 4 October 2021, Startup in Residence published 12 new challenges on the themes of sustainability & circularity. The City of Amsterdam is looking for the best entrepreneurs (start-ups, scale-ups, innovative SMEs, and social entrepreneurs) with creative and innovative solutions for the city’s issues. The application deadline is almost here! Finish your application before 24 November 23:59 (CET).
Solutions are sought for the following challenges
What's in it for me?
Join the 7th edition of Startup in Residence Sustainability & Circularity and get:
- an intensive six-month training programme;
- support from an experienced mentor;
- access to the entire network of the City of Amsterdam;
- opportunity to test and validate your product or service with and within the City of Amsterdam;
- the City of Amsterdam as your potential launching customer.
Don’t wait, apply now! www.startupinresidence.amsterdam
Next months, I will post a weekly contribution answering the question how digital technologies can contribute to the development of better cities. Here's what to expect from these posts:
According to the WEF Global Risk Report, anyone committed to the contribution of digital technology to solving the problems facing society should realize that technology and the underlying business model itself is one of those problems. The last thing to do is uncritically follow those who see only the blessings of technology. Some of their prophecies will send shivers down your spine, like this one from tech company Siemens: In a few decades, cities will have countless autonomous, intelligently functioning IT systems that are perfectly aware of users' habits and energy consumption and provide optimal service. The aim of such a city is to optimally regulate and control resources through autonomous IT systems. The company precisely articulates the fear expressed by Lewis Mumford who wrote in his seminal book The Myth of the Machine: Emerging new mega-techniques create a uniform, all-enveloping, super-planetary structure, designed for automatic operation in which man will become a passive, purposeless, machine-conditioned animal. This was in 1967, before anyone could even think about the impact of digital technology.
Fortunately, there are of governments, companies and institutions committed to developing and adopting technology to address the challenges the world faces: Energy transition and other impacts of climate change, pressure on mobility, setting up a circular economy; making society inclusive and improving the liveability of cities. However, technology alone cannot reach these goals. Far-reaching social and economic reforms are needed, also to ensure that the benefits of digitization are shared by everyone.
I join those who 'believe' in the potential of digital technology for society, if done in a responsible and value-driven way, but also are skeptical whether this will happen indeed. This ambivalence will not have escaped the notice of those familiar with my previous publications. In my first ebook Smart city tales (2018) I explored the use and abuse of technology in so-called smart cities. In the second ebook Cities of the future, always humane, smart if helpful (2020) I presented the problems of contemporary cities, collected possible solutions and mapped out which digital techniques can contribute. The conclusion was that humane cities are still a long way off.
What you are reading now is the first post (Read the Dutch version here) in a new series that focuses on digital technology itself. In the first part of this series, I discuss the demands that can be placed on the design of digital technology for the sake of better cities. In the second part, I apply these requirements to a broad range of technologies. The integration of digital technology into urban policies will be discussed in part three.
I foresee the publication of about 20 articles. The link below opens a preliminary overview of their topics. I will take the liberty of adapting this plan to the actuality and advancing insight.
Kom naar onze laatste meetup van het jaar bij de AHK Culture Club. Tijd om samen terug te kijken, elkaar te spreken, te verbinden en samen vooruit te kijken! We willen weten hoe het met je gaat en delen wat er allemaal gebeurt op het gebied van de donut economie binnen de community van de Amsterdam Donut Coalitie.
WANNEER 20 december, 15.30 - 17.00
WAAR AHK Culture Club
VOOR WIE alle donut-newbies & donut changemakers van de regio Amsterdam WAAROM de kans om elkaar te leren kennen, te verbinden, kennis te maken, elkaar te inspireren, terug te blikken en vooruit te kijken
- Samen kijken we terug wat we afgelopen jaar gezamenlijk tot stand hebben gebracht / hebben bereikt en kijken we terug naar de Amsterdam Donut Dagen en de meest belangrijkste inzichten van de twee workshops!
- Een update van donut pioniers. Met onder andere Boaz Bar-Adon van Ecodam en we geven jullie podium om zelf te delen waar je staat en wat je nodig hebt.
- De koers bepalen voor komend jaar. Wat gebeurt er in Amsterdam donut-land en hoe zie jij graag hoe de coalitie verder gaat. Dit doen we in break-outs.
- We sluiten af met het delen van de uitkomsten die we meenemen in een concreet actieplan voor komend jaar.
Er is maar een beperkt aantal plekken beschikbaar dus wees snel met aanmelden via dit formulier.
We zien je graag op 20 december!
Team Amsterdam Donut Coalitie
Boaz Bar-Adon is the founder of Ecodam, a startup that wants to create a place where children can actively learn about sustainability and the circular economy.
“Our big dream is a physical place where children can come to get acquainted with all aspects of sustainability—a kind of science museum, but with more focus on the concept of circularity and the role young people can play in the new economy.
It’s almost a cliche, but our children are the future. If we make them realise that we need to use resources in a different way, they will take that with them for the rest of their adult lives — no matter what profession they enter later. As a museum and exhibition designer, I see there is too little awareness among clients, designers and builders about the scarcity of materials. That should really change for future generations.''
''Recently, my associate, Pieter de Stefano, and I decided that we want to start making an impact as soon as possible. We designed a plastic-themed mobile pop-up lab. We recently gave our first successful workshop, and we plan to do it more often. In our school workshops, we give a brief explanation about circularity and the impact we have on the environment. But the most important part is when the children work on the concept of circularity. Together, we invent solutions and build prototypes. We let the children think about the problem and then let them come up with solutions themselves.”
“Once it got going, the group we gave the workshop to was unstoppable. A few girls designed an entire landscape from old waste, which was a prototype of an environment where children do not throw away their old toys but collect them. Another group built a submarine to remove plastic from the sea, inspired by the Dutch nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup. The workshop ended with children creating, with specialised machines, new products from plastic waste. In the future, Ecodam could be a place where schools and universities test or show new materials or techniques. Local authorities that want to promote new policies around waste or the circular economy can also work with us. In Ecodam, they can see how children react to their policies. Maybe they will come up with new ideas.''
''We would like a permanent space so we can work with large machines: a shredder, for example, that cuts plastic parts into small pieces or a machine that melts them and can then press the liquid plastic into a mould. Children can create new building materials with these machines, making technology something very tangible and rewarding.
I'd love to hear of any tips people may have for a permanent space. We are a social enterprise, still investigating which business model works best for us. We will probably be partly supported by subsidies, but we are also looking for fresh ideas for smart new financing methods. How can social value be translated into financial value? Our final goal is being able to facilitate as many visitors as possible and provide them with a meaningful and high-quality experience.”
If you’d like to get in touch with Boaz, you can find him on this platform.
This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like show up in the series? Drop us a message!
Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk