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Highlight from Lisa Hobus, posted

Onderzoek leidt tot oproep om de privacy van burgers te beschermen in de openbare ruimte

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De Britse innovatiestichting Nesta lanceert vandaag een rapport met aanbevelingen voor het beschermen van de privacy van burgers in de digitale openbare ruimte. Nesta roept steden en lokale overheden op om lokale bevoegdheden slim in te zetten om het gat te vullen tussen de technologische ontwikkelingen en regulering op nationaal en Europees niveau.

In opdracht van de Cities Coalition for Digital Rights (CC4DR), waar Amsterdam deel van uitmaakt, heeft innovatiestichting Nesta onderzocht hoe Europese steden en regio's de privacy van hun inwoners beter kunnen beschermen, vooral als het gaat om gegevens die door de private sector worden ingewonnen. Denk aan eye-tracking-camera's die in billboards zijn ingebouwd, of incassobedrijven die gebruik maken van nummerplaatherkenning (ANPR-camera’s), of het gebruik van wifitracking door ondernemers.

Uit de praktijkvoorbeelden die het in rapport When Billboards Stare Back. How Cities Can Reclaim The Digital Public Space  zijn verzameld, blijken gemeenten voorop te lopen met innovatief beleid voor sensoren in de openbare of semi-private ruimtes, dat de inzet van onder meer camera’s of geluidssensoren beperkt en ervoor zorgt dat het recht op privacy niet wordt ondermijnd. De gemeente Amsterdam heeft bijvoorbeeld om deze reden een meldingsplicht voor sensoren opgenomen in de Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening.

Het rapport laat zien dat nationale overheden de technologische ontwikkelingen in de publieke ruimte niet altijd goed kunnen bijbenen. Ook blijkt dat er onvoldoende Europese of nationale wetgeving is om technologische ontwikkelingen altijd goed te reguleren. Als er wetgeving is dan zijn de regels veelal abstract, waardoor ze in de praktijk niet altijd goed zijn toe te passen.

Daarom roept Nesta steden en lokale overheden op om het gat tussen de technologische ontwikkelingen en regulering op nationaal en Europees niveau op te vullen door slim gebruik te maken van bevoegdheden. Daarbij is het belangrijk dat steden privacy en grondrechten van hun burgers vooropstellen en tegelijkertijd verantwoorde nieuwe manieren van dienstverlening en innovatie van de private sector stimuleren. Zo wordt de persoonlijke levenssfeer van burgers ook beschermd in de publieke ruimte.

Aanbevelingen voor steden en lokale overheden
Het rapport bevat een aantal concrete acties die steden kunnen ondernemen om hun invloed en effectiviteit te vergroten bij het beschermen van de gegevens van hun inwoners en bezoekers.
• Maak effectief en slim gebruik van de bevoegdheden en instrumenten die steden al hebben zoals vergunningverlening en inkoop, zodat private partijen verantwoord omgaan met de inzet van sensoren in de publieke ruimte.
• Betrek private partijen, burgers en het maatschappelijk middenveld op een ‘bottom-up’ manier. Pak daarbij een communicatieve en bemiddelende rol.
• Zorg dat gegevensbescherming standaard onderdeel uitmaakt van het werk en integreer privacy expertise in de organisatie.
• Pas de Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming aan door het introduceren van een plicht om Data Protection Impact Assessments vooraf aan datacollectie in de publieke ruimte te melden bij lokale overheden en de toezichthouders.
• Zorg voor bewustwording over de positie van steden bij datacollectie door private partijen en lobby voor effectiever toezicht op sensoren in de fysieke publieke ruimte, en specifiek voor publieke ruimten die beheerd worden door private partijen.

Over CC4DR
De Cities Coalition for Digital Rights (CC4DR) is een internationaal netwerk van steden die samen optrekken op het gebied van digitale rechten en beleidsvorming. De coalitie is in november 2018 gelanceerd door Amsterdam, Barcelona en New York en inmiddels zijn zo’n 50 steden wereldwijd lid van de coalitie.
De coalitie zet zich in voor het bevorderen en verdedigen van digitale rechten in de stedelijke context door middel van juridische, ethische en operationele kaders om mensenrechten in digitale omgevingen te bevorderen. Gezamenlijke acties in netwerken zoals de CC4DR zijn essentieel om als gemeenten samen de uitdagingen aan te gaan die digitale technologieën met zich meebrengen. Gemeente Amsterdam is een van de oprichters van de coalitie en de uitdaging die aanleiding was voor het onderzoeksrapport van Nesta speelt ook in Amsterdam: sensoren en apparaten in de fysieke openbare en semi-private ruimte waarmee bedrijven persoonlijke gegevens verzamelen en waarmee het recht op privacy wordt ondermijnd. In samenwerking met andere steden en organisaties wordt samengewerkt om hier een antwoord op te vinden.
Lees het volledige rapport hier

Fotocredit: Sandro Gonzalez

#DigitalCity
Highlight from Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Amsterdam Smart City Demo Days #16: Open for Applications

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On June 14 and 21 the 16th edition of our Demo Days will take place. This will be the first Demo Days on location (will be announced soon) since COVID-19. Our themes for these upcoming Demo Days are:

15 June: Energy & Mobility

21 March: Circular & Digital

What are the Amsterdam Smart City Demo Days?
The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects to each other, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners in a project to take these projects to the next level. In small groups we work on concrete questions.

We have created the Demo Days as a safe place for asking input from the network. A fresh perspective from another professional can be exactly what you need to move forward. You cannot work on a transition alone, which is why it’s important to involve others in your process. During these days, we also give the stage to community members to pitch projects and ask for input from our network.

That’s where you come in!
Not only are the Demo Days open for our community, but we offer you the opportunity to pitch your innovative initiative during the event. We want to involve our community more in the activities that we regularly organise, as you are an important part of the Amsterdam Smart City innovation ecosystem.

Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight?

If it fits within our themes, sent a message to sophie@amsterdamsmartcity.com or let us know in the comments. We would be happy to discuss if it's a match!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #CircularCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

'Better cities' is nu 'Steden en digitalisering'

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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.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Metabolic 2021 Impact Report

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Based on years of research and project work, Metabolic identified six key areas where they'd like to have the greatest impact.

Successfully transitioning these six systems will likely address over 90% of the global negative environmental and humanitarian impacts.

Last year, Metabolic focused on four of them. Their impact report highlights some projects they are particularly proud of.

Check it out in the link below.

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

New and free e-book: Better cities and digitization

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For 23 weeks I have published weekly episodes of the series Better Cities. The role of digital technology on this site. I have edited and compiled these episodes in an e-book (88 pages). You can download this for free via the link below. The book has 17 chapters that are grouped into six parts:
1. Hardcore: Technology-centered approaches
2. Towards a humancentric approach
3. Misunderstanding the use of data
4. Ethical considerations
5. Embedding digitization in urban policy
6. Applications (government, mobility, energy and healthcare)
7. Wrapping up: Better cities and technology

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Isabelle van der Poel, projectmedewerker communicatie at De Gezonde Stad, posted

'Laat werken en natuur meer samengaan, het kan!'

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Elke maand interviewt De Gezonde Stad een duurzame koploper. Deze keer spreken we Ioana Biris, mede-oprichter van Nature Desks, een organisatie die mensen wil aansporen om meer naar buiten te gaan en te genieten van de natuur, ook in de stad.

Bij Nature Desks draait om het verbinden van natuur, werk en gezondheid. Dat doet ze door bijvoorbeeld de Outdoor Office Day te organiseren, waarop iedereen zijn werk naar buiten verplaatst en tegelijkertijd geniet van het mooie weer. Zo voelen mensen hoe belangrijk het is om natuur in de buurt te hebben, en gaan ze er ook beter voor zorgen!

“Een stad waar een kind lopend naar school kan gaan, en waar een dier zich ook thuis voelt. Een stad met meer groen en minder auto’s. Dat is wat ik wil.”

Lees het hele interview via onderstaande link.

Isabelle van der Poel's picture #Citizens&Living
Jan Duffhues, Lead Spatial Data & Design at City of Amsterdam: Department of Planning and Sustainability, posted

Amsterdam’s energy communities are driving a democratised energy future

In 2021, the city of Amsterdam has cooperated with citizen-led energy initiatives and The Democratic Society to bring about a decarbonised, decentralised energy future. Read the conclusions and six recommendations in the article by Kate Goodwin of the Democratic Society and Thomas de Groot of the Commons Network!

Jan Duffhues's picture #Energy
Adriaan van Eck, Implementing IoT & Smart Energy , posted

Free KNX Smart Energy & IoT development workshop on June 28 – max 15 developers

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KNX and FLEXCON2022 are hosting a free KNX Smart Energy & IoT development workshop on June 28, for 15 developers max.

Are you an experienced developer who wants to build Smart Energy applications? Bring your RPi’s and other Linux devices and come to Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam on June 28th !

In this 'mini-hackathon’, you will get to understand the KNX IoT development approach. You will utilize a free client-development solution to interact with the KNX installation to build Energy Management solutions for a cleaner, smarter world. Connect heatpumps, EV's, batteries and solar panels to the smart grid!

The workshop is free of charge. We have only 15 spots available, so apply now! For more information and subscription to the KNX IoT workshop on June 28, check the link:

Adriaan van Eck's picture #Energy
Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

Where are the 'Dark Stores' in Amsterdam?

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While it’s easy to find Gorillas, Getir, Flink, and Zapp flash delivery services in iTunes or Google Play app stores, It’s not so easy to locate these many grocery depots in Amsterdam.

In this interactive map we located the many physical locations of these dark stores to see the saturated landscape of flitsbezorging (flash delivery) infrastructure in Amsterdam. The goal of the map is to help consumers choose delivery services based on proximity to homes / businesses and help calm some inner city bike routes!

Curious to see the 10minute cycle zones or the locations of the many dark stores in Amsterdam? Check out this map and more information about dark stores here.

Tom van Arman's picture #Mobility
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Energie besparen voor organisaties: Zet jij ook de knop om?

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Samen energie besparen. Samen impact maken.

Het is oorlog in Oekraïne. Een oorlog die deels gefinancierd wordt met de opbrengst van de verkoop van fossiele brandstoffen aan het Westen – dus ook aan Nederland. Ruim 15% van het gas dat we verbruiken in Nederland komt uit Rusland. Als we samen een aantal eenvoudige besparingsstappen zetten, maken we ons energie-onafhankelijker. Benieuw hoe jouw organisatie minder last van de hoge energieprijzen kan hebben en haar duurzame doelen sneller bereikt?

Volg deze zes eenvoudige stappen om energie te besparen

[1] Naar huis? Lichten uit.
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Doe voor je het kantoor verlaat alle lichten en computers uit. Het helpt! #zetookdeknopom

[2] Mag het een graadje minder?
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Zet de verwarming op kantoor op max. 19 graden een draag een trui. Echt, dat graadje minder helpt! #zetookdeknopom

[3] Koel en verwarm in proportie
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Moet de koeling niet veel te hard draaien voor de grootte van de ruimte en de temperatuur buiten? Check en pas het aan. #zetookdeknopom

[4] Druk de ECO-knop in
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Druk op de spaarstand in van de vaatwasser en elektrische apparatuur, zet energiebesparing aan op je laptop en kijk eens naar het power management van je dataservers. Check en pas het aan. #zetookdeknopom

[5] Wek je eigen energie op
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Plaats zonnepanelen boven op het dak van jouw kantoor of vraag jouw verhuurder om het te doen. #zetookdeknopom

[6] Pak wat vaker de fiets
Onze energierekening stijgt, we moeten nu minder afhankelijk worden van gas uit Rusland én we willen klimaatverandering tegengaan. Wat jij kunt doen? Laat je auto staan en pak wat vaker de fiets. Trappen helpt, ook voor je gezondheid! #zetookdeknopom

Meer doen?

  • Spread the word. Laat zien wat jouw organisatie doet om energie te besparen. Deel deze campagne én jouw acties op social media en websites.
  • Besparen is verplicht. Grotere organisaties zijn verplicht om maatregelen te nemen waarvan vaststaat dat ze binnen 5 jaar terug te verdienen zijn. Dit zijn ook handige lijstjes voor kleinere organisaties: handhaaf de wet – tussen kolen & Parijs (urgenda.nl)  En kijk bij https://www.zetookdeknopom.nl/bedrijven.
  • Bespaar ook thuis. Ook thuis kan je tegengas geven door energie te besparen. Kijk voor meer ideeën op https://www.zetookdeknopom.nl/.

Meer initiatieven

Om het doel van 15% minder gas te halen in 2022 zullen er meer campagnes en ondersteuning komen voor bewoners en bedrijven van een aantal samenwerkende partijen in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam (met o.a. Amsterdam Economic Board, Duurzaamheidsraad Amsterdam, gemeente Amsterdam, Green Business Club, Metropoolregio Amsterdam, 02025).

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #Energy
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Free download: Kennisdossier duurzame energie (in Dutch)

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Het rijk geïllustreerde Kennisdossier Duurzame energie (150 pagina’s) is een compilatie van 75 artikelen en blogposts over de energietransitie. Je kunt het via onderstaande link gratis downloaden.

Het bevat de volgende hoofdstukken:

1.   Feiten om te onthouden
2.   Bronnen van duurzame energie in Nederland
3.   Openstaande keuzen: Vier scenario’s
4.   Hoeveel zonnepanelen passen in Nederland
5.   Energietransitie mogelijk dankzij de zonnecel
6.   Van zonnepaneel naar zonnedak en zonnepan
7.   Zonnepanelen kunnen (bijna) overal liggen
8.   Recycling zonnepanelen: naar de maan en terug
9.   Manieren om netwerkverzwaring te voorkomen
10.  Smart grids: Waar techniek, digitale en sociale innovatie samenkomen
11.  Samenwerken in een energiecoöperatie
12.  Duurzaam maken van je woning: Voor jezelf en de aarde
13.  Naar een rechtvaardige energietransitie
14.  Zonder energieopslag geen energietransitie
15.  Aardwarmte
16.  Biomassa
17.  Verwijderen, opvangen en opslaan van CO2
18.  Kernsplitsing en kernfusie
19.  Waterstof
20.  Onze toekomstige energievoorziening

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Energy
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Industrial Symbiosis

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At the end of its production process, waste or “output” produced by one company can be reborn into a valuable raw material or “input” for another.

This process is called “Industrial symbiosis”.

Learn more about it in the link below.

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
Gido van Rooijen, Researcher , posted

Rapport 'Beter beslissen over datacentra' (Rathenau Instituut)

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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

Gido van Rooijen's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

23. Epilogue: Beyond the 'Smart City'

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In the last episode of the Better cities: The contribution of digital technology-series, I will answer the question that is implied in the title of the series, namely how do we ensure that technology contributes to socially and environmentally sustainable cities. But first a quick update.

Smart city, what was it like again?

In 2009, IMB launched a global marketing campaign around the previously little-known concept of 'smart city' with the aim of making city governments receptive to ICT applications in the public sector. The initial emphasis was on process control (see episode 3). Especially emerging countries were interested. Many made plans to build smart cities 'from scratch', also meant to attract foreign investors. The Korean city of Songdo, developed by Cisco and Gale International, is a well-known example. The construction of smart cities has also started in Africa, such as Eko-Atlantic City (Nigeria), Konzo Technology City and Appolonia City (Ghana). So far, these cities have not been a great success.

The emphasis soon shifted from process control to using data from the residents themselves. Google wanted to supplement its already rich collection of data with data that city dwellers provided with their mobile phones to create a range of new commercial applications. Its sister company Sidewalk Labs, which was set up for that purpose, started developing a pilot project in Toronto. That failed, partly due to the growing resistance to the violation of privacy. This opposition has had global repercussions and led in many countries to legislation to better protect privacy. China and cities in Southeast Asia - where Singapore is leading the way - ignored this criticism.

The rapid development of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, gave further impetus to discussion about the ethical implications of technology (episodes 9-13). Especially in the US, applications in facial recognition and predictive police were heavily criticized (episode 16). Artificial intelligence had meanwhile become widespread, for example to automate decision-making (think of the infamous Dutch allowance affair) or to simulate urban processes with, for example, digital twins (episode 5).

This current situation - particularly in the Netherlands - can be characterized on the one hand by the development of regulations to safeguard ethical principles (episode 14) and on the other by the search for responsible applications of digital technology (episode 15). The use of the term 'smart city' seems to be subject to some erosion. Here we are picking up the thread.

Human-centric?

The dozens of descriptions of the term 'smart city' not only vary widely but they also evoke conflicting feelings. Some see (digital) technology as an effective means of urban growth; others see it as a threat. The question is therefore how useful the term 'smart city' is still. Touria Meliani, alderman of Amsterdam, prefers to speak of 'wise city' than of 'smart city' to emphasize that she is serious about putting people first. According to her, the term 'smart city' mainly emphasizes the technical approach to things. She is not the first. Previously, Daniel Latorre, place making specialist in New York and Francesco Schianchi, professor of urban design in Milan also argued for replacing 'smart' with 'wise'. Both use this term to express that urban policy should be based profoundly on the wishes and needs of citizens.

Whatever term you use, it is primarily about answering the question of how you ensure that people - residents and other stakeholders of a city - are put in the center. You can think of three criteria here:

1. An eye for the impact on the poorest part of the population
There is a striking shift in the literature on smart cities. Until recently, most articles focused on the significance of 'urban tech' for mobility, reduction of energy use and public safety. In a short time, much more attention has been paid to subjects such as the accessibility of the Internet, the (digital) accessibility of urban services and health care, energy and transport poverty and the consequences of gentrification. In other words, a shift took place from efficiency to equality and from physical interventions to social change. The reason is that many measures that are intended to improve the living environment led to an increase in the (rental) price and thus reduce the availability of homes.

2. Substantial share of co-creation
Boyd Cohen distinguishes three types of smart city projects. The first type (smart city 1.0) is technology- or corporate-driven. In this case, companies deliver instruments or software 'off the shelf'. For example, the provision of a residential area with adaptive street lighting. The second type (smart city 2.0) is technology enabled, also known as government-driven. In this case, a municipality develops a plan and then issues a tender. For example, connecting and programming traffic light installations, so that emergency services and public transport always receive the green light. The third type (smart city 3.0) is community-driven and based on citizen co-creation, for example an energy cooperative. In the latter case, there is the greatest chance that the wishes of the citizens concerned will come first.

A good example of co-creation between different stakeholders is the development of the Brain port Smart District in Helmond, a mixed neighborhood where living, working, generating energy, producing food, and regulating a circular neighborhood will go hand in hand. The future residents and entrepreneurs, together with experts, are investigating which state-of-the-art technology can help them with this.

3. Diversity
Bias among developers plays a major role in the use of artificial intelligence. The best way to combat bias (and for a variety of other reasons, too) is to use diversity as a criterion when building development teams. But also (ethical) committees that monitor the responsible purchasing and use of (digital) technologies are better equipped for their task the more diverse they are.

Respecting urban complexity

In his essay The porous cityGavin Starks describes how smart cities, with their technical utopianism and marketing jargon, ignore the plurality of the drivers of human behavior and instead see people primarily as homo economicus, driven by material gain and self-interest.

The best example is Singapore – the number 1 on the Smart City list, where techno-utopianism reigns supreme. This one-party state provides prosperity, convenience, and luxury using the most diverse digital aids to everyone who exhibits desirable behavior. There is little room for a differing opinion. A rapidly growing number of CCTV cameras – soon to be 200,000 – ensures that everyone literally stays within the lines. If not, the culprit can be quickly located with automatic facial recognition and crowd analytics.

Anyone who wants to understand human life in the city and does not want to start from simplistic assumptions such as homo economicus must respect the complexity of the city, try to understand it, and know that careless intervention might have huge unintended consequences.

The complexity of the city is the main argument against the use of reductionist adjectives such as 'smart', but also 'sharing', circular, climate-neutral', ‘resilient' and more. In addition, the term smart refers to a means that is rarely seen as an aim as such. If an adjective were desirable, I prefer the term 'humane city'.

But whatever you name a city, it is necessary to emphasize that it is a complex organism with many facets, the coherence of which must be well understood by all stakeholders for the city to prosper and its inhabitants to be happy.

Digitization. Two tracks

City authorities that are aware of the complexity of their city can best approach digitization along two tracks. The first aims to translate the city's problems and ambitions into policy and consider digital instruments a part of the whole array of other instruments. The second track is the application of ethical principles in the search for and development of digital tools. Both tracks influence each other.

Track 1: The contribution of digital technology
Digital technology is no more or less than one of the instruments with which a city works towards an ecologically and socially sustainable future. To articulate what such a future is meaning, I introduced Kate Raworth's ideas about the donut economy (episode 9). Designing a vision for the future must be a broadly supported democratic process. In this process, citizens also check the solution of their own problems against the prosperity of future generations and of people elsewhere in the world. Furthermore, policy makers must seamlessly integrate digital and other policy instruments, such as legislation, funding, and information provision (episode 8).

The most important question when it comes to (digital) technology is therefore which (digital) technological tools contribute to the realization of a socially and ecologically sustainable city.

Track 2: The ethical use of technology
In the world in which we realize the sustainable city of the future, digital technology is developing rapidly. Cities are confronted with these technologies through powerful smart city technology marketing. The most important question that cities should ask themselves in this regard is How do we evaluate the technology offered and that we want to develop from an ethical perspective. The first to be confronted with this question—besides hopefully the industry itself—is the department of the Chief Information or Technology officer. He or she naturally participates in the first track-process and can advise policymakers at an early stage. I previously inventoried (ethical) criteria that play a role in the assessment of technological instrument.

In the management of cities, both tracks come together, resulting in one central question: Which (digital) technologies are eligible to support us towards a sustainable future in a responsible way. This series has not provided a ready-made answer; this depends on the policy content and context. However, the successive editions of this series will have provided necessary constituents of the answer.

In my e-book Cities of the Future. Always humane, smart if helpful, I have carried out the policy process as described above, based on current knowledge about urban policy and urban developments. This has led to the identification of 13 themes and 75 actions, with references to potentially useful technology. You can download the e-book here:

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

New e-book: Kennisdossier Zonne-energie

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I updated and put together 75 posts and articles about the energy transition in a new e-book (in Dutch) 'Kennisdossier Zonne-energie' (120 pages). If you interested, download it for free with the link below.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Energy
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Circular strategies for mitigating surging critical metal demand

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One of the biggest challenges for the transition to cleaner energy systems is the vast amount of critical metals required. But where do those metals come from, and what technologies are they needed for?

The Industries Team at Metabolic explored these questions and proposed circular strategies to reduce the critical metals demand significantly. Find out more about the project in the link below.

Beth Njeri's picture #Energy
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

The challenges in the circular energy transition

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The energy transition is in full swing. Besides manpower, it requires a lot of materials, products and infrastructure. Windmills, solar panels, batteries and water pumps contribute fully to this transition, but are still hardly purchased, produced or reused in a circular manner. With the global economy changing  and the shortages of raw materials growing, it’s important to look at the materials we use in the energy transition. How can we limit the negative impact of these materials needed for the energy transition?

It's clear that this question is on the minds of several partners. For example, at the Transition Days 2021, the Province of North Holland suggested that a knowledge agenda should be drawn up. In the meantime, our partners AMS Institute and the City of Amsterdam have started a project aimed at the reuse of solar panels in Amsterdam-Southeast and linked this with social issues. Next to that, the companies Pontiflex and Cenex Netherlands (in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences) are focusing on the reuse of wind turbine components in new bridge structures and EV batteries.

On March 17, Amsterdam Smart City organized a work session during the Demoday Circular & Energy so our partners could discuss their input and vision on the importance of a circular energy transition. Some think it's important to have an ''integrated approach to circularity and energy'', others seek further ''stimulus that enables circular reuse of materials''. But if we want to scale up the energy transition circularly, what obstacles and opportunities do we see together? The challenges and obstacles are mapped for the different physical products via the digital tool Miro. Check out the English version of the Miro board here.

The key challenges raised by the participants:
1. Not all procurement procedures allow for circular material use or are limited to steel and concrete. Or requirements and criteria do not match.
2. Local and regional logistics in relation to transport and labor costs.
3. The business case: often a low financial return and therefore less attractive to the market. Practice shows that to be able to experiment, subsidy or other funding is needed.
4. Laws, regulations and certification of circular products stand in the way. Often the same norms and standards must be applied as for new products.
5. Education to encourage a new generation of students to work more with biobased and circular materials in projects

Now that the obstacles are visible, the challenge is to find a common approach. Through a follow-up session, Amsterdam Smart City will invite the partners again to think about the next steps. In the end we need each other to take the circular energy transition one step further.

If you have any thoughts on this topic or have a related question for us, please let us know in the comments or send an email to francien@amsterdamsmartcity.com.

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

22. Two '100 smart city missions'- Twice an ill-advised leap forward

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The 22nd and penultimate episode in the *Better cities: The contribution of digital technology-*series will discuss two ambitious ‘smart city’plans of two governments and the associated risks.

Recently, the European Commission launched a 100-city plan, the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. One hundred European cities that aspire to be climate neutral by 2030 (you read that correctly) can register and count on supplemental funding. I immediately thought of another 100-city plan, India's Smart City Mission. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi announced that in six years 100 Indian cities would become 'smart'. The official term of the project has now ended, and I will examine below whether this goal has been achieved, I discuss the two plans and then explain why I call both of them a leap forward. At the end I will make a few suggestions for how the European mission can still learn from the Indian one.

India's Smart City Mission

The problem
In India, 377 million people live in cities. In 15 years, 200 million will have been added. Already, traffic in Indian cities has come to a complete standstill, each year more than 600,000 people die from air pollution, half of the urban areas have no drinking water connection, waste collection is poor and only 3% of sewage is treated. The rest is discharged into surface water, which is also the main source of drinking water.

The mission
The Smart City Mission was intended to implement substantial improvements on all these problems in 100 cities, which together comprise 30% of the population. In the improvements digital technology had to play an important role.
The 100 cities were selected because of favorable prospects and the quality of the plans, which usually consisted of a long series of projects.

Governance
The regular city governing bodies were deemed incompetent to lead the projects. That is why management boards (‘special purpose vehicles’) have been appointed, operating under company law and led by a CEO, supported by international consultancy firms. All rights and duties of the City Council regarding the execution of the mission were delegated to the appointed boards, including the power to collect taxes! Not surprisingly, this decision has been challenged in many places. Several cities have withdrawn from 'the mission' for this reason.

Financing
To implement their projects, each city would receive $150 million over five consecutive years. This money should be seen as seed capital to be supplemented from additional sources such as public-private partnerships, commercial bank lending, external financing, loans, and foreign investment.

Area-oriented and pan-urban approach
The plans contain two components: an area-oriented and a pan-urban approach. The first aims at adapting, retrofitting or new construction and should relate to a wide range of 'smart services'. For example high-speed internet, waste facilities, parking facilities, energy-efficient buildings, but also replacement of slums by high-rise buildings. The slick 'architectural impressions' that circulated at the beginning of the planning period (see above) mainly concern the area-oriented approach.
The pan-urban approach includes at least one 'smart' facility for a larger part of the city. The choice is often made to improve the transport infrastructure, for example the construction of new roads and highways and the purchase of electric buses. No fewer than 70 cities have built a 'smart' control center based on the example of Rio de Janeiro, which I believe was rather premature.

Progress
Now that the official term of 'the mission' has ended, a first inventory can be made, although observers complain about a lack of transparency about the results. About half of all the 5000 projects that have been started have not (yet) been completed and a significant part of the government funds have not yet been disbursed. This could still happen in the coming years. This is also because attracting external resources has lagged behind expectations. These funds came mainly from governments, and large technology companies. This has had an impact on the implementation of the plans.
The slow progress of most projects is partly because most of the population was barely aware of the mission and that city councils were not always cooperative either.

Impact
It was foreseen that half of the available resources would go to area-oriented projects; this eventually became 75-80%. As a result, on average only 4% of the inhabitants of the cities involved have benefited from 'the mission' and even then it is not clear what the benefits exactly entail. The city of New Delhi covers an area of almost 1500 km2, while the area concerned is only 2.2 km2: So you're not even going to have 100 smart cities. You're going to have 100 smart enclaves within cities around the country, said Shivani Chaudhry, director of the Housing and Land Rights Network.
It soon became clear that the mission would be no more than a drop in the ocean. Instead of $150 million, it would take $10 billion per city, $1000 billion in total, to address all ambitions, according to an official calculation.  Deloitte was a little more modest, calculating the need for $150 billion in public money and $120 billion from private sources.

Type of projects
The many topics eligible for funding have resulted in a wide variety of projects. Only one city has put the quality of the environment first. Most cities have initiated projects in the areas of clean energy, improving electricity supply, reducing air pollution, construction of new roads, purchasing electric buses, waste disposal and sanitation. What is also lacking, is a focus on human rights, gender, and the interests of the poorest population groups.
In some places, it has been decided to clear slums and relocate residents to high-rise buildings on the outskirts of the city. Indian master architect Doshi warns that the urban vision behind the smart city plans will destroy the informality and diversity that is the cornerstone of the country's rural and urban society. He challenges planners to shift the emphasis to rural areas and to create sufficient choices and opportunities there.

The European Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities

The problem
Cities produce more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and use more than 65% of total energy. In addition, cities in Europe only cover 4% of the total surface area and accommodate 75% of the population. The ecological footprint of the urban population is more than twice what it is entitled to, assuming a proportional distribution of the earth's resources.

The mission
On November 25, 2021, the European Commission called on European cities to express their interest in a new European mission on Climate-neutral and smart cities. The mission aims to have 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, which will act as a model for all other European cities.
The sectors involved in this transformation process are the built environment, energy production and distribution, transport, waste management, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses and large-scale deployment of digital technology. That is why the European Commission talks of a green and digital twin, or a simultaneous green and digital transformation.

Governance
Reaching the stated goal requires a new way of working and the participation of the urban population, hence the motto 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens.
According to the plan's authors, the main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technology, but the inability to implement it. The current fragmented form of governance cannot bring about an ambitious climate transition. Crucial to the success of the mission is the involvement of citizens in their various roles as political actors, users, producers, consumers, or owners of buildings and means of transport.

Funding
The additional investment to achieve the mission is estimated at €96 billion for 100 European cities by 2030, with a net positive economic benefit to society of €25 billion that will increase further in the period thereafter. The European Commission will provide €360 million in seed funding.
The overwhelming amount of funding will have to come from banks, private equity, institutional investors, and from the public sector at the local, regional and national level.

What went wrong with the Indian Mission and its follow-up

The gap between ambitions and reality
Almost all comments on 'the mission' emphasize that three necessary conditions were not met from the start, namely a widely accepted governance model, adequate funding, and involvement of the population and local government. There was an unbridgeable gap between ambitions and available resources, with the contribution of external capital being grossly overestimated.
The biggest problem, however, is the gap between the mission's ambitions and the nature of the problems that India it faces: Cities are bursting at the seams because of the millions of poor people who flock to cities every year in search of work and a place to live that find them only in the growing slums. The priorities for which the country must find a solution are therefore: improving life in rural areas, improving housing in the cities, ensuring safe drinking water, waste disposal, sanitation, and purification of wastewater, good (bus) transport and less polluting car traffic. Urgently needed is a sustainable development model that addresses ecological problems, makes urbanization manageable, controls pollution and will use resources efficiently.

Leap forward
The 'Mission' is a leap forward, which does not tackle these problems at the root, but instead seeks a solution in 'smartification'. Policymakers were captivated by the promises made by IBM and other technology companies that ICT is the basis for solving most urban problems. A view that I objected in the third episode of this series. IC solutions have been concentrated in enclaves where businesses and prosperous citizens are welcomed. The Government of India Special Rapporteur on Housing therefore notes that the proposals submitted had a predominant focus on technology rather than prioritizing affordable housing and doubts the correctness of this choice.
Instead of emphasizing the role of digital technology, the focus should have been on equitable, inclusive, and sustainable living areas for all. Not the area-oriented but the pan-urban approach should have prevailed.

Follow-up
Several authors suggest future actions consistent with the above comments:
• Setting a longer time horizon, which is much more in line with the problems as they are felt locally.
• Decentralization, coupled with strengthening local government in combination with citizen participation.
• A more limited number of large-scale pan-urban projects. These projects should have an immediate impact on all 4000 Indian cities and the surrounding countryside.
• More attention for nature and the environment instead of cutting down trees to widen motorways.
• Training programs in the field of urbanization, partly to align urban development with Indian culture.

The European mission revisited

Leap forward
Europe and India are incomparable in many ways, but I do see similarities between the two missions.
With the proclamation of the 'mission', the Indian government wanted to show the ultimate – perhaps desperate – act of determination to confront the country's overwhelming problems. I therefore called this mission a flight forward in which the image of the 'smart city' was used as a catalyst. However, the country’s problems are out of proportion to this, and the other means employed.
It is plausible that the European Union Commission also wanted to take an ultimate act. After the publication of the ambitious European Green Deal, each national governments seems to be drawing its own plan. The ‘100 cities mission’ is perhaps intended as a 'booster', but here too the feasibility of this strategy is doubtful.

Smart and green
The European Union cherishes the image of a 'green and digital twin', a simultaneous green and digital transformation. Both the Government of India and the European Commission consider digital technology an integral part of developing climate neutral cities. I hope to have made it clear in the previous 21 episodes of this series that digital technology will certainly contribute. However, the reduction of greenhouse gases and digitization should not be seen as an extension of each other. Making a city climate neutral requires way more than (digital) technology. Moreover, suitable technology is still partly under development. It is often forgotten that technology is one of the causes of global warming. Using the image of green and smart twins will fuel the tension between the two, just like it happened in India. In that case, it remains to be seen where the priority will lie. In India it was 'smart'.

Funding
Funding of the Indian mission fell short; much is still unclear about funding of the European mission. It is highly questionable whether European states, already faced with strong opposition to the costs of 'climate', will be willing to channel extra resources to cities.

Governance
The European mission wants to be by and for the citizens. But the goal has already been established, namely becoming climate neutral by 2030. A new 'bottom-up' governmental approach would have been to investigate whether there are cities where a sufficiently large part of the population agrees with becoming climate neutral earlier than in 2050 and how much sooner that could be and next, leave it to these cities themselves to figure-out how to do this.

Can Europe still prevent its mission from failing like India's? I propose to look for in the same direction as India seems to be doing now:
•      Opt for one unambiguous goal: Reducing greenhouse gases significantly earlier than 2050.
•      Challenge a limited number of cities each to form a broad coalition of local stakeholders that share this ambition.
•      Make extra resources available, but also ask the cities themselves to make part of the necessary investments.
•      Stimulate universities and industry to provide a European response to Big Tech and to make connections with the 'European Green Deal'.

My e-book Smart City Tales contains several descriptions of intended and alleged smart cities, including the much-discussed Saudi Arabian Neom. The Dutch version is here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Recap of Demo Days #15

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The first Demo Days of 2022 were a success! On March 10 and 17, we gathered online to connect and inspire our partners and community on the topics Circular & Energy and Digital & Mobility. In this article, we share a recap of the topics and projects discussed during the 15th edition of our Demo Days.

About our Demo Days

The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners to take these projects to the next level. More information about the Demo Days can be found here.

Demo Day: Circular & Energy

Circular energy transition
With the changing global economy and shortages of raw materials, it is important to look at materials needed for the energy transition. How can we reduce the negative impact of products that have a positive impact on the energy transition? In this session, participants identified common challenges: think of regulations and logistics, but also behaviour. In addition, one of the conclusions is that education must join the transition. Now that the obstacles are clear, we must reach a joint approach. Do you want to be involved in our next steps? Contact francien@amsterdamsmartcity.com. 

The social side of smart grids – Mark van der Wees (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Lennart Zwols (municipality of Amsterdam)
During the session led by Mark van der Wees and Lennart Zwols, participants discussed the social side of smart grids. Where does the ownership of a smart grid lie? And how can we involve citizens? The main take-out is that we need more knowledge about the broader societal costs, benefits and risks. Questions and input on the societal input of smart grids can be sent to Mark at: m.t.van.wees@hva.nl.

Power in the energy transition – Gijs Diercks (DRIFT)
Gijs Diercks facilitated a session in which we discussed a socio-political aspect of energy transition: namely, how unequal power limits change and reform. Gijs invited participants to discuss their experiences with power relations in energy projects. We often talk about a decentralization of power, but, power often ends up somewhere else. An interesting insight was that it would be good to talk more explicitly about power within concrete projects in the future.

Demo Day: Digital & Mobility

Webinar data management in practice - Arjan Koning (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Huib Pasman (Johan Cruijff ArenA)
Prior to the sessions, Arjan Koning and Huib Pasman gave a webinar on data management in practice. What do you need to consider when working with data? And what do you need to arrange in order to properly deal with ownership and authorization of access?

The ownership and responsibility of data – Noor Bouwens (Province of North Holland)
Following the webinar, Noor Bouwens led a working session in which the participants were introduced to the developments, tasks and challenges that the Province of North Holland sees in this area. It turned out that challenges in the field of data governance are recognizable to the businesses, knowledge institutions and governments alike. The biggest challenge is the substantive management of project data and deciding who is responsible for this.

The smart charging square – Peter van Dam (SlimLaden)
In this session, the participants reflected on what the future of parking will look like based on the smart charging square case in Haarlemmermeer. The main take-out from the session is that a broader framework is needed around electric parking solutions. It is difficult for municipalities to predict the future when it comes to EV charging. Therefore municipalities are hesitant to formulate concrete plans. Hopefully soon, more pilots will be set up to take smart charging solution to the next phase.

Are you joining us?

Our next Demo Days take place on June 14 (Mobility & Energy) and June 21 (Circular & Digital).

Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight?

If it fits within our themes, sent a message via trisha@amsterdamsmartcity.com or let us know in the comments. We are happy to talk with you to find out if it's a match! As soon as the program is determined, we will share it on the platform and give you the opportunity to join as participant.

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Responsible Sensing Lab, posted

Responsible Sensing Toolkit is live!

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[ENGLISH BELOW]

Met trots presenteren we de Responsible Sensing Toolkit die vorige week werd gelanceerd. Deze Toolkit helpt gemeenten en organisaties die op een verantwoorde manier sensor-technologieën willen inzetten in de openbare ruimte.

Ben jij een stadsinnovator die zich bezighoudt met de inzet van sensoren? En wil je meer te weten komen over hoe je daarbij maatschappelijke normen en waarden als uitgangspunt kunt nemen? De Responsible Sensing Toolkit helpt je in zes stappen op weg.

Bekijk de Responsible Sensing Toolkit op de website van het Responsible Sensing Lab.

In de Toolkit vind je allerlei hulpmiddelen die je op weg helpen met jouw sensing-project. Bijvoorbeeld ons Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas en video's waarin experts hun inzichten delen. Ook kun je je aanmelden voor een van onze workshops, zoals de Quickscan die je helpt bij het maken van een heldere roadmap naar een verantwoord en ethisch sensing-project. In sommige gevallen bieden we deze workshop gratis aan. Lees hier meer over deze workshop.

[ENGLISH]

We proudly present to you the Responsible Sensing Toolkit that was launched last week. This Toolkit empowers municipalities and organizations that want to implement sensing technologies for public space in a responsible manner.

Are you a city innovator thinking about deploying sensors? And do you want to learn more about how societal values could guide you in doing so? The Responsible Sensing Toolkit will help you on your journey in 6 steps.

Check out the Responsible Sensing Toolkit on the website of the Responsible Sensing Lab.

The Toolkit offers many resources that will help you on your way with your sensing project. For instance our Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas or our videos in which experts share their insights. We also offer workshops, like a Quick scan that helps you set up a clear roadmap to a responsible and ethical sensing project. In particular cases this workshop is free of charge. Read more about this workshop here.

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