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

Jaarverslag Amsterdam Smart City 2023

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Het was weer een bijzonder jaar voor Amsterdam Smart City. We hebben interessante gesprekken gevoerd, hebben connecties gemaakt en samenwerkingen gefaciliteerd en daarmee de vier transities waar we aan werken weer een stukje vooruit geholpen.

We hebben ook grote stappen gemaakt in de doorontwikkeling van Amsterdam Smart City, we hebben met elkaar een nieuwe naam gekozen, hebben er drie geweldige nieuwe partners bij, en hebben een nieuw onderdeel toegevoegd aan ons programma.

Met ons team en het netwerk hebben we het afgelopen jaar veel bereikt, en daar zijn we best een beetje trots op. Daarom delen we via deze weg graag ons jaarverslag van 2023. Hierin is meer te lezen over onze events en alle onderwerpen die dit jaar zijn behandeld door ons netwerk, tijdens werksessies, deepdives, Data Dilemma's, en de langer lopende challenges.

Hieronder lees je de highlights en mocht je dieper willer duiken, lees dan het volledige jaarverslag 2023!


  • Het netwerk heeft zich in 2023 uitgebreid met 3 nieuwe partners; Hieroo (kennispartner), Flatland (kennispartner) en SPIE NL (bedrijf)
  • Naast diverse andere vraagstukken hebben we vier challenges structureel beetgepakt: Mobiliteitsrechtvaardigheid, lokale energiesystemen, mensvaardige digitalisering en de ondergrondse infrastructuur.
  • Samen met onze kennispartners hebben we de Kennissessies toegevoegd aan ons programma. Als start van de demodag krijgen kennispartners hierbij de mogelijkheid om partners mee te nemen en te inspireren rond relevante theorie voor het (samen)werken aan transities.
  • Het team heeft een start gemaakt met het meten en in kaart brengen van de impact van onze challenges en werksessies.
  • Samen met Havas Lemz is de herpositionering en nieuwe naamgeving uitgewerkt. De naam Amsterdam InChange en het bijbehorende narratief wordt in 2024 doorgevoerd.
  • Samen met Stuurgroep+ en ons nieuwe kwartiermakers-team werken we aan toekomstscenario’s voor een open innovatieplatform voor de regio.
  • De doorontwikkeling van ons platform en website krijgt vorm met de gecreëerde Mock-up. Deze is met input van, onder andere, gebruikers van ons platform ontworpen.

Lees meer

Wil je volledig in de programmering van 2023 duiken? Klik dan snel door voor het Jaarverslag 2023!

Amsterdam Smart City's picture News
Francien Huizing, Program and Communication Manager at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

My highlights from the exchange between the Province of North-Holland and Baden-Württemberg

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On May 17 and 18, I had the honour to join regional minister Olthoff from the Province of North Holland on a mission to Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. We went there to exchange experiences and learn from each other especially in the field of smart mobility.

After a nice train ride of no longer than 6 hours, we arrived in Stuttgart. We started our trip with a visit to ArenA2036 and Plug and Play Techcenter. A state-of-the-art research campus connected to a startup accelerator. Sascha Karimpour, director of Plug and Play, enthusiastically introduced us to their startup accelerator. He told us how they bring research and industries together and find efficient ways to collaborate with startups.

“To keep it exciting we constantly have to change. The major challenge now is not only matching start-ups and companies but also putting a lot of effort in stakeholder management, because if you don’t do that it will fall apart” - Sascha Karimpour.

In the research lab of ArenA2036 we saw amazing technologies come to life. From smart floors to highly advanced robotica and intralogistics; optimizing human and robot logistics in production. Peter Froeschle, CEO of ArenA2036, showed us around.

“Bringing all disciplines together increases creativity. But building an innovation platform is much more than just providing the facility. You need to keep the fire burning.” – Peter Froeschle.

In the afternoon, we had an official exchange with Verband Region Stuttgart. Here we learned that the Province of North Holland and Baden- Württemberg face a lot of the same mobility challenges. Similar to the Province of North-Holland, the interaction between urban and rural areas is important in Baden- Württemberg. We visited their innovative mobility hub concept. With standard services like the bus, taxi, P&R, bike & ride, but also an Information Terminal and 24/7 Info hotline, bike service station and kiosk.

Afbeelding Mobility Hub

Afterwards, we visited the construction site of Stuttgart 21, a large fully underground train station and 60km tunnel - a highlight of the trip! The impressive station is designed by the architect Ingenhoven. The prestigious design is characterised by its huge concrete pillars and a glass roofs providing light. A very controversial project which in the end was voted for in a referendum with 57% of the votes. By building the train station underground, public space in the city center will be freed up for housing. Take a look yourself at this unique project.

The next morning, we continued the knowledge exchange with the ministry of Transport of Baden- Württemberg. We learned a lot from their ambitious plans. State secretary of Transport Zimmer presented us the ambitious plans of Baden- Württemberg. Their goal is to be climate neutral in 2040, which is 10 years earlier than the EU ambitions. They really aim to be the frontrunner. Inspiring financing tools like a Mobility Pass and a Mobility Guarantee were presented. As well as diverse modalities of Mobility on Demand in more remote locations.

All in all, it was a very inspiring trip! We learned a lot and strengthened the ties with the Baden- Württemberg region.

Francien Huizing's picture #Mobility
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Reducing Carbon Footprints: Erasmus MC Leads the Way to Climate-Neutral Hospitals

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The healthcare sector is responsible for approximately 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. How can a hospital become climate-neutral?

The first step on the sustainability journey is to measure the organization’s carbon footprint. A precise carbon footprint is crucial for setting impactful and realistic targets, and for aligning with regulations and Green Deal Healthcare 3.0.

In support of Erasmus Medical Center's sustainability goals to reduce its CO2e emissions by 55% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, Metabolic mapped its carbon footprint, focusing on scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. 

💡A sneak peek: 60% of Erasmus’ CO2e footprint results from indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, such as medicines.

Erasmus MC is one of the first hospitals to use this method to map emissions across all its operations. This research provides the hospital—and the entire sector—with insights into emission hotspots and highlights potential areas for impactful sustainability interventions.

Explore Metabolic's work with Erasmus in the link below

Interested in learning more about carbon footprint assessment? This is for you: 

#sustainability #carbonfootprintassessment #environmentalimpact #sustainablehealthcare

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

Citizen's preferences and the 15-minutes city

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For decades, the behaviour of urban planners and politicians, but also of residents, has been determined by images of the ideal living environment, especially for those who can afford it. The single-family home, a private garden and the car in front of the door were more prominent parts of those images than living in an inclusive and complete neighbourhood. Nevertheless, such a neighbourhood, including a 'house from the 30s', is still sought after. Attempts to revive the idea of 'trese 'traditional' neighbourhoods' have been made in several places in the Netherlands by architects inspired by the principles of 'new urbanism' (see photo collage above). In these neighbourhoods, adding a variety of functions was and is one of the starting points. But whether residents of such a neighbourhood will indeed behave more 'locally' and leave their cars at home more often does not depend on a planning concept, but on long-term behavioural change.
An important question is what changes in the living environment residents themselves prefer. Principles for the (re)design of space that are in line with this have the greatest chance of being put into practice. It would be good to take stock of these preferences, confront (future) residents conflicting ideas en preconditions, for instance with regard to the necessary density. Below is a number of options, in line with commonly expressed preferences.

1. Playing space for children

Especially parents with children want more playing space for their children. For the youngest children directly near the house, for older children on larger playgrounds. A desire that is in easy reach in new neighbourhoods, but more difficult in older ones that are already full of cars. Some parents have long been happy with the possibility of occasionally turning a street into a play street. A careful inventory often reveals the existence of surprisingly many unused spaces. Furthermore, some widening of the pavements is almost always necessary, even if it costs parking space.  

2. Safety

High on the agenda of many parents are pedestrian and cycle paths that cross car routes unevenly. Such connections substantially widen children's radius. In existing neighbourhoods, this too remains daydreaming.  What can be done here is to reduce the speed of traffic, ban through traffic and make cars 'guests' in the remaining streets.  

3. Green

A green-blue infrastructure, penetrating deep into the immediate surroundings is not only desired by almost everyone, but also has many health benefits. The presence of (safe) water buffering (wadis and overflow ponds) extends children's play opportunities, but does take up space. In old housing estates, not much more is possible in this area than façade gardens on (widened) pavements and vegetation against walls.  

4. Limiting space for cars

Even in older neighbourhoods, opportunities to play safely and to create more green space are increased by closing (parts of) streets to cars. A pain point for some residents. One option for this is to make the middle part of a street car-free and design it as an attractive green residential area with play opportunities for children of different age groups. In new housing estates, much more is possible and it hurts to see how conventionally and car-centred these are often still laid out. (Paid) parking at the edge of the neighbourhood helps create a level playing field for car and public transport use.  

5. Public space and (shopping) facilities

Sometimes it is possible to turn an intersection, where for instance a café or one or more shops are already located, into a cosy little square. Neighbourhood shops tend to struggle. Many people are used to taking the car to a supermarket once a week to stock up on daily necessities for the whole week. However, some neighbourhoods are big enough for a supermarket. In some cities, where car ownership is no longer taken for granted, a viable range of shops can develop in such a square and along adjacent streets. Greater density also contributes to this.  

6. Mix of people and functions

A diverse range of housing types and forms is appreciated. Mixing residential and commercial properties can also contribute to the liveliness of a neighbourhood. For new housing estates, this is increasingly becoming a starting point. For business properties, accessibility remains an important precondition.  

7. Public transport

The desirability of good public transport is widely supported, but in practice many people still often choose the car, even if there are good connections. Good public transport benefits from the ease and speed with which other parts of the city can be reached. This usually requires more than one line. Free bus and tram lanes are an absolute prerequisite. In the (distant) future, autonomous shuttles could significantly lower the threshold for using public transport. Company car plus free petrol is the worst way to encourage sensible car use.  

8. Centres in plural

The presence of a city centre is less important for a medium-sized city, say the size of a 15-minute cycle zone, than the presence of a few smaller centres, each with its own charm, close to where people live. These can be neighbourhood (shopping) centres, where you are sure to meet acquaintances.  Some of these will also attract residents from other neighbourhoods, who walk or cycle to enjoy the wider range of amenities. The presence of attractive alternatives to the 'traditional' city centre will greatly reduce the need to travel long distances.
The above measures are not a roadmap for the development of a 15-minute city; rather, they are conditions for the growth of a liveable city in general.  In practice, its characteristics certainly correspond to what proponents envisage with a 15-minute city. The man behind the transformation of Paris into a 15-minute city, Carlos Moreno, has formulated a series of pointers based on all the practical examples to date, which can help citizens and administrators realise the merits of the 15-minute city in their own environments. This book will be available from mid-June 2024 and can be reserved HERE.
For now, this is the last of the hundreds of posts on education, organisation and environment I have published over the past decade. If I report again, it will be in response to special events and circumstances and developments, which I will certainly continue to follow. Meanwhile, I have started a new series of posts on music, an old love of mine. Check out the 'Expedition music' website at Versions in English of the posts on this website will be available at

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
Pelle Menke, Communications and Programme officer Mobility at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Samenwerken aan transitievraagstukken; wat is er nodig? - Opbrengsten van het Amsterdam Smart City partnerdiner 2024

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Als Amsterdam Smart City netwerk bijten we ons vast in complexe stedelijke transitievraagstukken. Ze zijn complex omdat doorbraken nodig zijn; van kleine doorbraakjes, tot grotere systeem doorbraken. Denk aan bewegingen rond; organisatie-overstijgend werken, domein-overstijgend werken, en van competitief naar coöperatief. Als netwerk zetten we samenwerkingsprojecten op waarin we gaandeweg ondervinden met wat voor barrières we te maken hebben en wat voor doorbraken er nodig zijn.

Tijdens ons jaarlijkse Partnerdiner op 2 april, hadden we het samen met eindverantwoordelijken van onze partnerorganisaties over de strategische dilemma’s die spelen bij transitievraagstukken. Als gespreksstarters gebruikten we onze lopende onderwerpen van 2024: De coöperatieve metropool, de ondergrond, de circulaire metropool en drijvende wijken. De gesprekken aan tafel gingen echter over wat er aan de basis staat van het werken aan transitievraagstukken. Zo ging het bijvoorbeeld over; het samenwerken aan visies en scenario’s, leiderschap, burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid en de kracht van coöperaties. In dit artikel bespreek ik beknopt een aantal onderwerpen die onder de aandacht werden gebracht door onze gasten.

Belangen en visie organiseren
Bij een vraagstuk of onderwerp als de ondergrond, gaan we het al snel hebben over de data en de oplossingen. Dat is ‘te makkelijk’. Technisch gaat het allemaal wel kunnen, maar als we daar te snel beginnen met de oplossing lopen we over een aantal jaar weer vast. Het is belangrijk om eerst een stapje terug te doen en een gedeeld belang en gedeelde visie te organiseren.

Hoe je belanghebbenden verzamelt, en de methode om tot een gedeelde visie te komen, dat is wat meer aandacht verdient. Neem het ondergrond vraagstuk als voorbeeld. Op welke schaal organiseer je daarvoor de belanghebbenden? Aan de oppervlakte hebben we Gemeentelijke en Provinciale grenzen, maar in de ondergrond liggen netwerken van kabels en leidingen die op andere schaal zijn geïnstalleerd en hebben we te maken met bodemtypologieën met verschillende behoeften.

Samen voorstellen en voorspellen
Dat waar je naartoe wilt werken, dat moet van iedereen voelen. Het is belangrijk om een setting te creëren van gedeeld eigenaarschap, waarin iedereen zich ook gehoord voelt, en dat je voelt dat de mensen met wie je gaat samenwerken ook voor jouw belangen op zullen komen. Om samen tot een visie te komen, is het belangrijk om te werken aan scenario’s en die samen te doorleven. Je moet het dan niet alleen hebben over waar je heen wilt, maar ook uitwerken wat er gebeurt als je niets doet of als het helemaal verkeerd uitpakt.

De scenario’s zouden op waarden moeten rusten. Het beeld wat bij de scenario’s hoort is veranderlijk, maar de waarden niet. Samen ben je continu in samenspraak over wat de waarden betekenen voor het verhaal dat je creëert.

Leiderschap en een interdisciplinaire werkwijze
Transitievraagstukken en bovenstaande aanpakken verdienen een bepaald soort leiderschap. Zo zou een leidinggevende bijvoorbeeld een veranderlijke en faciliterende houding moeten tonen, en moet hij/zij vanuit waarden werken die inspireren en verbinden. Het zou meer moeten gaan over het faciliteren van doeners, het stimuleren van doelgericht samenwerken in plaats van taakgericht en ruimte bieden voor menszijn en persoonlijke expertises. Met dit laatste wordt verwezen naar een stukje burgerlijke ongehoorzaamheid. Om dingen die we belangrijk vinden in gang te zetten moeten we soms even los kunnen denken van onze organisatiestructuren en functies. We zouden wel wat vaker mogen appelleren aan ons menszijn.

Meer faciliteren en minder hiërarchie helpt ons om beleid en praktijk dichter bij elkaar te brengen, en om van competitief naar meer coöperatief te bewegen. Als je naar de uitvoering gaat mag de kracht verplaatsen naar de uitvoerders. De machtsverschuivingen tussen leidinggevenden en de doeners, met specifieke rollen en expertises, mag in een constante wisselwerking rond gaan.

Ook interdisciplinair samenwerken aan transitievraagstukken zal nog meer moeten worden gestimuleerd, en misschien wel de norm moeten worden. Bij overheden en bestuurders bijvoorbeeld, zijn transitie thema’s verdeeld over domeinen als energie, mobiliteit, etc. maar de vraagstukken zelf zijn domein overstijgend. Als voorwaarde zou je kunnen stellen dat je altijd twee transities aan elkaar moet koppelen. We zouden meer inspirerende voorbeelden moeten laten zien waarbij verschillende domeinen en transities aan elkaar worden gekoppeld, door bijvoorbeeld overheden.

Publieke, private en civiele partijen zouden nog meer naast elkaar aan tafel mogen, in plaats van tegenover elkaar. Bedrijven kunnen verzuild zijn, of zich zo voelen, en zouden nog meer om zich heen kunnen kijken en samenwerken. Niet alleen met overheden, maar ook met civiele organisaties. Er zijn vaak meer gezamenlijke belangen dan we denken.

In een beweging naar niet-competitief samenwerken kunnen coöperaties een belangrijke factor zijn. Wanneer je meer autoriteit bij coöperaties neerlegt, weet je zeker dat er in de basis voor een wijk, een stad, haar inwoners, een publiek belang wordt gewerkt. Er liggen dan ook veel kansen bij een faciliterende houding vanuit de overheid naar coöperaties toe, en in de samenwerking tussen bedrijven en coöperaties.
Er zijn tijdens dit diner veel onderwerpen aan bod gekomen waar we met het netwerk mee aan de slag kunnen in onze programmering. De input wordt gebruikt voor onze lopende vraagstukken en we gaan de komende tijd in gesprek met partners om te kijken of we van start kunnen met verdiepende sessies of het ontwikkelen van methoden op (enkele van) deze onderwerpen.
<em>Wil je doorpraten over deze onderwerpen, met ons - of een van onze partners? Mailen kan naar*</em>

Pelle Menke's picture #CircularCity
Lisa Hobus, posted

Tech Radar 2024 - Technische snufjes en onbegrensde mogelijkheden: wat kiest Amsterdam?

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Van generatieve AI, superapps tot quantum computing: wat betekenen deze techtrends voor Amsterdam? De gemeente Amsterdam volgt de laatste technologische ontwikkelingen op de voet samen met een team van onderzoekers, journalisten en techexperts. We onderzoeken de impact en hoe we deze toepassingen het best voor de Amsterdammers en de stad kunnen inzetten. Deze inzichten delen we onder andere in een jaarlijks toegankelijk geschreven rapport: de Tech Radar.

Het nieuwsbericht op lees je hier. De downloadlinks naar de Nederlandse en Engelstalige versie zijn hier te vinden.

Sophie van der Ploeg, Community Manager & Program Lead Digital at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Demoday #23: Data Commons & the (Agri)Food Case

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In the big tech-dominated era, data has been commercially exploited for so long that it is now hard to imagine that data sharing might also benefit the community. Yet that is what a collective of businesses, governments, social institutions and residents in Amsterdam aim to do with the Data Commons Collective. Sharing more data to better care for the Amsterdam Region. On Demoday #23, Lia Hsu (Amsterdam Economic Board) and Simone van der Burg (Waag) led an interactive value workshop to discuss which values are important when it comes to sharing data from the perspective of different stakeholders in an (agri)food use case.

What is a (Data) Common?

Commons are natural resources that are accessible to everyone within a community. Water. Fertile soil. Clean air. Actually, everything the earth has given us. We as humanity have increasingly begun to exploit these commons in our pursuit of power and profit maximisation. As a result, we risk exhausting them.

Data is a new, digital resource: a valuable commodity that can be used to improve products and services. Data can thus also be used for the common good. However, there are two important differences between a common and a data common: data in commons never run out, and data in commons is not tied to any geographical location or sociocultural groups.

Four principles for Data Commons

Each Data Common serves a different purpose and requires a different implementation, but there are four principles that are always the same:

  1. The data common is used to serve a public or community purpose;
  2. The data common requires cooperation between different parties, such as individuals, companies or public institutions;
  3. The data common is managed according to principles that are acceptable to users and that define who may access the data commons under what conditions, in what ways they may be used, for what purpose, what is meant by data misuse;
  4. The data common is embedded to manage data quality, but also to monitor compliance with the principles and ensure that data misuse is also noticed and that an appropriate response (such as a reprimand, penalty or fine) follows.

The (Agri)Food case

The Data Commons collective is currently working on different applied use cases to understand how Data Commons can help with concrete solutions to pressing societal problems in the areas of energy, green urban development, mobility, health and culture. This Demoday, we discussed the (Agri)Food Data Common use case.

The agricultural sector is facing significant challenges. A growing world population means more mouths to feed. However, that food must also be produced in a way that reduces the burden on the environment. One way to do this is by local food production and shortening supply chains. For effective cooperation within short supply chains, digitisation and data are crucial.

The University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences have the ambition to source their cafeteria food locally and sustainably. The availability and application of data are essential for the realization of such a local and sustainable regional food system. Moreover, there is a great need for a form of data sharing among the relevant stakeholders.

From individual to common interests

During the session, various stakeholders were identified: farmers, consumers/students, data specialists, and governments. The participants engaged in discussions about each other's interests and whether they can be reconciled into a common interest. This is an important first step towards a Data Common.

One of the main values the participants discussed was trust. In the agricultural sector, there is a deeply rooted feeling of mistrust from farmers due the nitrogen strategy and transformation of rural areas by the government. Farmers highly value their autonomy, and are therefore often not eager to share their data with the government. Therefore transparency about individual interests, but also about the purpose of sharing data, is essential. Another value the participants discussed is fairness and creating a level playing field for smaller entrepreneurs through the Data Common.

Do you have input for the Data Commons Collective?

Amsterdam Economic Board will remain involved in the Data Commons Collective in a coordinating role and work on use cases to understand how data commons can work for society. The Data Commons Collective is still looking for additional use cases to test Data Commons in practice. Do you have a suggestion for Lia and Simone? Please feel free to reach out to me via, and I’ll connect you!

Sophie van der Ploeg's picture News
Stef Traa, Working on a world without waste ♻️ , posted

Recycling start-up Droppie has announced their first recycling hub in Amsterdam

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Droppie, the innovative recycling start-up, is gearing up to open its first recycling hub in Amsterdam starting June 2024.

At Droppie, we're on a mission to make the world a cleaner place by adding value to recyclables. We've developed a unique collection system and a handy mobile app that rewards users for responsibly recycling all sorts of materials, from textiles to plastics to e-waste!

Bag it. Drop it. Cash it.

Stay tuned for more updates as we countdown to our official launch. Get ready to join us on this exciting journey as we continue to innovate, grow, and make a difference together!

Stef Traa's picture #CircularCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Recap of Demoday #23

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On Thursday, April 18, Amsterdam Smart City partners came together for the 23rd edition of our Demoday. We were welcomed by Ru Paré. Ru Paré is a community-driven space that is home to a lot of different small businesses. They share their space and their knowledge. Inclusiveness and cooperation are at the heart of Ru Paré. These values align closely with our own values at Amsterdam Smart City.

In this article, we’ll give you a quick overview of the Knowledge Session, Work Sessions and Pitches. Interested in learning more? Read the full reports by our Programme Managers Noor, Pelle and Sophie (linked below).

About our Demodays

The Demodays are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demodays 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 Demodays can be found here.

Knowledge Session: Socratic Design

Ruben Polderman told us more about the philosophy and method of Socratic Design. It's important for a city to collectively reflect on a good existence. Socratic Design can be a way to think about this together, collectively. You work on your own presuppositions, enhance your listening skills, and deepen your understanding of our current dominant narratives to create new narratives and practices. Ruben guided us through examples and exercises to help us understand what narratives and presuppositions entail. Read Pelle's full report here.

Work Sessions

Mobility – Mobility Injustice

Being able to move from point A to B contributes to your sense of freedom. But there are also people who cannot do that as easily as most people; be it because of financial, physical, vehicular, or other reasons. On behalf of Provincie Noord-Holland and in collaboration with Amsterdam Smart City and Amsterdam Centre of Expertise, a group of students working on their graduation project tackled this topic at the latest Demoday of 2024. Read Timo’s full report here.

Digital – Data Commons & the (Agri)Food Case

In the big tech-dominated era, data has been commercially exploited for so long that it is now hard to imagine that data sharing might also benefit the community. Yet that is what a collective of businesses, governments, social institutions and residents in Amsterdam aim to do with the Data Commons Collective. Sharing more data to better care for the Amsterdam Region. Lia Hsu (Amsterdam Economic Board) and Simone van der Burg (Waag) led an interactive value workshop to discuss which values are important when it comes to sharing data from the perspective of different stakeholders in an (agri)food use case. Read Sophie's full report here.

Energy – Co-creation with residents in the heat transition

Municipalities and neighborhoods are actively engaged in the heat transition, but residents are often involved late in the planning process, leading to dissatisfaction. Kennisland is developing a plan to involve residents early in neighborhood heat transitions, aligning with local interests. This plan has been discussed with various organizations and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Dave van Loon and Marieke van Doorninck (Kennisland) have dived into the problems surrounding heat grids and come up with a plan. In this Demoday work-session we looked into the problems surrounding heat grids and their plan to solve this. The session was moderated by our own Leonie van Beuken. Read Noor's full report here.


Before we divided into separate work sessions, we had time for some inspiring presentations. The topics presented are listed below. You can click on the links to visit the dedicated project pages.

  • Circular: True Price Lab – Are consumers willing to pay the actual cost of their products? Would they pay extra for the environmental impact of their products? (Sjoukje Goldman, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) Read more here
  • Energy: Sharing Energy in the Neighborhood – Currently, we heavily rely on major energy suppliers. In the Netherlands, we face issues with net congestion. We cannot continue just adding more energy consumers and sources. In his pitch, Hugo discussed an innovative approach to tackle this issue by learning from our neighbors. (Hugo Niesing, Resourcefully) Read more here
  • Mobility: Oui - Think outside the box! Or rather, think of a box. This new concept for a compact, circular vehicle is called the Minimal Car. Designed like a box with seating for four, it primarily targets urban mobility. This car bridges the gap between a cargo bike and a standard car. It is spacious enough for moving houses yet small enough to prevent city congestion. (Barend Koolhaas, Minimal Car) Read more here

Our next Demoday will take place on the 20th of June. Do you have an inspiring story or project you want to pitch to the Amsterdam Smart City network? Let us know via Sophie (Digital), Pelle (Mobility) or Noor (Energy & Circular)

Amsterdam Smart City's picture News
Noor Veenhoven, Program manager energy & circularity at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Demoday #23: Co-creating with residents in the heat transition

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The heat transition is in full swing. Municipalities want their residents off the gas and want them to switch to renewable sources of heat. Unfortunately, heat grids have often led to frustrated residents. Which in turn has led to delayed or cancelled plans for the municipality.

Dave van Loon and Marieke van Doorninck (Kennisland) have looked into the problems surrounding heat grids and came up with a plan. In this Demoday work-session we dived into the problems surrounding heat grids and their plan to solve them. The session was moderated by our own Leonie van Beuken.

Why residents get frustrated with heat grid plans

Involving residents in the planning of a heat grid is difficult. It takes a lot of time and effort and the municipality is often in a hurry. This is why they choose for a compromise in which they already make the plan, but try to involve citizens at the end part. However, this leads to residents not having anything to say in the plans. They can block the plans, but they can’t really make changes. This leads to a lot of dissatisfaction.

This top-down approach doesn't seem to be ideal for involving residents in the heat transition. That's why Kennisland is working on developing a plan for early collaboration with residents in the heat transition of neighbourhoods, with a focus on connecting with the community's concerns.

They have seen that this kind of approach can be successful by looking at the K-buurt in Amsterdam-Zuid-Oost. In the initial stages, the first plan for the K-buurt didn't gain much traction. However, when they shifted towards a more collaborative approach, people felt empowered to engage, leading to a more meaningful participation process. Instead of traditional town hall meetings, discussions took place in community spaces like the local barber shop. This shift towards genuine participation and co-creation has resulted in a much-improved end product, one that residents truly support and believe in.

The plan for co-creation in the heat transition

The plan that Kennisland came up with consists of a few key points that are necessary for success:
• Engage with residents early on in the process.
• Also consider other issues in the neighbourhood. There might be more pressing concerns for the residents themselves.
• Ensure accessibility for everyone to participate.
• Truly collaborate on developing a list of requirements.
• Harness creativity.
• Work in a less compartmentalized manner.
They aim to form a neighbourhood alliance and organize a community council. Together a plan can be made for the neighbourhood that all residents can get behind.
This plan might take a bit longer at the start, but that investment in time will pay itself back in the end.

SWOT analysis of co-creation plan

After Dave and Marieke explained their plan we did a SWOT analysis with the group. We looked at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the plan.

The main strength that was pointed out was the ability to make a plan together with the residents. The residents experience the neighbourhood differently than a government official, which makes the final plan more beneficial to everyone.

The weaknesses the group saw in the plan were mainly that this could potentially slow down the process. Should we maybe do less participation instead of more and use force to get this heat transition going?

There were a lot of opportunities identified for this plan. The quality of the plan (and the neighbourhood) can greatly increase. By slowing down at the start we can actually accelerate and improve the neighbourhood on many levels. This plan also offers a great learning experience.

Finally, we went into the threats. One of the big threats that was pointed out was the lack of trust. If residents don’t trust the municipality and the process then it will never be possible to let this plan succeed. The explanation to residents also needs to be understandable. The explanation around a heat grid can get technical very quickly, and residents often don’t have the background to understand everything. The last threat that was pointed out was that if you get a lot of input from the residents for the plan, you also have to do something with that, and still be realistic. You have to work hard to manage expectations.

We completed the session by asking the participants if they knew any partners and places to collaborate with for this plan, or if they had any other ideas to make this plan successful.

We would now like to ask the same questions to you! Do you know someone who would like to partner up with Kennisland, do you know a place where this plan can be tested, or do you have any other ideas? Let us know by contacting me at

Noor Veenhoven's picture #Energy
Pelle Menke, Communications and Programme officer Mobility at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Demoday #23 Knowledge Session: An Introduction to Socratic Design

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During our 23rd Demo Day on April 18, 2024, Ruben Polderman told us more about the philosophy and method of Socratic Design. It's important for a city to collectively reflect on a good existence. Socratic Design can be a way to think about this together, collectively.
Thinking and Acting Differently with Socratic Design
Together with his colleagues at the Digitalization & Innovation department of the Municipality of Amsterdam, Ruben explored how a city should deal with innovation and digitalization. Things were progressing well. The municipality could act swiftly; for example, promising Smart Mobility research and innovation projects were initiated with new partners. However, the transitions are heading in various directions, and progress remains limited. No matter how groundbreaking innovation is, there's a danger in trying to solve problems with the same mindset that caused them. The ability to perceive or think differently is therefore crucial. More crucial, even, than accumulated knowledge, as filosopher David Bohm suggested.
Through Socratic Design, we can collectively improve the latter. You work on your own presuppositions, enhance your listening skills, and deepen your understanding of our current dominant narratives to create new narratives and practices. Ruben guided us through examples and exercises to help us understand what narratives and presuppositions entail.

"We think we live in reality, but we live in a narrative," Ruben proposes to the group. What we say to each other and how we interact creates a culture that shapes the group and its actions. Narratives are stories that guide our culture, values, thoughts, and actions. They are paradigms so deeply rooted that we no longer question them and sometimes believe there is no alternative. Our current dominant narrative has significant consequences for the Earth and humanity, and although it seems fixed, we can also create new narratives together if we choose to do so.

We must fundamentally seek a good existence within safe ecological boundaries. This should go beyond the transitions we are currently favouring, which sustain our lifestyle but just make it less harmful for the environment. If we want to create new stories with new, positive human perceptions and lifestyles, we must first examine our current narrative and presuppositions. We will need to deconstruct our current ways of living and thinking, much like the Theory U method mentioned during the previous Knowledge Session (see our recap article of this session).
Understanding Presuppositions
Ruben showed us various themes and images to collectively practice recognizing presuppositions. For example, a photo of a medical patient and doctors in action demonstrates that our feeling of "to measure is to know" is also crucial in healthcare. The doctors focus on the screen, the graph, the numbers, and therefore have less focus on the patient; the human, themselves. A photo of the stock market, where a group of men is busy trading stocks, also illustrates our idea of economic growth. Here too, there is a fixation on numbers. Ideally, they're green and going up, but meanwhile, we can lose sight of what exactly we're working towards and what exactly it is that we’re ‘growing’.

As a group, we discussed some presuppositions we could find in our field of work. For example, we talked about our need for and appreciation of objective data, and technologism; the belief in solutions rooted in technology and digitalization.
Fundamental Presupposition Shifts and New Narratives
If you flip a presupposition like Technologism and suggest that Social Interaction could be our salvation and solution to many of our problems, you set off a fundamental presupposition shift. If you translate this into practical actions or experiments, you can collectively understand how a newly created presupposition functions. As a group, we worked on this. During this session, I myself worked with an example from the field of mobility.

If I were to apply this new presupposition in the field of mobility and we look at the development of cars, perhaps we shouldn't go towards autonomous vehicles (technologism), but look for ways to motivate and strengthen carpooling (social interaction). As an experiment, you could, for example, set up an alternative to the conventional car lease plan. Employees of an organization don't all get the option to lease a car; instead, it's considered who could commute together, and there's a maximum of 1 car for every 4 employees per organization. Just like going to an away game with your soccer team on Sundays as a kid; enjoyable!
Read More
This session was an introduction and gave us a good initial understanding of this philosophy and method, but there's much more to discover. The method also delves into how presuppositions are deeply rooted in us, how we validate this with feeling in our bodies, and dialogue methods to collectively arrive at new values and narratives. There's more explained about Socratic Design on Amsterdam's Open Research platform.

Pelle Menke's picture #Citizens&Living
Timo van Elst, Student at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Demoday #23: Mobility Injustices and the creative mind.

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In a world where moving yourself from point A to point B is becoming much more crucial than ever, there are people out there who cannot experience such a luxury at the flick of a wrist, or perhaps the clack of an ankle? It is hard to imagine sometimes, but there are those who cannot move around as easily as others; be it because of financial, physical, vehicular, or other reasons. A community that can go about as they please without any issues is a happy community that is beneficial to society – For a collective of governments and businesses it is in their best interests to ensure citizens can experience freedom and liberty in their mobility. The question of how to achieve this freedom in mobility and how to deter against injustices regarding mobility remains a hot topic, however. On behalf of Provincie Noord Holland and in collaboration with Amsterdam Smart City and Amsterdam Centre of Expertise, a group of graduating students tackled this topic on the latest Demoday of 2024.

Starting the voyage : What are mobility injustices?
A value workshop led by Jackie Ippel and Jade Salomons engaged the participants in a fun, creative wave of brain-crackling activities. Participants were presented with a question of whether they knew what mobility injustices, or as we call it in Dutch “Mobiliteits Armoede”, was. An explanation of which followed suit soon after. Mobility Injustices, as described by the KiM organization, explains the inability or difficulties people experience in terms of reaching activity locations due to inadequate transport options, combined with socio-economic and spatial conditions in which people find themselves. As a result, they are often hindered in their participation in social life, which negatively affects their quality of life.

It is important to think about the definition of what exactly mobility injustices entail, as it helps us find a better understanding in finding a creative series of solutions that will solve this complex jigsaw puzzle.

Like a ball of yarn : unraveling theorems.
In order to stimulate the brain of each participant and to get the blood pumping through their legs, each participant was asked to stand in the middle of the room. As was once quoted in the horror thriller Saw; “Wanna play a game?”. Participants were presented with a series of theorems in which they had to make a choice that’d question their liberal thoughts; either stand on one side of the room for one answer or on the other side for the other – No in-betweens. Being forced to make ultimatums proved to be both challenging for the participants yet fun, as it was met with bountiful heaps of enthusiasm. In the first theorem, participants were presented with a question of whether or not mobility should be a fundamental right for each and every citizen. While agreed one did not, but can their minds be changed? A flurry of other theorems were presented, each of which dove deeper into the depths of dilemmas one may encounter when attempting to solve the puzzle of mobility inequality. Like who is more important, those who have low incomes or those who suffer from physical and mental disabilities which hinder their day-to-day lives? Brief discussions flowed forth after each and every theorem, after each voting round, reasons were given as to why one can choose one over the other. After which another second voting session followed. Perhaps new insights would change one’s opinion on the subject? It actually did once or twice! Such is the power of dialogue.

Embarking into the abyss : Worst Idea Possible.
“How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I’m just doing what comes naturally-“ -such were the words Onceler sung in Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Lorax’. While people do not like the idea of being bad or thinking of bad ideas sometimes this way of thinking can actually bring plentiful new insights never thought of before. The group split itself in two, each of which under the guidance of either Jackie Ippel or Jade Salomons. Participants were asked to come with their most horrid, ludicrous ideas that’d actually make mobility injustices worse. After which they had to decide what element made this a bad idea. Example, if public transport were to be described, the element that’d make the idea bad would be less alternatives for traveling. The final and third part of this exercise required something rather unique however. Does your mind already wonder what? Well, it’s quite simple really, now participants had to come up with what would be the opposite of their bad idea! So what would their idea be in reverse, an actual solution to the problem they created. If your bad solution was to make everything only scannable by QR-codes its reverse solution would be… using solely physical text! For a solid 20 minutes participants racked their heads and discussed until their times were down to only 5 minutes left. The last of those minutes left were spent discussing and laughing about their ideas – A method met with confusion at first was appreciated with loads of enthusiasm by the end where only time was the fun killer.

A creative view found in madness: Crazy Eight.

The creativity cannot just end after one session. Holding the thought of the previous session, participants were asked to gather in a circle around a table. With each given a paper and asked to fold it so that 8 separate square spaces would form on the sheet the Crazy Eight exercise was explained. Participants were asked to draw their solution one of their 8 square. For each drawing they had a minute per square, a total of 8 minutes until all were filled. Of course with so little time there was little room for thinking, imagination had to pull the cart here, which led to both silly and unique drawings. The longer the session went on the more difficult it became – the participants were truly pushed to their creative limits. A well-trained eye could even notice how some participants still tried to finish their previous drawing before moving onto the next despite the time. You could feel the atmosphere in the room shift to a hectic, almost crazy aura, thus doing its name of ‘Crazy Eight’ truly justice.

At the end of the session it was only natural that people presented their top 3 drawings. One after another each participant proudly showed off their creative drawings like a trophy to the rest of the group. Turns out, despite not communicating with one another during the drawing sessions there were lots of similarities in the elements used in each drawing. The bus, the civil servant, and the elderly were commonly used elements seen back in almost everyone’s drawing. Via these sources of inspiration it became clear just where the solutions may lie.

An journey’s end : Results.

At the end of the session we didn’t just start talking about what we had done. No, instead we At the end of the session, we didn’t just start talking about what we had done. No, instead we went back and looked at the very first theorem everyone was presented with; “Should mobility be a fundamental right for each and every citizen?”. Last time everyone answered all but one was in favor of this theorem, now participants were asked to revise their statement and see if they still agreed with what they said at the beginning. As said before, dialogue can change the outlook we have on the world and so someone did change their stance – The one person that disagreed with the theorem now actually agreed that mobility should be a fundamental right. A full 100% score! Only after this a talk about what we had done started. Opinions were asked and each participant shared the emotion they had experienced during this work session and to leave it behind on a post-it.

·       Fun and insightful: The gamification of thinking is taking the design world by storm, and on this Demoday, it has proven that this form of design thinking can not only be effective in bringing brand new insights but also can be fun.

·       Enthusiasm: What started off with an iffy approach ended with tons of enthusiasm. Idea generating doesn’t just have to be sitting at a table and talking in your own bubble; it can become so much more effective when the mood is changed from serious and gloomy to frivolous and enthusiastic..

·       Creativity: A creative way of thinking actually helps in generating ideas. Using playful thinking such as considering a bad idea first and then the opposite helps find solutions to problems in a much more efficient way.

During this Demoday, we as a group of graduating students got to know the thought process behind those who work within the field of mobility. While we hope that we brought them plenty of insights and, above all, a fun day, it is sufficient to say that we too learned an abundance of information. The insights made during the Demoday will be used by us in writing our final report for the Provincie Noord Holland regarding a detailed consult on how to improve the mobility of the citizens of the province of Noord-Holland and how to tackle the injustices surrounding mobility. Demoday’s are fun and can inspire even the most closed-minded people. If we could, we would do it all over again. And, if you are still on the fence about joining a Demoday, then I hope that column will ignite that curiosity.

Timo van Elst's picture #Mobility
Sanne van Kempen, Marketing & Communications Lead at Spectral, posted

Ondanks congestie toch bedrijvigheid op Schiphol Trade Park

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Wat in oktober 2020 begon als een urgent probleem – in het gebied waar Schiphol Trade Park in ontwikkeling was was geen extra transportcapaciteit meer mogelijk en de geplande bouw en uitbreiding moest noodgedwongen stoppen – is inmiddels opgelost. Onze baanbrekende virtuele netoplossing is daar nu namelijk ruim twee jaar in werking, en met succes: de bedrijven op Schiphol Trade Park zijn operationeel, breiden uit, en elektrificeren ondanks de netcongestie in het gebied.

Congestie op Schiphol Trade Park

Een blik op de congestiekaart maakt duidelijk dat Schiphol Trade Park in een door congestie grotendeels op slot gezet gebied ligt. Op het middenspanningsnet is geen extra capaciteit beschikbaar voor het transporteren van elektriciteit. Dat betekent dat er niet meer ontwikkeld wordt: een bedrijf krijgt namelijk wel een aansluiting, maar geen transportcapaciteit. Dit is niet alleen een probleem voor de bedrijven die zich hier willen vestigen, maar ook voor gebiedsontwikkelaar SADC (Schiphol Area Development Company), dat in 2020 nog de ambitie had om het meest duurzame business park van Europa te worden (en in 2023 door de BREEAM-NL Outstanding certificering zelfs het meest duurzame logistieke business park van de wereld is!). De ontwikkelaar wilde voorkomen dat bedrijven afzonderlijk een eigen oplossing zochten en er een wildgroei aan gasgeneratoren met de daarbij behorende uitstoot zou ontstaan. SADC zag dat dit slimmer, goedkoper en duurzamer kon, door op een innovatieve manier partijen te verbinden en te laten samenwerken. Bedrijven kunnen daardoor bouwen, uitbreiden en elektrificeren. Over de aanloop naar het project lees je meer op onze projectpagina.

Een doorbraak: de virtuele netoplossing

Alle bij de coöperatie aangesloten bedrijven delen hun eigen transportcapaciteit met elkaar. Zo maken ze slim gebruik van de gereserveerde ruimte. STELLAR Grid Management leest continu de slimme meters uit en stuurt de energiesystemen (zoals zonnepanelen, energie-opslag, en generatoren) achter de meter aan. Bovendien zorgen we voor de financiële afhandeling van deze aansturing, zodat de deelnemende bedrijven elkaar compenseren voor gebruikte elektriciteit en voor het beschikbaar stellen van hun stuurbare energiesystemen.

De resultaten van een jaar virtueel net

Het virtuele net is twee jaar actief. In het eerste jaar sloten zich nog gefaseerd bedrijven aan bij het collectief. De resultaten van dat jaar zijn voorspoedig, maar niet helemaal volledig.

Nu we een tijdje bezig zijn, delen we met vertrouwen onze resultaten. Voor deze resultaten keken we naar 2023. Zo nemen we dus alle seizoenen en bijbehorende energievraag mee in deze analyse.

Het collectief wordt goed benut: in 2023 is 2.104 MWh aan elektriciteitslevering extra mogelijk gemaakt door het delen van de capaciteit binnen het virtuele net. Zonder deze slimme oplossing hadden heel veel stuurbare energiesystemen, zoals batterijen en generatoren, deze elektriciteit moeten leveren. In het collectief nemen in totaal zeven bedrijven deel die weinig of geen netcapaciteit hebben. Dankzij deze slimme oplossing kunnen de bedrijven gebruikmaken van de beschikbare ruimte en opwek van de buren.

Om zeker te zijn van voldoende elektriciteit binnen de gestelde limieten hebben meerdere bedrijven geïnvesteerd in batterijen en gas- en dieselgeneratoren. Het collectief gebruikt die middelen als er een tekort aan capaciteit is. De generatoren dienen vooral als achtervang. Voordat STELLAR deze aanstuurt, bepaalt het systeem of de aangesloten batterijen kunnen voorzien in het verwachte moment van schaarste. Als de batterij niet voldoende is, schakelt STELLAR automatisch een generator in. In heel 2023 is ertwee keer een generator ingezet om binnen de netlimiet te blijven, voor in totaal 2 uur. Toen de generatoren aangingen waren de batterijen nog niet operationeel, anders waren die generatoren waarschijnlijk niet nodig geweest.

Zonder virtueel net hadden deze partijen moeten investeren in elk een eigen generator (en eventuele back-up generator). Die generatoren hadden gezamenlijk tot 31.000 draaiuren gemaakt. Dat is gelukkig voorkomen. Er is hiermee voor 468.000 m3 minder gas verbruikt, en daardoor is er lokaal 842 ton CO2 minder uitgestoten door generatoren.

Het virtuele net is dus een solide oplossing voor congestiegebieden. Dankzij de slimme aansturing zijn zeven bedrijven operationeel die zonder de virtuele netoplossing hadden moeten uitwijken naar een andere locatie in Nederland of daarbuiten,terwijl een aantal van hen al aan het bouwen was. En er is een enorme hoeveel CO2-uitstoot voorkomen.

De toekomst van Grid Management

We zijn trots op ons virtuele net bij Schiphol Trade Park. We horen ook een enorme urgentie in de markt: veel partijen worstelen met netcongestie en zoeken naar een vergelijkbare oplossing. Maar de toekomst van Grid Management is niet hapklaar. Het project bij Schiphol Trade Park is een pilot, en de voorwaarden van een standaard contractvorm voor een dergelijke collectieve oplossing (groeps-transportovereenkomst) zijn nog niet definitief vastgesteld.

Niet alleen bij Schiphol

Schiphol Trade Park is zeker niet de enige plek in Nederland waar sprake is van congestie. Eerder dit jaar lanceerden we onze oplossing bijvoorbeeld ook in het Zwolse Hessenpoort. Heb jij ook last van congestie? We denken graag met je mee. Neem contact met ons op.

Sanne van Kempen's picture #Energy
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Will the 15-minute city cause the US suburbs to disappear? 6/7

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Urbanisation in the US is undergoing major changes. The image of a central city surrounded by sprawling suburbs therefore needs to be updated. The question is what place does the 15-minute city have in it? That is what this somewhat longer post is about
From the 1950s, residents of US cities began moving en masse to the suburbs. A detached house in the green came within reach for the middle and upper classes, and the car made it possible to commute daily to factories and offices. These were initially still located in and around the cities. The government stimulated this development by investing billions in the road network.
From the 1980s, offices also started to move away from the big cities. They moved to attractive locations, often near motorway junctions. Sometimes large shopping and entertainment centres also settled there, and flats were built on a small scale for supporting staff. Garreau called such cities 'edge cities'.
Investors built new suburbs called 'urban villages' in the vicinity of the new office locations, significantly reducing the distance to the offices. This did not reduce congestion on congested highways.
However, more and more younger workers had no desire to live in suburbs. The progressive board of Arlington, near Washington DC, took the decision in the 1980s to develop a total of seven walkable, inclusive, attractive and densely built-up cores in circles of up to 800 metres around metro stations. In each was a wide range of employment, flats, shops and other amenities . In the process, the Rosslyn-Balston Corridor emerged and experienced rapid growth. The population of the seven cores now stands at 71,000 out of a total of 136,000 jobs. 36% of all residents use the metro or bus for commuting, which is unprecedentedly high for the US. The Rosslyn-Balston Corridor is a model for many other medium-sized cities in the US, such as New Rochelle near new York.
Moreover, to meet the desire to live within walking distance of all daily amenities, there is a strong movement to also regenerate the suburbs themselves. This is done by building new centres in the suburbs and densifying part of the suburbs.
The new centres have a wide range of flats, shopping facilities, restaurants and entertainment centres.  Dublin Bridge Park, 30 minutes from Columbus (Ohio) is one of many examples.
It is a walkable residential and commercial area and an easily accessible centre for residents from the surrounding suburbs. It is located on the site of a former mall.
Densification of the suburbs is necessary because of the high demand for (affordable) housing, but also to create sufficient support for the new centres.
Space is plentiful. In the suburbs, there are thousands of (semi-)detached houses that are too large for the mostly older couples who occupy them. An obvious solution is to split the houses, make them energy-positive and turn them into two or three starter homes. There are many examples how this can be done in a way that does not affect the identity of the suburbs (image).
New construction in suburbs
This kind of solution is difficult to realise because the municipal authorities concerned are bound by decades-old zoning plans, which prescribe in detail what can be built somewhere. Some of the residents fiercely oppose changing the laws. Especially in California, the NIMBYs (not in my backyard) and the YIMBYs (yes in my backyard) have a stranglehold on each other and housing construction is completely stalled.
But even without changing zoning laws, there are incremental changes.  Here and there, for instance, garages, usually intended for two or three cars, are being converted into 'assessor flats' for grandma and grandpa or for children who cannot buy a house of their own.  But garden houses are also being added and souterrains constructed. Along the path of gradualness, this adds thousands of housing units, without causing much fuss.
It is also worth noting that small, sometimes sleepy towns seem to be at the beginning of a period of boom.  They are particularly popular with millennials. These towns are eminently 'walkable' , the houses are not expensive and there is a wide range of amenities. The distance to the city is long, but you can work well from home and that is increasingly the pattern. The pandemic and the homeworking it has initiated has greatly increased the popularity of this kind of residential location.
All in all, urbanisation in the US can be typified by the creation of giant metropolitan areas, across old municipal boundaries. These areas are a conglomeration of new cities, rivalling the old mostly shrinking and poverty-stricken cities in terms of amenities, and where much of employment is in offices and laboratories. In between are the suburbs, with a growing variety of housing. The aim is to create higher densities around railway stations. Besides the older suburbs, 'urban villages' have emerged in attractive locations. More and more suburbs are getting their own walkable centres, with a wide range of flats and facilities. Green space has been severely restricted by these developments.
According to Christopher Leinberger, professor of real estate and urban analysis at George Washington University, there is no doubt that in the US, walkable, attractive cores with a mixed population and a varied housing supply following the example of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor are the future. In addition, walkable car-free neighbourhoods, with attractive housing and ample amenities are in high demand in the US. Some of the 'urban villages' are developing as such.  The objection is that these are 'walkable islands', rising in an environment that is anything but walkable. So residents always have one or two cars in the car park for when they leave the neighbourhood, as good metro or train connections are scarce. Nor are these kinds of neighbourhoods paragons of a mixed population; rents tend to be well above the already unaffordable average.
The answer of the question in the header therefore is: locally and slowly

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Citizens&Living
Xander Bakker, Community Manager at Green Innovation Hub, posted

Vennster winnaar van Green Innovation Hub Contest 202

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Groepsfoto van alle deelnemers en aanwezigen tijdens de Green Innovation Hub Contest 2024 in Almere.

Almere, 18 april 2024 – Scale-up Vennster uit Nijkerk is de winnaar van de Green Innovation Hub Contest 2024. In deze wedstrijd presenteerden negen start-ups en scale-ups hun innovatieve oplossing voor een duurzame en inclusieve leefomgeving. Met hun methode en intelligente participatie app Parta wist Vennster de jury te overtuigen om hun product samen met de inwoners van Almere in te zetten voor de Almeerse woonwijken Hortus en Pampus.

De sociale app stelt een gemeente in staat om een brede doelgroep te bereiken, dit gaf uiteindelijk de doorslag om met de winst er vandoor te gaan. Het product zal verder ontwikkeld worden in samenwerking met de gemeente Almere en andere organisaties die betrokken waren bij de contest. Ook wint de scale-up een reis naar de Smart City World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, de productie van een eigen bedrijfsfilm en krijgen zij begeleiding om het bedrijf verder te ontwikkelen.

Partner en eigenaar Lonneke Dikmans van Vennster nam de Golden Award in ontvangst: “Wij zijn heel blij dat we hebben gewonnen, omdat het een erkenning is van onze missie. Wij willen zoveel mogelijk mensen in Nederland met elkaar in contact te brengen met onze methode en app en daarmee maatschappelijke uitdagingen oplossen, zoals de energietransitie.”

GIH afbeelding 1
Vrnl: Lonneke Dikmans (eigenaar en partner bij Vennster) ontvangt de Golden Award van Lisa van der Heijden (adviseur community management FDS & Digilab bij Realisatie IBDS) en Geert-Jan Put (hoofd economische ontwikkelingen bij Gemeente Almere).

Jaarlijkse wedstrijd voor duurzame startups en scaleups
In april 2023 werd de eerste editie van de Green Innovation Hub Contest vanuit de Green Innovation Hub georganiseerd. Civity uit Amersfoort ging er toen met de hoofdprijs vandoor. Ook volgend jaar zal er weer een contest worden uitgeschreven. De Green Innovation Hub is een samenwerking tussen Gemeente Almere, Provincie Flevoland en VodafoneZiggo.

Nico Bettings, director Fixed Network (VodafoneZiggo) licht toe: “De manier waarop we werken, wonen, leven en communiceren met elkaar verandert in een hoog tempo. Nieuwe innovaties zijn daarbij essentieel. Ik vind Vennster hier een fantastisch voorbeeld van. Ik hoop dat deze prijs hen een duwtje in de goede richting geeft, met alle expertise die in de hub aanwezig is.”

Innovatiekracht in Almere
In heel Nederland, maar zeker in Almere, is de roep om duurzame en innovatieve leefoplossingen groot. De komende tien jaar zullen er één miljoen huizen worden gebouwd en nieuwe wijken ontstaan, inclusief de gehele infrastructuur. Het doel is deze gebieden zo duurzaam en toekomstbesteding mogelijk neer te zetten. Daaromis de Green Innovation Hub in 2023 neergestreken in Almere en richt de wedstrijd zich op innovaties die in deze nieuwe woongebieden toegepast kunnen worden.

Geert Jan Put, hoofd economische ontwikkelingen bij Gemeente Almere licht toe: “We zitten qua gebiedsontwikkeling in de grootste transitie van de afgelopen jaren. Almere groeit met meer dan twintig procent per jaar. Onze stad is daarmee de proeftuin van innovaties die bijdragen aan een toekomstbestendige en duurzame woonomgeving. De oplossingen die tijdens de Green Innovation Hub Contest zijn gepresenteerd, dragen ieder op hun eigen manier bij aan een duurzame en natuur inclusieve stad. Ik blijf de organisaties met interesse volgen.”

GIH afbeelding 2
Vlnr: Danny Frietman (Green Innovation Hub), Harm Dijkstra (Provincie Flevoland), Nico Bettings (VodafoneZiggo), Caspar de Jonge (DMI-ecosysteem), René Visser (Green Innovation Hub/VodafoneZiggo) en Geert-Jan Put (Gemeente Almere) na ondertekening samenwerking Dutch Metropolitan Innovations en Green Innovation Hub (van links naar rechts).

Volgende fase Green Innovation Hub
De Green Innovation Hub is onlangs verhuisd naar gebouw Floor aan de Hospitaaldreef in Almere. De finale van de Green Innovation Hub Contest vond hier plaats. In het gebouw is tevens tijdens de avond het CityLab Almere geopend waar Vennster hun product kan presenteren aan geïnteresseerde bedrijven, overheids- en onderwijsinstellingen binnen en buiten Almere. Met het nieuwe kantoor is de grootte van de hub bijna vertienvoudigd. Per 1 juli komt daar zelfs 1000 m2 extra ruime bij. Daarmee kan het nieuwe gebouw worden opengesteld aan startups en scaleups die nog kantoorruimte zoeken. Geïnteresseerden kunnen zich via de website van de Green Innovation Hub kenbaar maken.

Over de Green Innovation Hub
De Green Innovation Hub is een broedplaats voor ontmoeting, samenwerking en innovatie. Partijen ontwikkelen digitale oplossingen voor een gezondestadsomgeving, lokale voedselzekerheid, mobiliteit, circulair bouwen, energiedistributie en sociale verbondenheid tussen stadsbewoners. Gezamenlijke innovaties worden gevalideerd en opgeschaald op speciale ‘greenfield’ locaties. De Green Innovation Hub is een open ecosysteem van het bedrijfsleven, overheden en onderwijs.

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AMS Institute, Re-inventing the city (urban innovation) at AMS Institute, posted

Join AMS Institute's Scientific Conference, hosted by TU Delft, Wageningen University & Research, MIT and the City of Amsterdam.

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Do you want to learn from and network with the best researchers and scientists working to tackle pressing urban challenges?
AMS Institute, is organizing the AMS Scientific Conference from April 23-25 at the Marineterrein, Amsterdam, to address pressing urban challenges. The event is organized in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam.
The conference brings together leading institutions in urban research and innovation, thought leaders, municipalities, researchers, and practitioners to explore innovative solutions for sustainable development in Amsterdam and other global cities. 
Keynotes, research workshops, learning tracks, and special sessions will explore the latest papers in the fields of mobility, circularity, energy transition, climate adaptation, urban food systems, digitization, diversity, inclusion, living labs experimentation, and transdisciplinary research.
Attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into cutting-edge research and engage in meaningful discussions with leading experts in their field. You can see the full program and all available sessions here.
This year's theme is 'Blueprints for messy cities? Navigating the interplay of order and messiness'. 
The program
Day 1: The good, the bad, and the ugly
Keynotes by Paul Behrens of Leiden University and Elin Andersdotter Fabre of UN-Habitat will be followed by a city panel including climate activist <strong>Hannah Prins</strong>. The first day concludes with a dinner at the Koepelkerk in Amsterdam: you're welcome to join our three-course meal with a 50 euro ticket.
Day 2️: Amazing discoveries
Keynotes by Carlo Ratti of MIT and Sacha Stolp of the Municipality of Amsterdam discuss innovation and research in cities. <strong>Corinne Vigreux</strong>, co-founder of TomTom, and Erik Versnel from Rabobank will participate in the city panel.
Day 3️: We are the city
Keynotes by Paul Chatterton of Leeds University and Victor Neequaye Kotey Deputy Director of the Waste Management Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana. They discuss how we shape the future of our cities together. This will be followed by a city panel including Ria Braaf-Fränkel of WomenMakeTheCity and prof. dr. Aleid Brouwer of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
To buy tickets: You can secure your conference tickets through our website.
Dinner tickets: On April 23 we’re hosting a dinner at the Koepelkerk in Amsterdam. Tickets for this can be added to your conference pass or bought separately. 

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Rihards Dzelme, Inclusive Cities & AI / Trained Architect and Urbanist , posted

😀Resultaten - Is betrokkenheid van de gemeenschap de moeite waard? 😀

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We hebben uiteenlopende en interessante reacties ontvangen van stedenbouwkundigen, architecten en gemeenten. Als u wilt weten wat andere professionals denken, vul dan deze enquête in met uw e-mailadres en wij delen de inzichten met u.

Bedankt! 😀

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We've received varied and interesting responses from urban developers, architects, and municipalities. If you want to know what other professionals think, please fill out this survey with your email, and we will share the insights with you.

Thank you! 😀

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

The global distribution of the 15-minute city idea 5/7

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A previous post made it clear that a 15-minute city ideally consists of a 5-minute walking zone, a 15-minute walking zone, also a 5-minute cycling zone and a the 15-minute cycling zone. These three types of neighbourhoods and districts should be developed in conjunction, with employment accessibility also playing an important role.
In the plans for 15-minute cities in many places around the world, these types of zones intertwine, and often it is not even clear which type of zone is meant.  In Paris too, I miss clear choices in this regard.
The city of Melbourne aims to give a local lifestyle a dominant place among all residents. Therefore, everyone should live within at most 10 minutes' walking distance to and from all daily amenities.  For this reason, it is referred to as a 20-minute city, whereas in most examples of a 15-minute city, such as Paris, it is only about <strong>the round trip</strong>. The policy in Melbourne has received strong support from the health sector, which highlights the negative effects of traffic and air pollution.
In Vancouver, there is talk of a 5-minute city. The idea is for neighbourhoods to become more distinct parts of the city. Each neighbourhood should have several locally owned shops as well as public facilities such as parks, schools, community centres, childcare and libraries. High on the agenda is the push for greater diversity of residents and housing types. Especially in inner-city neighbourhoods, this is accompanied by high densities and high-rise buildings. Confronting this idea with reality yields a pattern of about 120 such geographical units (see map above).
Many other cities picked up the idea of the 15-minute city.  Among them: Barcelona, London, Milan, Ottawa, Detroit and Portland. The organisation of world cities C40 (now consisting of 96 cities) elevated the idea to the main policy goal in the post-Covid period.
All these cities advocate a reversal of mainstream urbanisation policies. In recent decades, many billions have been invested in building roads with the aim of improving accessibility. This means increasing the distance you can travel in a given time. As a result, facilities were scaled up and concentrated in increasingly distant places. This in turn led to increased congestion that negated improvements in accessibility. The response was further expansion of the road network.  This phenomenon is known as the 'mobility trap' or the Marchetti constant.
Instead of increasing accessibility, the 15-minute city aims to expand the number of urban functions you can access within a certain amount of time. This includes employment opportunities. The possibility of working from home has reduced the relevance of the distance between home and workplace. In contrast, the importance of a pleasant living environment has increased. A modified version of the 15-minute city, the 'walkable city' then throws high hopes. That, among other things, is the subject of my next post.

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Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Highlights from the Intelligent Cities Challenge Implementation Lab

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From March 4 to April 5, Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) collaborated with international peers from 77 cities across Europe in a series of online knowledge and inspiration sessions during the Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) Implementation Lab. The focus was on sharing best practices and building knowledge for implementing Local Green Deals (LGDs) to accelerate the transformation towards sustainability based on the principles of good governance, policy integration, partnership with local stakeholders.
Colleagues, partners, and experts from the Amsterdam Smart City network shared insights in several thematic and training sessions, including:
•      Mobility & Transport Thematic Session: Pelle Menke shared the approach and lessons from ASC's Mobility Justice Challenge, while Diederik Basta introduced the City of Amsterdam's participation in the Gemini project, supporting residents in starting local, shared mobility cooperatives through a "Mobility as a Commons" (MaaC) approach.
•      Local Green Deals Training Session: Egon van Wees presented Amsterdam's experience in setting up nine Impact Deals with social enterprises under the CLIMAA Local Green Deals project. The evaluation indicates that these deals have resulted in the creation of 105 jobs for people with barriers to the labor market and a reduction of 92 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Amsterdam, in collaboration with Aalborg (Denmark), also developed a framework now utilized by other cities in setting up similar Impact Deals.
•      Social Economy Thematic Session: Frits Verhoef shared lessons from his involvement in two local energy cooperatives, including the pioneering work of NDSM-Energie in developing a 15MW wind park in the NoorderIJplas area, highlighting various financial and political barriers yet to be overcome. Frits also his work with MeerEnergie, a cooperative aiming to establish a heating network owned by local residents in the Watergraafsmeer district of Amsterdam, utilizing waste heat from nearby data centers.
What's Next?
Amsterdam Smart City is excited to host the ICC network in Amsterdam for a Mobility Field Visit in May, showcasing best practices for public-private collaboration in sustainable and smart mobility. We also look forward to connecting with ICC peers in person during the upcoming ICC conference in Porto in June.
More Information
For further details about the Implementation Lab and upcoming ICC activities, visit the ICC website:

Stakeholders in the Amsterdam Region interested in more information or wishing to connect to the ICC network during upcoming labs or other similar sessions can reach out to ASC International Liaison via

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Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

The '15-minute principle' also applies to rural areas (4/7)

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Due to a long stay in the hospital, I was unable to post my columns. I also cannot guarantee their continuity in the near future, but I will do my best... 

In my previous post, I emphasised that urban densification should be coordinated with other claims on space. These are: expanding blue-green infrastructure and the desire to combine living and working. I am also thinking of urban horticulture. It is therefore unlikely that all the necessary housing in the Netherlands - mentioned is a number of one million housing units - can be realised in the existing built-up area. Expansion into rural areas is then inevitable and makes it possible to improve the quality of these rural areas. Densification of the many villages and small towns in our country enable to approach them from the '15-minute principle' as well. Villages should thereby become large enough to support at least a small supermarket, primary school and health centre, but also to accommodate small businesses. A fast and frequent public transport-connection to a city, to other villages and to a railway station in the vicinity is important.
A thorny issue is the quality of nature in the rural area. Unfortunately, it is in bad shape. A considerable part of the rural area consists of grass plots with large-scale agro-industrial use and arable land on which cattle feed is grown. Half of the Netherlands is for cows, which, incidentally, are mostly in stalls. Restoring nature in the area that is predominantly characterised by large-scale livestock farming, is an essential task for the coming decades.
The development of sufficiently dense built-up areas both in cities and villages and the development of new nature around and within those cities and villages is a beckoning prospect. This can be done by applying the idea of 'scheggen' in and around medium-sized and large cities. These are green zones that penetrate deep into the urban area. New residential and work locations can then join the already built-up area, preferably along existing railway lines and (fast) bus connections. These neighbourhoods can be built in their entirety with movement on foot and by bicycle as a starting point. The centre is a small densely built-up central part, where the desired amenities can be found.
In terms of nature development, depending on the possibilities of the soil, I am thinking of the development of forest and heath areas and lush grasslands, combined with extensive livestock farming, small-scale cultivation of agricultural and horticultural products for the benefit of nearby city, water features with a sponge function with partly recreational use, and a network of footpaths and cycle paths. Picture above: nature development and stream restoration (Photo: Bob Luijks) 

Below you can link to my free downloadable e-book: 25 Building blocks to create better streets, neighborhoods and cities

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