Smart Cities or Dumb Cities - a debate at OBA Oosterdok

Featured image

Toronto seems to become a testing ground for the urban development of smart cities. Sidewalk Labs, part of Google’s parent company Alphabet, will redevelop the city’s waterfront. Data will be used to design smarter, more sustainable designs, to handle waste better or to reduce our energy consumption. But with Google at the helm, data is also the capital of this city district: and what does that lead to? It is time to start the discussion with architects.

During the Architecture Residency of Do Janne Vermeulen we will organise a debate about smart cities on Tuesday 21 May. We discuss the developments of data in Amsterdam, look at the developments in Toronto and talk about the position of the architect. Through this debate we hope to feed the discussion from a design perspective.

What’s the question?
Architect in Residence Do Janne Vermeulen, architect and co-founder of Team V, visited Canada and is bringing the debate to the Netherlands. While reading, watching, writing and talking about smart cities, it is tempting to think in terms of technology instead of the city. Rather than “What do we want and how does smart technology offer a solution for that?” it is about “What possibilities does smart technology offer and what can we achieve with it?”

Privacy issues make the conversation even more difficult and sometimes make us long for the ‘stupid city’. But our spatial domain and the digital world are becoming more and more interconnected. Can we grow, densify and become more sustainable without smart systems? Is technology indeed the answer to our questions? What is exactly the problem with ‘stupid cities’? What are the benefits if we focus on digital technologies, analyse large amounts of data and provide the city with systems and IoT (Internet of Things) sensors? And what other means do we have? In short, a lot of questions to which smart technology might be the right answer. And maybe not.

Programme and speakers

Do Janne Vermeulen – Team V – Co-founder and architect
Meat Do Janne Vermuelen as our second Architect in Residence. She gives a short pitch about the role of big data in her field of expertise.

Marleen Stikker – Waag Society – Founder
Marleen Stikker supervises the digitisation of society with research and all kinds of initiatives from Waag Society. This evening she will share her views on the developments concerning Big Data. She also offers perspective on the role of the architect within smart cities.

Ger Baron – City of Amsterdam – Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Ger Baron, the first CTO of Amsterdam, brings us up to speed on technological innovation and the digital transformation of Amsterdam.

Emil Zelic – Waterfront Toronto – Executive Director Project Management Office & IT
As an IT professional, Emil Zelic, who will fly in from Toronto, tells about where application and disruption of smart technologies meets design practices. He reflects on the progress and philosophises about the Smart City applicability in Amsterdam.

The lectures are followed by a debate between the audience and the speakers.

Smart Cities or Dumb Cities
Architect in Residence Debate: Do Janne Vermeulen, Team V
Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019
Time: Starts at 8PM / Door open at 7.45PM
Location: OBA Oosterdok, auditorium, Oosterdokskade 143
Language: ENGLISH
Tickets: € 12,50
Online tickets available at our ticket page


Nancy Zikken's picture
Nancy Zikken

Hoi Femke, op hebben we een eventkalender. Zou je deze bijeenkomst hier ook nog willen delen? Dan staat het mooi in het overzicht en is het voor onze sitebezoekers ook goed vindbaar! Dank je wel!