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Not for profit.

1. Gebiedonline offers an extensive range of functionalities for both small
networks who are just starting, and larger, more mature networks.
2. Gebiedonline is flexible: its set up is modular and customizable –in
functionality and visual design.
3. Gebiedonline co-op members are permanently learning from (each others)
practice. The development agenda is managed by consent.
4. Gebiedonline beliefs in circular economy. Value created by the online
platform flows back to the local community.
5. Gebiedonline acts as trans local network. Its members increasingly give
voice to the Dutch urban bottom-up movement.

What is the goal of the project?

All citizens in local urban networks together create value with (and in) their own online platform. Local urban networks inspire and drive societal and democratic innovation.

What is the result of the project?

Online platforms are a critical component in empowering local urban networks. But that doesn't mean these platforms have to be imposed on these networks top-down. Together (trans locally) these local urban networks can create the best online platforms at the lowest costs. This will eventually lead to more, and also more broadly supported, initiatives around town (from either the people or institutions) and thereby more social cohesion in the different neighborhoods.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

In 2012 local resident and IT specialist Michel Vogler was asked by a neighborhood community in IJburg to help them find a way to share information online. The online platform he built ( over the years became the Amsterdam best practice for online local community support. Currently 4.000 citizens of IJburg use the platform to create a wealth of information, without any centralized organization or editorial office. This success did not go unnoticed. Many local communities expressed interest in the technology. In order to meet this demand Michel made the technology generally available. The ownership of this new platform was put in the hands of co-operative Gebiedonline (area online), founded in January 2016 by six community representatives. The co-op expects to support some twenty local communities (in the cities of Amersfoort, Amsterdam and Gouda) by the end of 2016.

What is the next step?

Get more local urban networks to join would be the next step. This would provide more input for the development of the platform and drive professionalism of all the processes around it. Getting it more and more integrated with municipal processes would also be a great next step, if not a giant leap, for innovative democracy.

What can other cities learn from your project?

The issues around social cohesion play in a lot of cities around the world. Any place that has a sufficient internet infrastructure could therefore replicate the online platform of Gebiedonline. What can be learnt is that processes that are traditionally top-down, can be done bottom-up just as easily.
The willingness and longing of the different local urban networks for an online platform that really portrays the offline world of networks is definitely one of the key success factors.

1 Comment

Nancy Zikken's picture
Nancy Zikken

Hi @robinneven , very interesting project! I am sure my colleague @elienvanriet will like it as well!