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Transformcity is the online platform for collaborative urban development, aimed at growing a sustainable and inclusive local community of co-owners. Transformcity is currently being implemented in two of Amsterdam’s largest transformation areas.

Transformcity won the second prize in the international Le Monde Smart Cities Innovation Awards 2016, category Citizen Engagement. The international high-profile jury was led by prof. Saskia Sassen.

Later that year we won the Call for Soultions in Barcelona World Smart City Event.

In 2017 we won Amsterdam's Startup in Residence programme.

In 2018 we won the Provada / Holland ConTech & PropTech Start-up Battle

Also check out our video:


What is the goal of the project?

Cities are shifting from top-down development of new areas towards transformation and densification of existing ones. As a local government you have limited property in these areas and in order to reach your local development goals and boost resilience on issues like real estate, public space, energy and mobility, you need on-going and active collaboration with the different local stakeholders.
A new way of working is essential for you and your team to effectively manage these increasingly complex processes while maximizing the societal impact of your work. Our award-winning and fully interactive online platform brings together all stakeholders and the local government to directly share and discuss data, plans, ideas and resources and collaborate on local projects. The platform helps you to build a local community and empower it to structurally self-organise.

What is the result of the project?

The result of our first pilot is two-fold. First result is the successful transformation of Amstel3 office district from monofunctional area with ca. 30% vacancy rate into a lively mixed-use urban neighbourhood. Second result is a well-connected, informed, inspired and activated neighbourhood consisting of various stakeholder groups that is self-organising and resilient to change. We believe the platform needs at least two years of implementation and local coordination in order to achieve this, especially the latter. At the same time it makes the process of urban transformation with so many different initiatives and stakeholders a lot more efficient.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

Transformcity was founded by Saskia Beer, an Amsterdam-based urban entrepreneur (trained architect). She developed the concept during eight years of pioneering with collaborative urban development in Amstel3 office district in Amsterdam. She built the first test pilot with the help of the local community of real estate owners, the municipality and a national subsidy (Beter Benutten). In 2018 Transformcity was a Startup in Residence and the City of Amsterdam became its official launching customer. The platform was further developed from pilot to fully scalable software service and is implemented in the areas Amstel3 and Sloterdijk2. We have a research collaboration with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and TU Eindhoven, they will research and monitor us the coming three years and support us with co-design and (rapid) prototyping. Since December 2018 Tim van den Heuvel became partner in Transformcity.

What is the next step?

  1. We are continuously monitoring and improving our toolkit together with our pilot areas Amstel3 and Sloterdijk2, including the online platform but also our offline tools and methods for community building and multi-stakeholder collaboration. We are exploring collaboration with more areas in the Metropolitan area.
  2. We are setting up collaboration with different cities nationally and internationally to help them make their urban development process more collaborative. This often includes implementation of the online platform, but can also consist of the training and consultancy packages we provide. Also we are open for collaboration in EU projects.

What can other cities learn from your project?

Others can learn from the integral online and offline method in which our platform is implemented as a catalyst. We help cities build local communities and local business models and embed the platform in their own work processes. We invest in storytelling and offline activities as well in order to put the urban transformation on the local agenda as an accessible, relevant and fun subject to think about and engage in. This is an important success factor for the adoption of the platform and the level of self-organisation in the community.

The platform can be replicated to other cities, accompanied by the training and support package for setting up a local community, internal workflow, transformation agenda and business model.


Saskia Beer's picture
Saskia Beer

@alessandrolatella That's really nice to hear! Thanks a lot Alessandro! Unfortunately I didn't see your presentation, but I'd definitely like to learn more about Fairbnb. Hopefully we will meet again soon!

Alessandro Latella's picture
Alessandro Latella

I had the chance to attend to a presentation of the ZO!City journey and accomplishments. Let me share my graditude to you for the inspiration and energy you brought up during the talk. Best.