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City of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has over 860,000 inhabitants without agglomeration.

Development of the smart city strategy: In 2007, the Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM), the energy service provider Liander and the Amsterdam Municipal Authority came up with the idea of using ICT to improve the functioning of the city and create a sustainable urban environment. The planning activities started in 2008 and were implemented by a specific team composed of different working groups from the respective founding organisation. The Climate Office of the Amsterdam Innovation Engine and the ICT Cluster of AIM were founded. The Climate Office is part of the Physical Planning Department, with the task of implementing projects and initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in Amsterdam. The ICT cluster formed the core of the ICT activities at AIM and was responsible for the generation and management of new projects related to this sector. Since a merger, the ICT cluster is part of the ICT/e-Science cluster.

Planning phase: As a first step the Amsterdam Smart City Strategy was integrated into the overall strategic planning of the city. The following objectives were defined for the year 2025:

1) Collective approach: A very cooperative approach is considered fundamental to achieving results. For this reason, cooperation between the public and private sectors is constantly stimulated and supported in each project with the involvement of the citizens (Public-Private-People Partnership);

2) Profitability: Only the most profitable projects can be considered for scaling up.

3) Tech push/pull demand: the measures against climate change must be supported by technological innovation and the promotion of behavioural change

4) Knowledge transfer: The transfer and dissemination of the knowledge acquired on the way to the transformation of the Smart City is seen as a measure of crucial importance.

However, the basic principle in Amsterdam is the active participation of the inhabitants in the projects. For this reason, several Living Labs have started operations. This should increase the acceptance and experience with the new technologies within society.

Development of projects: Amsterdam's Smart City strategy is based on the continuous development of ICT-based projects that enable the introduction of new applications, services, infrastructures, etc. The Amsterdam Smart City Foundation (CITIES Foundation) was established in 2008 to coordinate the implementation. This shifted the strategic approach from a holistic view (planning phase) to the planning of concrete projects.

Ideas for projects can be submitted within the CITIES Foundation or by external bodies. Each potential project starts with the concept development phase, in which each project idea is analysed in terms of feasibility, costs and CO2 reduction potential and then approved or rejected. If the project is accepted, the CITIES Foundation searches for the most suitable project partners and has them offered. A working group is then set up to define the roles and responsibilities of all partners and record them in a document. One of the partners must take over the project management; the CITIES Foundation acts in a supportive and monitoring capacity. The financing of the projects is provided by the participating project partners and government organisations. Between 2009 and 2011, 16 projects were completed. Since then the number of completed projects has grown steadily. There were also about 70 active partners in 2011 and more than 160 in 2017. The partners include utilities and network operators, governmental organizations, real estate companies, universities, financial institutions, telecommunications, ICT, transport and waste management companies and start-ups.

Monitoring: Progress is monitored and the results evaluated periodically. The success of the project is determined by 4 indicators:

1. energy savings per unit in the pilot project: Depending on the pilot project, a unit can be a household, a company, a school or something else

2. total reduction of CO2 emissions: this expresses the total CO2 emissions in tonnes avoided by the pilot project

3. realistic scaling: the amount of CO2 in tonnes that would be prevented if the pilot were to make less than optimistic assumptions throughout Amsterdam

4. maximum magnification: like realistic magnification, but this time with slightly more naive assumptions, such as that everyone would participate in a certain measure

The Amsterdam Smart City Strategy is managed with a dynamic approach: the various phases are never finalised, but are subject to a continuous review and adaptation process aimed at improving the structure and functioning of the strategy. For example, the fields of action have been modified four years after the initiative was launched. They have now increased from four to seven: smart mobility, smart living, smart society, big and open data, smart areas, smart economy and smart infrastructures

Communication & Platform: The knowledge and experience gained is passed on by the Amsterdam Smart City Foundation in the form of conference events. During these conferences the characteristics of the Amsterdam Smart City Strategy are described in detail, namely: objectives, priorities for action, strategic principles, financial strategy, planning of activities, stakeholders and results achieved with projects. This data and information is also disseminated through the continuous production of articles, news, press releases and reports.

These informative documents are mainly integrated into a single web platform dedicated to the Smart City Strategy. This interactive portal was developed between 2009 and 2010 and has been continuously improved, extended and updated over the years. In addition, the following means are also used: newsletters and guided tours for organisations, meetings and workshops organised to promote active public participation, including international conferences such as the Smart City Event, social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and finally a special YouTube channel where new videos are regularly published.

More information:


Contact: Through the website