Exploring Amsterdam

Amsterdam was one of the first cities in Europe to understand the importance of smart collaborations and solutions to provide a more attractive place for their residents to live and work.

Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) was created in 2009 and is a platform for innovative business to experiment with ideas that solve problems around the city.


After scrolling through the dozens of projects currently happening, here are a couple of examples that piqued my interest:

The Green Canals of Amsterdam

This project focuses on making the canal ring of Amsterdam sustainable. A number of initiatives were explored to reduce energy consumption in historical buildings in a sustainable and responsible way.

Living Labs

The living labs are in a district of Amsterdam that has a high energy consumption. A number of innovative solutions are being launched in a way that encourage residents to make sustainable choices, for example live energy displays.

What can we learn from the Amsterdam Smart City initiative?

ASC has been running for 7 years and a number of the initial pilot projects have been upscaled successfully. The challenge with innovative solutions is that there is always a good chance that it won't provide the expected results, and that risk can be costly, especially for startups and small businesses.  

What ASC is providing here is a space and funding to experiment at a small scale. This makes the idea-to-learning loop smaller and reduces the risk, or at least makes the risk manageable.

ASC also brings together the key players of a successful smart city - businesses, residents and local government areas.