An interview with Annelies van der Stoep - Project Manager Energy Innovation City-zen.
Why is the City-zen project part of Amsterdam Smart City?
Annelies van der Stoep: Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a unique partnership between companies, governments, knowledge institutions and the people of Amsterdam. In five years ASC has grown into a platform with over 100 partners, which are involved in more than 70 innovative projects.
We’re working on ways to improve the city, because we believe in a habitable city where it is pleasant to both live and work. In City-zen we can really make steps with the citizens who live or work in the area and use innovative technologies to reduce our fossil energy need.
What are your activities within City-zen - and what results are you aiming for?
Annelies van der Stoep: As local coordinator for the demonstration sites in Amsterdam we connect our local network to the international players within City-zen. We can align the City-zen actions with the local agenda. Once we’re a bit further, we will also connect user groups to give feedback and help us improve the demonstrations. Off course we will share this knowledge with our local, national and international network.
What makes City-zen innovative?
Annelies van der Stoep: Amsterdam is particularly interested in demonstrations with citizens, not so much in pilots. We’re moving to the next stage. We use proven technology in our city and demonstrate that it fits within a realistic urban context. This makes it easier to replicate in other cities, or to scale up within Amsterdam.
What’s the main change for citizens?
Annelies van der Stoep: The role of citizens in a smart (energy) city is changing. They’re not only citizens or consumers, but also producing - and in the near future trading - their own local and sustainable energy. Citizens will be in the driver´s seat more and more. New local organisations, new technology and open data enable citizens to take a more active role in the development and change of their neighbourhoods. One of the games that is being developed in City-zen stimulates young people to use less energy at home.
What is the ideal smart city, in your opinion?
Annelies van der Stoep: A smart city is using the technology available to improve the life of all people living, working, studying or visiting the city. A smart city is clean, sustainable and circular. It has an open mind and let’s everybody contribute. It acknowledges it place within a metropolitan area. For instance: Amsterdam cannot produce enough energy for its own needs, but the region can.
We believe in a habitable city where it is pleasant to both live and work.