Words from local coordinators

Amsterdam Smart City

Annelies Van der Stoep, local coordinator

Municipality of Grenoble

Perrine Flouret, local coordinator


Why are you part of the project ?

“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.”

“Because of its urban morphology, drawn by rivers valleys (Isère, Drac and Belledombe), and its close relationships with mountainous areas (Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledone), the city of Grenoble has forged a strong implementing culture of sustainable development. The Eco-district of Bonne (Concerto) was awarded in 2009 by the French Government as the most advanced one (mobility, retrofitting, planning, energy, citizens). With City-zen, we want to carry on being innovative in research and development and to improve the quality of life of our inhabitants. Smart solutions and a closer link to citizens are required to meet the challenges of our city.”

What are your activities in the project and what results are you aiming for ?

“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 networks.”

“With City-Zen project, we’ll implement 3 demonstrators to reach the 20-20-20 targets : retrofit 500 dwellings of the old housing stock (before and after 1945). This program will focus on social and private housings ; a multi-energy territorial monitoring, developed by GEG & ATOS, to supervise different energy flows (heat, water, gas and electricity); innovative solution for heating & cooling network, developed by CCIAG.
The final results we are aiming for are also developing cross-activities research, and share the same culture of innovation among local partners from local government, associations, industries… and at the end the empowering of citizens.”

What’s make the project innovative ?

“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.”

“The main innovation is the tight coordination between political, industrial and citizen actors to match the 20-20-20 targets. City-Zen project enables to overcome the usual sector-wide approaches. Technically, the retrofitting program will take-up a big challenge : refurbish part of housing stock. The territorial monitoring, combined with an open-data approach, will develop a new public competence : the Energy planning. The geothermal heating & cooling system will test a new practical way to meet energy challenge and users needs.”

What’s the main change for citizens ?

“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.”

“City is the historical result of social and environmental interactions and flows. Therefore, they are both the main components of the energy transition, that public policies tried to guide. Citizens are in the core of the system and their role is crucial to match the environmental & energy transition. City-Zen projects will focus on that objective by involving citizens in the sustainable management of Grenoble and facilitate dialogue with the stakeholders (economic, university, association, public services, …). New adapted services and efficient solutions are developing in our cities through the changing behaviors and active empowerment.”

What’s the ideal smart city for you ?

“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 its 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.”

“It’s the city where citizens would have a daily, active role and responsibility in its management. The public policy role would be to set the local sustainable development course, related to the higher level ones (regional, national & European), and to implement a new stakeholder management to match environmental and energy transition goals. The smart city is with no pollution, transparent, clean, connected with zero carbon energy and energy self sufficient, develops circular economy and opened for the creativity of everyone !”

  • The Project

    A city operating entirely on clean energy. In theory, it's possible. But in real life? How to integrate new solutions in existing buildings, systems and people's lives? What are the technical, economic or social barriers? And how to overcome these? That's what we've learned by doing in 20 projects in Grenoble and Amsterdam.

  • Our Activities

  • Achieved Impacts

    • 20 innovations in Grenoble & Amsterdam
    • 35,000 tonnes CO2 saved per year
    • 76,000 m² renovated residential buildings
    • 10,000 dwellings connected to a Smart Grid