As SensorTeam is always willing to join thought processes in dealing with social issues where our sensors can play a key role, we are very pleased to be able to take part in the nationwide “City of the Future” project in the Netherlands. As part of this project, we are partnering with government agencies, architects, and urban planners to find innovative solutions for the urban living and working environment.
We can all see it happening around us: population decline in rural areas as people increasingly move to cities. By 2050, an estimated 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. This has major impact on the living environment, as we need to figure out together how to ensure that cities continue to be good places to live and even become better places to live in the future.
With this in mind, the “City of the Future” (De stad van de toekomst) study [page is in Dutch] was launched in the Netherlands earlier this year. This project will use five test locations in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven. In these cities, ten multidisciplinary teams will be developing scenarios to provide direction for future area development plans. Their focus is on finding the best solutions in a number of different domains: housing, accessibility, mobility, sustainability, and business climate.
The teams – two per city – are made up of architects, urban planners, traffic engineers, and economists, but also artists, geographers, and tech firms. SensorTeam is part of Team 1, which focuses on the eastern part of the city of Utrecht. Utrecht has started to present itself as a smart and healthy city. The focus for our team is, therefore, to create an urban living environment where residents are healthy and happy, and consequently have the energy they need to make a contribution to creating a successful innovative and competitive city. This will create healthy reciprocity between city and its residents.
The area we have been assigned offers, in our view, ideal conditions to make the above reciprocity happen. The eastern part of Utrecht is home to numerous sports facilities and recreational areas, while also being an area of considerable economic activity. On top of that, a lot of work is currently going into improving accessibility of the area through the building of a new tram line and the widening of the A27 freeway.
A stage for our sensors
In this area, all the urban planning, architecture, sports, smart technology, mobility, and landscaping specialists on our team are able to deploy their expertise. For us at SensorTeam, taking part in this project has given us a great stage to showcase what our sound and air quality sensors can do. Although our sensors will not be physically installed as part of this project, this draft study will create hypothetical situations and assess the impact.
When it comes to designing an urban layout, the monitoring data collected by SensorTeam is of crucial importance. The IoT sensors gather highly precise data on air quality, traffic flow, and ambient noise, offering insight into quality of life for workers, residents, and those engaging in sports and recreational activities in the eastern part of Utrecht. We are going to explore the options our IoT sensors offer in designing urban areas and even whole cities. We hope to find out what value added our technology could produce and what data our sensors can deliver to change people’s perspective on urban design. In other words: if you knew what impact sound levels and air quality have on residents’ health in every street, would you design and lay out the city differently?
Our team of professionals is currently working on preparations for our draft study. The study will run through to the fall of 2018, with the results expected to be published in early 2019. The results of this project will be included in a longer study, which will run through to 2040. As soon as we have interesting information or interim results, we will post it here and on our socials Facebook and Twitter.
About “The City of the Future”
The City of the Future” (De stad van de toekomst) is a draft study initiative by BNA Onderzoek [page is in Dutch], Delft University of Technology, Vereniging Deltametropool, the local authorities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven, the Directorates-General for Accessibility, Spatial Planning, and Water and Public Works and Water Management of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
This is the team:
Over the coming months, SensorTeam will be working on this project together with a group of dedicated professionals. Introducing:
Bas Horsting is an architect and urban planner with great affinity for large urban challenges and compact, mixed-use urban environments. He boasts ample experience working on large-scale master plans and urban strategies in the Netherlands and internationally, where the concept of the healthy city has meanwhile become his central focus point.
Pinar Balat specializes in high-rise construction, housing types, and the inclusive city. She has worked on studies on high-rise and vertical communities, and was one of the designers to work on densification plans for dense urban areas in Amsterdam, Istanbul, and Moscow. She recently joined the “Feeling at Home in Europe” research project to explore the correlation between housing types and the inclusive city.
Daniel Casas Valle is the specialist when it comes to integrating sports and exercise in the urban environment. He is the initiator behind the “Sport in the City” research project, which he set up to explore successful and inspiring integration of sports facilities in a number of cities across Europe. Based in Porto in Portugal, Daniel works on a range of social issues that have a spatial planning dimension to them.
Hugo van der Poel will help the team with advice in the area of social and policy-making aspects of sports and exercise in the city. He is the director of The Mulier Institute, which has as its mission to foment social scientific knowledge development and policy effectiveness in the area of sports.
Raoul Teekamp is a mobility consultant, researcher, and lecturer. He will be on the sidelines advising the team on smart mobility and the spatial impact of various traffic modes and various forms of moving around the city.
David Kloet is partner at Karres+Brands landschapsarchitecten (landscape architects) and will take on an advisory role in the area of green structures, business climate, recreational connections, and the transition between city and the rural landscape.
And last but not least, our very own Gertjan de Vries, (co-)owner of SensorTeam, will be the team’s smart technologies expert. On behalf of SensorTeam, he will focus on Internet of Things solutions for aspects such as noise, air quality, and traffic flows, generating (real-time) monitoring data that can provide entirely new insights into health-related aspects and functionality and design of cities.
We are extremely motivated and look forward to seeing how the project pans out. We will keep you posted, here and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.