SOURCE: MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review

May 19, 2016 16:30 ET

Amsterdam Uses Corporate and University Partnerships to Become a Smarter City

Amsterdam's Smart City Initiative Has Produced More Than 80 Pilot Projects Across the City Touching Many Areas of Urban Life -- New MIT Sloan Management Review Case

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - May 19, 2016) - A new case study released today by MIT Sloan Management Review examines the success enjoyed by the city of Amsterdam in its efforts to partner with insurance, technology, transportation, education, energy and healthcare companies to become one of the world's truly smart cities.

The case, titled "Data-Driven City Management," highlights the work of Ger Baron, chief technology officer for the city, and Berent Daan, director of research, information and statistics, who are working together to create the data partnerships that drive the more than 80 pilot projects the Smart City Initiative has under way. This use of private sector data is key to the smart city transformation. "This is where the real disruption for us is going to come from," says Baron.

Amsterdam's Smart City Initiative also benefits from a unique educational partnership. In 2012, Amsterdam's Economic Board partnered with the large Dutch utility Alliander, other Dutch companies, Amsterdam's urban planning department and universities, including MIT and Delft, to create a new institute, which became AMS, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. AMS has a $50 million investment and a 10-year runway to get itself established, making it a good way for the city to run pilots and learn how to coordinate amongst groups both public and private.

The smart city pilot projects involve a wide breadth of municipal issues, from healthcare to lighting to energy use. "In one pilot," says MIT SMR executive editor David Kiron, "Amsterdam officials researched levels of depression across the city, using information gathered from insurance companies. It connected that data with the cost of treatment, and found that some areas with high levels of people with depression were not receiving proportionate levels of care. This is just one example of the power of the data partnerships."

This new case is based on interviews with Amsterdam city managers, the Amsterdam Smart City Initiative, Alliander, AMS Institute and AEB Waste and Energy. Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has a population of 838,000 within the city proper and 1,604,000 in the metropolitan area.

"Amsterdam, and other cities like it, has been through several iterations of the smart city evolution," says Frank Harmsen, Partner and Advisory Market Segment Leader for Government and Public Sector in the Netherlands and Belgium for Ernst & Young LLP, the exclusive global insights case study sponsor of MIT SMR's analytics content initiative. "It has graduated from an early period of experimentation, in which the city opened up its data to see what the public would offer. Now in its second stage, the initiative is characterized by more deliberate and directed efforts to spur innovations."

It's a pivotal point for Amsterdam, seven years into the initiative but still feeling its way. The city has endured skepticism and questions about whether it would get anywhere close to the hype around smart cities. For now, Amsterdam seems to be energized around the possibilities with analytics. The Smart City plan has even survived a city council election that saw several of its proponents replaced. The city is moving forward, out of phase two, the living labs phase, and towards broader adoption of smart city initiatives. In April 2016, the European Commission recognized Amsterdam as Europe's capital of innovation.

Please visit MIT Sloan Management Review to read the case, or to see more on MIT SMR's case series on data and analytics.

Acknowledgments
MIT SMR is grateful for the investment of time by the professionals at the Amsterdam Smart City Initiative and the city of Amsterdam. EY is the exclusive global insights case study sponsor of MIT SMR.

About MIT Sloan Management Review
MIT Sloan Management Review's mission is to lead the conversation among research scholars, business executives and other thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate. MIT Sloan Management Review captures for thoughtful managers the creativity, excitement and opportunity generated by rapid organizational, technological and societal change.

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