Amsterdam: City of the Future

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February 16th, 2018, KINTalks

Enthusiastic people, warm setting, and very interesting speakers, all the right ingredients for a great new edition of KINTalks. This time a talk about the future of Amsterdam by Jaïr Halevi, Aik van Eemeren and Pinar Sefkatli of the CTO and CSO office of the municipality. Jaïr, Aik and Pinar were able to paint us a picture of the future of Amsterdam in which digital technology and collaboration between the city, people, business and science are key for innovation.

After a short introduction on the CTO office and a brief history lesson on 750 years of technology in Amsterdam, Aik explained that the municipality is involved in many activities related to digital innovation. For instance, Amsterdam is a living lab for 3D printing, digital transparency, app development and shared economy initiatives. The municipality also puts great effort in using algorithms and technology to encourage healthy living for children or alleviate poverty.

After Aik, Jaïr started talking about the start-up ecosystem Amsterdam is creating for developing innovation and improving the city. Amsterdam is even the number 3 start-up ecosystem in Europe! The municipality initiated a start-up program in which both national and international start-ups and scale-ups are encouraged to creatively solve public and societal problems in the city such as the livelihood of the region. For example, a project in collaboration with start-up Lucemgo to transform the Zuidas from a business to a business-and-housing zone, recently resulted in a pilot study where residents can use their smartphone to activate connected led lights on the streets to guide them in, for example, a late-night-run.

Finally, Pinar talked about the CSO office. She further emphasized the importance of collaboration to stimulate innovation for the city of Amsterdam. Specifically, the CSO office collaborates with the metropolitan region, science and business to gather research, match people and publish research results on an open platform (

The talk by the Amsterdam CTO and CSO office showed us how the city of Amsterdam is building a bright future through the use of digital technology, and how the research performed at KIN is directly connected to the real-life challenges and opportunities created by digital innovation.

In our upcoming KINTalks, Arjan Bartlema and Ad Rietberg will unravel the potential of blockchain technology. Sign up here if you want to join.


  • The municipality of Amsterdam is engaged in numerous (digital) innovation activities to become the city of future;
  • The municipality launched a start-up program where it collaborates with start-ups and scale-ups to solve societal problems;
  • To create the city of the future, the municipality collaborates with people, business and science.