In over seven years, the city of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) was transformed into a smart city using
In over seven years, the city of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) was transformed into a smart city using information technologies. This case describes the steps the city took from 2009 to 2016 to become a smart city, as reported by MIT Sloan School of Management. The city initiative included projects in the following categories:
mobility, quality of living, transportation, security, health, and economy as well as infrastructure, big and open source data, and experimental living labs.
The major findings of the MIT team regarding Amsterdam's transformation were:
• Private-sector data are critical for changing policy. The major categories of the project involved nongovernmental entities (e.g., using a GPS provider to manage traffic). For example, the private sector was involved in a project to change traffic situations (reduction of 25 percent in the number of cars and an increase of 100 percent in the number of scooters, in five years).
• It is necessary to have chief technology officers in smart cities. Smart cities require the collection of large amounts of data using several tools and algorithms. Issues such as cost and security are critical.
• Expectations of the contribution of the IoT, Big Data, and AI, need to be managed.
Citizens expect rapid changes and improvement in areas ranging from parking to traffic. Data collection is slow, and changes are difficult to implement.
• Smart city initiatives must start with data inventory. The problem in Amsterdam was that data were stored in 12,000 databases across 32 departments. These were organized differently on different hardware, so data inventory was needed.
This initial activity was boring and tedious and had no immediate visible payoff.
• Pilot projects are an excellent strategy.
Pilot projects provide lessons for future projects. The city had over 80 pilot projects, for example, collecting different types of trash and placing them in different colored bags. Successful projects are scaled up in size.
• Citizen input is a critical success factor. There are several ways to encourage citizens to provide input. Involvement of universities and research institutions is also critical. In addition, social media networks can be used to facilitate citizens' engagement.
The smart city initiative may be only in its beginning, but it is already improving the quality of life of residents and increasing the economic growth of the city. A critical success factor of the initiative was the willingness of the city officials to share their data with technology companies.
IoT was a major component in the projects.
First, it enabled the flow of data from sensors and databases for analytic processing. Second, IoT enables autonomous vehicles of all kinds, which contribute to the reduction of pollution, vehicle accidents, and traffic jams. Finally, IoT provides real-time data that help decision makers develop and improve policies. In April 2016, the city won Europe's "Capital of Innovation" award (a prize of 950,000 euros).
Sources: Compiled from Brokaw (2016), Fitzgerald (2016),
amsterdamsmartcity.com, and facebook.com/amsterdam smartcity.
Questions for Case 13.3
1. Watch the video at youtube.com/watch?v= FinLi65Xtik/ and comment on the technologies used.
2. Get a copy of the MIT case study at sloanreview.mit.edu/case-study/data-driven-citymanagement/. List the steps in the process and the applications that were likely used in IoT.
3. Identify the smart components used in this project.
Step by Step Answer: