Smart and SHARED Cities Symposium 2023

During this symposium, which took place on January 25, our students from the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minor Smart and SHARED Cities presented the results of the fifth and finale module to their project commissioner.

Photo of Liesbet van Zoonen talking to a room of students
(c) Tiffany Konings

The projects addressed various aspects of creating a smart and SHARED city: from sustainability to new urban technology to challenges and opportunities around governance and politics in the 'smart city'.

The symposium was moderated by prof. dr. Roland Ortt, endowed professor in Urban Innovation Management established by Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends (STT). 

From public acceptance of drones to finding a market for sustainable roof solutions, from the (data) needs of city centre managers to developing a framework for knowledge sharing, in the last ten weeks our students dove deep into the practical intricacies of ‘smart’ cities. Working on concrete, real-life challenges presented by external partners, students were able to apply the knowledge of the last four months of the minor in a practical setting. This research culminated in the presentations yesterday, that were given in a celebratory setting at HAL4 aan de Maas.

The first group of presentations focussed on creating a sustainable smart city. Important conclusion: Municipalities are key stakeholders not only as clients but also for prioritising green solutions for example in building permits.

In the next block students delved further into smart urban technology in the city from drones to delivery and cleaning robots. Presenters showed that social acceptability of these technologies plays an important role in the adaption.

The third block focussed on governance and politics in the smart city. How can buildings be designed ‘smartly’ to increase social cohesion, how can knowledge be shared between different municipalities and how and what can data help address challenges faced by city centre managers? And aren’t solutions only really ‘smart’ if the serve the benefits of citizens and administrators in the city?

One communality between all the presentations: the focus on SHARED rather than smart cities. Rather than choosing one angle, students highlighted the different interests of various stakeholders, the importance of social acceptance and the need to make technology accountable.

Many thanks to our commissioners who provided the projects and supported our students along the way: Erwin van Herwijnen and Marit Wouda-Gieltjes from New Urban Standard, Wouter Voskuijl and Linde de Jonge from Paviljoen III, Vera Safronova, Tim Klein from The Future Mobility Network, Edwin Bos from Techtics, Jeroen Steenbakkers from Argaleo, Walter Bokern from Springco Urban Analytics and Robbert Nesselaar and Jurian Edelenbos from Closer Cities

Many thanks also to prof. dr. Roland Ortt who guided us through the day and our academic director prof. dr. Liesbet van Zoonen for her wonderful opening and closing of the day.

You can access the programme of the symposium below.