NWO KIEM funds new research program “Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam”

We are happy to announce that NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) has granted funding to our research project “Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam: investigating the future of city-making in urban lab Buiksloterham”. The project is a collaboration between Michiel de Lange (project leader; Utrecht University, The Mobile City) & Martijn de Waal (University of Amsterdam, The Mobile City), Christina Ampatzidou (embedded researcher UvA/CIRCA), Matthijs Bouw (One Architecture), in partnership with Frank Alsema (Vereniging Buiksloterham). It builds on our existing collaboration with One Architecture around the notion of ‘the hackable city’ (see our joint publication, and our current embedded researcher project.

Image source: Sebastian Dembski. 2013. Case Study Amsterdam Buiksloterham, the Nether- lands The Challenge of Planning Organic Transformation. CONTEXT Report 2. AISSR programme group Urban Planning, Amsterdam

Image source: Sebastian Dembski. 2013. Case Study Amsterdam Buiksloterham, the Netherlands: The Challenge of Planning Organic Transformation.

The proposal was submitted under the program Creative industry – Knowledge Innovation Mapping (KIEM), which aims to strengthen public-private partnerships in the domain of the creative industries through the funding of R&D consortia of researchers and businesses.

Abstract of our research proposal:

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Our aim is to develop a research agenda and consortium that explores the role of digital media technologies in new directions for urban planning and city making. How can citizens, design professionals, local government institutions and others use digital technologies in collaborative processes of urban planning and management?

This project seeks to connect two parallel yet largely separate developments. On the one hand city municipalities worldwide embark on smart city policies, together with tech businesses and knowledge institutions. They deploy digital technologies and big data to optimize services like traffic, energy, environment, governance and health. On the other hand bottom-up smart citizen initiatives in many cities blossom, consisting of networked people who engage in issues like neighborhood livability, community building, energy provisioning, sharing resources and measuring and generating environmental data. Often they employ sensor technologies, use open data or utilize digital media to organize themselves around a common issue.

Since these two movements rarely interact, opportunities are wasted to combine capacities of various stakeholders in city making with digital technologies. In this research by design project we forward the notion of the ‘hackable city’ to investigate how new media technologies can open up urban institutions and infrastructures to systemic change by citizens.

Buiksloterham in Amsterdam-Noord is our case and testing ground. Developers here have committed to combining the two above-mentioned perspectives. The area functions as an urban laboratory to study and experiment with opportunities, challenges and conditions for the ‘hackable city’.
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In Dutch, see NWO announcement >>
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Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam: investigating the future of city-making in urban lab Buiksloterham

Dr. M.L. de Lange (UU)

Hoe kunnen stedelingen en professionals met behulp van digitale mediatechnologieën een betekenisvolle rol spelen in het ontwerpen en beheren van hun leefomgeving? In dit project onderzoeken we in Buiksloterham in Amsterdam Noord hoe de stad ‘hackable’ gemaakt kan worden, dat wil zeggen open en toegankelijk is voor systeemveranderingen door stadsbewoners zelf.

Partners: One Architecture, Vereniging Buiksloterham
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Read our full proposal “Hackable Metropolis Amsterdam: investigating the future of city-making in urban lab Buiksloterham” (pdf).

Image source: Sebastian Dembski. 2013. Case Study Amsterdam Buiksloterham, the Netherlands: The Challenge of Planning Organic Transformation.

Image source: Sebastian Dembski. 2013. Case Study Amsterdam Buiksloterham, the Netherlands: The Challenge of Planning Organic Transformation.

For more background information about the Buiksloterham area, see this report (also the source of the images used in this post):

Sebastian Dembski. 2013. Case Study Amsterdam Buiksloterham, the Netherlands: The Challenge of Planning Organic Transformation. CONTEXT Report 2. AISSR programme group Urban Planning, Amsterdam.

Michiel de Lange
Michiel de Lange (1976) is an Assistant Professor in New Media Studies at Utrecht University, researching mobile media and urban culture and identity. He is the co-founder of The Mobile City, an independent research group founded in 2007 that investigates the influence of digital media technologies on urban life and the implications for urban design and policy. Michiel is trained as a cultural anthropologist, and holds a PhD in philosophy (2010) with a dissertation about mobile media technologies and urban identities. He collaborated in a locative media art & science project (www.nomadicmilk.net). He worked for  Kennisland, a Dutch think-tank that aims to strengthen the knowledge-based society. Here he worked on several projects at the intersection of ICTs and the city, e.g. co-organizing the Creative Capital conference. He also volunteered and worked for Cybersoek, a computer neighborhood center in Amsterdam. He is advisor e-culture at Mediafonds. Michiel is on Twitter and LinkedIn.