Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in A...
Amsterdam Europe’s second ‘smartest’ city05 February 2014, by Alexandra Gowling
An American progressive business magazine Fast Company has ranked Amsterdam as Europe’s second smartest city, based on its innovation infrastructure, technology and entrepreneurship.
According to the author, our cities now "demand 21st-century solutions to accommodate their growing populations in ways that not only maintain the quality of life, but also improve it. In short, smart cities are innovative cities."
European cities as the model for the rest of the world to learn from, the magazine also said, as they tend to be denser, with better public transport and a larger commitment to cycling and walking.
They also show a stronger focus on sustainability and low-carbon solutions, as well as a culture and citizenry "more engaged in the journey towards more sustainable and smarter cities."
Amsterdam as a smart city
The magazine highlights the Dutch capital’s rates of cycling, which are seen across the country as the Netherlands has been ranked equal best cycling country in the EU.
It notes that 67 per cent of all trips in the city are done by either cycling or walking, while every day there are 10.000 bikes parked adjacent to Centraal Station. It pointed out that Amsterdam had the world’s first bike-sharing project.
Another area selected for praise was Amsterdam Smart City, a co-operative project that involves local people, companies, knowledge institutions and the government to find ways to make more efficient use of energy and test new technologies.
The collaboration has already helped more than 40 smart city projects, including smart parking and the development of home energy storage for integration with a smart grid.
In 2011 it won the European City Star Award for being exemplary in demonstrating how cities can make successful efforts to use energy sustainably.
Rating smart cities
Fast Company has also ranked cities in North America, Latin America and Asia, using a set of 400 ideal indicators that was refined down to 28. These were collected from the cities via request and publicly available information.
Europe’s Top 10 Smartest Cities
For more information, read the full report.