Free office space in Amsterdam
Everybody likes a freebie, especially when it’s coming from the city council.
The city of Amsterdam is working on launching an online platform that allows residents to use office space free of charge in city-owned buildings where many rooms remain idle.
Founders Femke Haccou and Nanette Schippers who both work for Amsterdam’s city council came up with the idea to allow the residents of Amsterdam to make use of its city hall meeting rooms through the Sharing Economy initiative.
It aims to encourage activities that will benefit innovation, social inclusiveness, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
In order not to compete with companies that already provide office spaces, the city council has restricted the offer to social enterprises.
Those that apply will be interviewed and asked certain questions, for instance, what the aim of their organisation is, how it will contribute to the city of Amsterdam and what its social impact might be.
Available meeting rooms
By the end of the year, a total of 15 rooms will be available to start off with. This number will increase to an estimated 100 or more in 2017, when more rooms will be added to the database.
Office space will be free during office hours with the city council covering costs such as security, wear and tear, and utility bills.
There is still discussion regarding allowing the space to be used in the evening, in which case, there may be a small charge.
What else is on offer
The city of Amsterdam also owns many cars. The locks on these cars have already been converted so that they can be opened with a smartphone instead of keys.
The technology developed by local start up WeGo also enables the cars can be tracked as well as allow drivers to park them anywhere within the city’s borders. City council employees have already made use of this service for a year now.
The municipal also hopes to offer free underground parking in the future to those taking part in the car sharing initiative.
Towards a sharing economy
Amsterdam has made it a priority to promote sustainability, reduce car ownership, improve the quality of the city’s air and reduce the number of bought commodities.