A majority of the Dutch population lives and works in an urban environment. The question how we best organise our cities is therefore gaining in importance. How do we make sure that all the brainpower in the city is used in such a way that the city is owned by everyone? What do city makers need to realise their ideas? Kennisland supports pioneers who are working towards smart, productive, liveable and sustainable cities.
Internationally, cities are often considered to be the locus of innovation and experimentation. The ++Smart CityGenerally, the term Smart City implies an emphasis on the use of communication technology and IT to improve the living quality in the city. Read more increasingly captures people’s imagination, and books like ++The Metropolitan RevolutionBruce Katz argues that there ought to be a shift in power to the local metropolitan level. On this level, actors can actually incite the transition to ‘the next economy’. Read more and ++If Mayors Ruled the WorldPolitical scientist Benjamin Barber makes the case that city governments should have more authority considering how they are more capable of forging alliances across borders to deal with global issues. Read more are bestsellers. The Netherlands is no exception in this regard. More and more governmentMore and more government tasks are carried out at a local level and the urban population is growing unceasingly. tasks are carried out at a local level and the urban population is growing unceasingly. The Dutch government encourages the competitive and innovative potential of cities through a programme called Agenda Stad (tr: Urban Agenda).
Kennisland observes how our cities accommodate a great source of knowledge, skills and capacities for innovation. Often, citizens themselves are the most suitable actors to propose solutions to their own problems, or to ++Social labsRead our case on social labs ‘Labs: test beds of the terra incognita’. that can improve the city. However, we also see that city makers do not always receive the necessary access or support to develop and advance their innovations. Furthermore, we see that innovation sometimes does not lead to the desired result or even excludes people. Kennisland facilitates support for city makers and helps them realising their ideas and initiatives, always keeping in mind the entire city and all its citizens. One way in which we do this, is through the City of the Future Challenge.
City of the Future Challenge
Which innovative ideas exist in our cities? And how do we make sure that these ideas have the opportunity to develop? These questions lie at the heart of the City of the Future Challenge. All 161 applications were judged on creativity, feasibility and societal impact. The ten best ideas were selected by a jury to participate in the Urban Accelerator, an intense programme in which they receive a coach and attend masterclasses, a bootcamp, and several workshops. The Urban Accelerator will be fine-tunedKennisland observes how our cities accomodate a great source of knowledge, skills and capacities for innovation. as we go, to make sure that that programme is tailored according to the needs and demands of the participants. During this process, we collect information about what barriers city makers encounter and how they can be best supported to overcome these barriers. Our experience with ++Radical InnovatorsSince 2012 Kennisland has been organising an annual call with the aim to track and highlight Radical Innovation in the Netherlands. Read more is very useful in this regard.
Network of Urban Innovators
The City of the Future Challenge starts from the idea that innovation develops in close collaboration with its eventual (end) users. While Agenda Stad is a national agenda, urban issues and structures differ strongly across municipalities and regions. The strength of Kennisland lies in recognizing these specific needs, and connecting people, networks and initiatives accordingly. Through the City of the Future Challenge Kennisland connects city makers, and facilitates the exchange of experience and expertise.