If you’re a ‘smart city maker’ like me, you are probably already familiar with the fact that Amsterdam is already aggressively experimenting in future transport systems like Connexxion’s fully electric buses (EU’s largest fleet), or Reisproof - a two-month challenge asking residents to go-car-free, or Ams-Institute’s Roboat - an autonomous drone delivery systems (coming soon to a canal near you). For Amsterdammers these solutions are not only necessary, but urgent in order to meet the many environmental, social and logistical targets to keep our city resilient.
For most auto-centric Americans these solutions remain abstract and hypothetical, so I was interested how the students would interpret the many challenges facing our over-crowded European capital. The program was led by Ian MacColl who chose Amsterdam for CCA’s Urban Mobility Project because its a "highly evolved multi-modal system” with 18 million visitors moving through it annually. They didn’t waste anytime - immediately they started to explore:
Cultural and physical context in the city (land and water)
Five high mobility intersections in the city
Multi-modal journeys outside the city
The results were as refreshing as they were relevant. Perhaps due to the time constraints, or a fresh design perspective, in just a few days the students delivered 8 solid concepts that all identified serious mobility challenges and provided uniquely Amsterdam solutions like:
Rethinking how (larger) tour groups can move around AMS on bikes.
Diverting bikes to canals bike/boat hybrid vehicles for a ‘slower’ AMS experience.
Body worn navigation assistant that is not looking at a screen
Deployments of multi-functional installations at specific sites to intervene and promote a behavioural change in mobility traffic.
Filtering recommendations for experiences based on individual demographic preferences.
The students developed and presented their final concepts at Van Moof HQ on Thursday 27 June.