Amsterdam wins Smart City World Congress Award

The following post originally appeared on the National Geographic/C40 City Solutions Blog.

The C40 City of Amsterdam was chosen as the winner of the City Award at the second edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress, held November 14 in Barcelona, Spain. Amsterdam’s winning submission was an innovative Open Data Program for transport and mobility, with the motto: “We the data, you the apps.” The program aims to improve the accessibility of the city and is part of the Amsterdam Smart City Approach.

Amsterdam joined forces with app-developers on this new initiative to identify problems and implement solutions. The goal: To create applications for the smartphone that supplies the traveler real-time multimodal transport and travel-information to his or her destination. Examples of new apps that have been created are Parkshark (Glimworm) and Bike Like a Local. The Department of Infrastructure and Transportation of the City of Amsterdam (Dienst Infrastructuur Verkeer en Vervoer – DIVV) makes traffic and transportation data publicly available, in the hope that the open data will stimulate innovation for new products and mobile services to make trips more efficient.

Since March 2012, the city reports, DIVV has made data available on parking (tariffs, availability and time), taxi stands, cycle paths and more; next to this, real time information is given on traffic jams on main roads around the city. According to DIVV’s data, a full 50,000 kilometers are driven each day while drivers search for their destinations. Since drivers are programmed to follow routines, new obstacles – like roadwork – can increase congestion city-wide.

The Smart City Expo World Congress awards recognize the most innovative projects in the categories of Initiative, Project and City. A total of 106 entries were submitted this year from 65 cities in 18 countries. Last year, the city of Yokohama, also a C40 city, won the City award.