We envision a city that is smart and adaptive, so that the available space can be used flexibly. An accessible, liveable and sustainable city that continuously adapts to the changing use of space.
The big question is: how are we going to get there?
The Wagenwerkplaats, a former railway station in Amersfoort and an area undergoing transformation, is the perfect location to bring this vision to life. Living, working, recreation, consumption and logistics do not only coexist at the Wagenwerkplaats, but they reinforce each other.
In the spring of 2021, a Smart Zone was realized that puts the shared vision 'Forward with the City' of PostNL, IMOSS, Prime Vision and Coding the Curbs into practice.
Different use cases in practice
To demonstrate the adaptivity of the city, a smart zone has been realized on the road in front of the Ketelhuis in Amersfoort. This road is normally closed to motorized traffic to avoid problems, but that is not the ideal scenario for the city of the future.
An urban situation has been simulated at this location, with different users and needs during the day. With a Smart Zone it is possible to organize the available space more flexibly and thus more effectively.
Various use cases relevant to the location were then put to the test on this Smart Zone: loading and unloading, space for terraces, parking of vehicles and a hub for shared transport. By carrying out these use cases, research has been done into the application of adaptivity of the Wagenwerkplaats.
Technology as an indispensable link
To make the space available to different users, technology is needed that makes it possible to reserve, use and maintain the space.
This technology consists of two links. A user-friendly app makes it possible for the users to reserve and use the space. The motorist can use this to reserve his parking space, or the horeca entrepreneur can reserve space for his terrace on a sunny day.
The digital sign makes the reservations visible in the public space and shows what the current use is. Under predefined conditions, different functions can be assigned to the zone. Such as, for example, partial transport in the evenings, or parcel deliveries by PostNL in the morning.
Learning by doing
Transforming the monofunctional space into an adaptive space yielded many insights into operation, user-friendliness, visibility and adaptability. The first results of using the app and the visibility of the board are promising. And above all, there is a clear need for a multifunctional space.
However, it is important to coordinate and co-create the use of the space in advance with residents and companies. Analyzing data plays an important role in this. Further integration with existing (software) systems provides additional benefits. Think, for example, of the peak times of deliveries by PostNL during the holidays.
En route to the city of the future
We believe that this demonstration is an important part of the bigger picture: the adaptive city. By starting small, we have gained a lot of insights about the application and scaling up. In this way we bring the future of the city one step closer.
Do you want to learn more about our vision? Visit our website: www.vooruitmetdestad.nl