EDGE Technologies | City as a service

The concept of smart cities has been on the rise. In 2019 we are looking forward to investing more effort within the domain and creating value for the entire ecosystem, writes EDGE Technologies CEO, Coen van Oostrom.

As developers of healthy smart buildings, our areas of interest are vast –from Internet of Things and Big Data to real estate and wellbeing trends. As a result, we ceased viewing our projects as stand-alone entities, and see them as crucial players of a wider transformation of the urban infrastructure. Ultimately, we would like to see EDGE buildings as dynamic city service providers.

Tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft are the driving force of the smart home and office, meaning that we are very close to the roll-out of comprehensive smart city platforms – intelligent, multi-stakeholder solutions that will be able to co-ordinate data, applications and services at one or more levels across the operational domains for several groups of people.

Smart city platforms have an ambitious vision for the integration of urban services as well as concrete plans to bring this vision into practice.

Take Toronto as an example – this global smart city is about to pilot the first-ever neighbourhood built from the internet up. This initiative will turn Toronto into a platform where emerging technologies are tested and used to address urban problems like pollution, traffic jams and lack of affordable housing, through utilisation of delivery robots, sophisticated thermal energy grids and modular buildings.

For others to follow suit, however, cities will have to develop capabilities to manage resources and deliver services fit for this ‘new world’. This can only be done through universal collaboration of tech and science sectors, real estate developers and other companies. Deployment of new IoT and smart technologies across cities is highly beneficial as it will upgrade our cities and encourage users to adopt different technologies, thus helping city planners and authorities to be more ambitious with transformational programs.

In 2019, we’re really looking forward to working together with the city of Amsterdam, as well as city-improvement festivals, such as WeMakeTheCity, to introduce smart solutions to a wider public, and contribute to the development of a city-wide platform strategy. As a new-age real estate developer that has embraced technology to the fullest, we are able to contribute with our developments, resources and take the government along in our future plans for the city.

The goal is to utilize our flagship smart building EDGE Olympic and find ways to test and accommodate city-centric solutions that would address challenges our city faces. We have many ideas on how this could look like, ranging from waste and water management, public safety, transportation & traffic, air quality and monitoring, municipal wifi and much more.

The key requirement of these solutions is to be fully city- and people-centric, with the aim to make Amsterdam fit for the future and a leading global smart city.

  • Coen van Oostrom is founder and CEO of EDGE Technologies

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