Living Lab (Amsterdam - The Netherlands)

Case Study

Living Lab (Amsterdam - The Netherlands)

The neighbourhood of Ijburg is the youngest district of Amsterdam. Only in the late 90’s the decision was taken to start building this neighbourhood. Ijburg has been developed with houses that are suitable for families, which means that the overall population is very young. Ijburg also has young and modern infrastructures, for instance, dwellers have access to the fastest public fibre optic broadband Internet in the world.

The urban living lab in the Ijburg district allows businesses to both test and demonstrate innovative products and services in a real scenario. The young population, high-level connectivity and modern surroundings provide Ijburg with the ideal ingredients to be an excellent area for the development of new products and services based on the user’s needs. Living labs are a very useful tool to test innovative solutions. These, in turn, will allow people to know which are the best practices to use a given product or service.

There are some risks associated to this initiative, namely not having an adequate methodology for urban research, the fact that participants in living lab experiences cannot represent the general society and the possibility that it would only be used for research purposes by researchers. But these risks are diminished when looking at the values of such project, as it takes into account the region’s needs, it promotes an environmentally sustainable culture, it allows for knowledge-transfer, it is focused on local citizens, and it empowers participation and co-creation.

Case study city(ies)
Case study country(ies)

Improved Energy management;

Improved Intelligent Transport Systems.


Alliander (founder), Amsterdam Economic Board (founder), Arcadis (founder), Gemeente Amsterdam (founder).


- Have a good methodology for collaborations;

- Engage companies in the Living Lab experimentation;

- Set up policy measures to be analysed;

- Contextualize experiments.

Solutions deployed

Living lab; Free Wi-Fi; Fibre-to-the-Home; Wijk TV; All the technologies used to build the city infrastructure.


Amsterdam created a partnership between businesses, authorities, NGOs and citizens to develop the Amsterdam Smart City (ASC). ASC has several projects, which are organized in eight domains: smart mobility, smart living, smart society, smart areas, smart economy, Big&Open Data, Infrastructure, and Living Labs. For the Ijburg Living Lab, ASC together with Ijburg dwellers, developed new products and services, such as transport, work, healthcare or energy, in order to improve the quality of life in the IJburg district. The projects that are being developed in IJburg are Free Wi-Fi, Fibre-to-the-Home, Ijburg YOU decide!, Ring-Ring, Smart Work@Ijburg, Digital Road Authority-Incident Management, and Wijk TV.

Results and Impacts

The initiative has several benefits, namely connecting parties and building consortiums, identifying local investment portfolios and connecting to them, gaining knowledge about dwellers and users of neighbourhoods, identifying the needs and wishes of the dwellers and users of neighbourhoods, energy potential analysis (technical, demographic and urban planning insights into the present and potential energy consumption of neighbourhoods), and knowledge exchange based on previous pilot projects. Also, quality of life is improved.