Category Archives: Blogs & Articles

Transform and the Decision Support Environment in Polis Magazine


Cities need detailed data and information in order to develop and realize their energy and emission targets. Thereby a deep understanding of the complexity of decision making is necessary to increase the speed and quality of the energy transition and to translate decisions into actions. Therefore Amsterdam uses the Decision Support Environment as developed by AIT, Accenture and Macomi within the Transform project. An article in Polis Magazine highlights how and why Amsterdam uses the DSE and the opportunities using the DSE brings for other cities.

The article can be found here: Amsterdam Becoming A Smart City.

TRANSFORM Cartoonist Live!


Bas Kohler with his unique position as ‘Transformcartoonist’ has been present at many events of TRANSFORM during the duration of the project. And of course he couldn’t miss the final event of TRANSFORM either!

During the whole Smart City Event, Bas presented at all of the TRANSFORM  sessions and presentations and he was capturing these unique moments in cartoons. Each day, twice a day, these cartoons were presented by Bas at the TRANSFORM stand.

If you want to know more about Bas’ TRANSFORM experience, check his blog on our website. You may also find more information about his work at or on TRANSFORM Handbook at

Transform Open Data

Capture2If you want to consume in an eco-friendly way you want to know how stuff is made, where it comes from and what it contains. If you want to live in an ecofriendly way you need to know what the impact of your behavior is. If society wants to build eco-friendly cities we need to know the impact of city design decisions.

But do you get the right information if you are standing in your supermarket? Do you really know the fish is eco sound? Do you have the needed information concerning your energy and water consumption if you want to live sustainably? Do we have the proper information to design eco-friendly cities? No. We still lack important data

In his great book “Ecological Intelligence”, Daniel Goleman explains how this could work. If we lack the proper data we are not able to change our behavior and invest effectively in the right direction. Goleman states that businesses and governments need to give full and honest information so they and the citizens are able to make decisions for the better. Goleman calls it radical transparency! By radical transparency, industry and trade will be able to change the supply chain of goods. By radical transparency governments and businesses will know the impact of changing energy systems and able to build the eco-friendly cities we are striving for. Transparency is of key importance and related data needs to be unleashed.

In the TRANSFORM program, data is one of the most important aspects. And as you will read in this booklet there is still a way to go. Amsterdam, one of the TRANSFORM cities, was able and maybe lucky to get a hold on all energy related data and connect it to the map of the city. A lot of hurdles needed to be overtaken to reach this goal and as you will read other cities struggled with this at the same time. It is not easy but time will show that this is possible for all other TRANSFORM cities. But data alone is not enough.

The big question is: now what? This is why AIT and Accenture have built a “Decision Support Environment” (DSE). Within this simulation tool the data comes to life and cities can run energy scenarios for future city design and (re)development. The DSE is able to support city design decisions and is also extremely helpful in facilitating the dialogue of cities with all their stakeholders like businesses and citizens. If we would be able to free the data and start acting transparently we would be able to build the systems needed to move towards low carbon or non-carbon cities. We hope this publication will support the discussion about open data and the need to be transparent about it. Let’s stop talking, let’s get started!

Read the whole document here!

Ronald van WarmerdamJoost Brinkman
Ronald van Warmerdam & Joost Brinkman

Transforming Amsterdam’s Smart Energy Mix

Nestled in the southwest of Amsterdam sits one of the most advanced stadiums in the world. The ArenA stadium, when opened in 1996, was placed  in the middle of one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas–Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. Through a huge urban renewal programme which began in the 1990s and 2000s the area now features a successful mix of office, retail, residential and industry. The district at large has further developed its smart city status and skills by becoming a smart urban lab where it is helping transform the city into a low-carbon and smart energy city.

Capture3Amsterdam is one of six cities that form the European Commission in TRANSFORM project. Together with Copenhagen, Genoa, Hamburg, Lyon and  Vienna , Amsterdam has worked, since the start of 2013,  alongside 13 private sector partners and knowledge institutions  that have made up the consortium. The consortium aims to help the cities achieve their energy and climate targets–in particular the EU 20-20-20 energy targets of lowering carbon emissions by 20 percent, increasing renewable energy sources by 20 percent and increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent.

Click HERE to read the full article, as appeared on cities-today. Find out about the development of the TRANSFROM tool, that helps cities in their decision making processes towards becoming a smart city and read about the key outcomes of the TRANSFORM Project in Amsterdam.



TRANSFORM Masterclass Copenhagen – Sharing knowledge and setting the example

On Wednesday, April 29th, the City of Copenhagen hosted a TRANSFORM Masterclass, inviting green cities in Denmark to share knowledge and discuss the concept of Smart Energy City.

IMG_1477The EU project ‘TRANSFORM’ has given Copenhagen a unique insight into how we, as different countries and cities, can work with Smart Energy City as a tool for realizing EU’s 20-20-20 targets. Project results shared between the different TRANSFORM cities make a foundation for how we collectively can move towards becoming greener, smarter cities holding a more sustainable future.

At the City of Copenhagen we want to share the work on smart energy city, not only with other countries, but also with the rest of Denmark. With this in mind, we invited representatives from Albertslund and Allerød, two relatively small Danish municipalities who are also Green Cities, for a TRANSFORM Masterclass centering on sharing our experiences from the TRANSFORM project and discussing the possibility of using Smart City as a tool for their own development.

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TRANSFORM Masterclass in Genoa

On May 5th, at the Biblioteca Berio’s Sala dei Chierici, in Genoa, a Masterclass devoted to the European Project TRANSFORM – TRANSFORMation Agenda for Low Carbon Cities was held.

IMG_4351 The project, to which Genoa took part together with Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Wien and Lyon, aimed to identify a method toward the trasformation of the city in a Smart City, also through the compilation of a Handbook, an interactive tool useful in understanding the possibilities and difficulties of the process.

All the interested Italian cities who have already began the process of transformation into Smart Cities had been invited to the Masterclass. The methodologies developed and the “best practices” learned during the process were be illustrated through concrete examples and interactive workshops.

Genoa’s Smart City Alderman, Emanuele Piazza, and the President of the National Smart City Observatory, Francesco Profumo, will be present, together with representatives from the University of Genoa, ENEL and IRE.

#Understand Transform (Learning from Economists #3). Transform post #27

The more I read about and work on energy transition in the urban context the less I seem to understand. It is because of its complexity; I think. That is why want to analyze one of the goals of the city of Amsterdam, written in the Sustainable agenda. The topic I want to investigate is the energy consumption of municipal buildings.

According to the agenda the municipality wants to diminish CO2 emissions of the municipal organization by 45 percent in 2025 compared to 2012. I assume it is also about its buildings. I made a simple drawing and we have 10 years to go.

lfe1 I know the city already has a contract for green electricity. So I have to focus only on the gas consumption for heating and cooling.

If you want to diminish the gas consumption of a building by 45% you have a serious challenge. You can only reach this goal after a big refit and a big investment.

On the internet I found that the city uses and owns about 2.200 buildings of different size, year of construction and quality.

Investments in buildings are normally done at a certain moment in time. Let’s say – for this exercise – once in the twenty year. Then the refit is serious enough to add the investment to meet the mentioned energy challenge.

The city needs to refit approximately 1100 buildings in the next 10 year; about 110 buildings a year. But after adapting 1100 buildings in 2025, the city is only half way. To meet its goals the gas consumption of all refitted buildings need to shrink by 90%.

WOW, I am getting a clue of the challenge that is energy transformation!lfe2

Let’s reason on. Pareto was an Italian economist and he discovered the 80–20 rule; also known as the Pareto principle. This is the law of the vital few. It states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Then maybe we do not have to refit all buildings. Following the Pareto principle we can assume that 80% of the gas is consumed by only 20% of the buildings. But the principle also states that the floor area of these buildings is 80% of the total area of all buildings.

In conclusion I want to state that we have to refit, in the next ten years, about 22 of the biggest municipal buildings. So the number of projects is less than I expected. If we compensate for the 20%, let’s assume we need to refit four to six buildings more. Feels like a relief?

If it comes to investments the rule is not useful. The floor space stays the same. Who has a clue about the floor space and who has an idea of the needed investments per square meter? If you have them please let me know. I am really curious and I will address my next post about it.

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Ronald van WarmerdamRonald van Warmerdam
Sr project manager Projectmanagement Bureau, city of Amsterdam / lecturer TuDelft / Coordinator TRANSFORM

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding

new-MOUThe aim of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Genoa, Hamburg, Lyon and Vienna is to build upon the results from the successful partnership in the TRANSFORM project, to strengthen the cooperation in implementation of the Urban Transformation Agenda, and to acknowledge the pivotal role that cities play in reducing C02 emissions and realising EU 20-20-20 targets on climate and energy.

TRANSFORM team proudly announces, that the Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the Smart City Event in Amsterdam in 3rd June, 2015, right after the introduction speech by the Alderman  of the City of Amsterdam Abdeluheb Choho. His signature on the MoU is accompanied by the Vice Chairman of City of Lyon Karin Dognin Sauze, Alderman Urban Planning of City of Genoa Stefano Bernini, The Director of Technical and Environmental Department of City of Genoa and Representatives on behalf of the City of Hamburg and the City of Vienna.

The Memorandum of Understanding (the signed version as well as a cartoon version drawn by Bas Kohler) could be accessed here.

signing mou