March 23rd, Monday, 2015 –New Delhi
A business delegation of 60 representatives and concerned authorities from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is visiting India from 22nd – 28th March 2015. The Delegation will be led by the Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr. Eberhard van der Laan. The Mayor of Amstelveen, Ms. Mirjam van ‘t Veld, is also part of the delegation, as well as other high level officials.
The agenda of the visit is strengthening the diplomatic and economic ties between India and Amsterdam, as well as address topical issues like the development of Smart Cities. The delegation conducted a roundtable in Delhi, at hotel Taj Mansingh, focusing on the subject of Smart cities and Sports infrastructure. The Mayor of Amsterdam opened the session and shared insights into the learning curve that the city has encountered where policies and usage of Public spaces is concerned.
The round table takes lead from a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Indian Ministry of Urban Development in 2013; to enhance knowledge exchange and cooperation between the Netherlands and India on sustainable building, water and waste management and transport within Urban Environments.
The growing interest across the world in smart cities is motivated by major challenges that include economic pressures, climate change and resource scarcity. One of the main drivers, however, is urbanisation. In the years to 2050, 98% of global population growth – an estimated 1.8 billion people – will take place in cities. Already densely populated,
Amsterdam is also predicted to grow 12.5% by 2040. Figures like these make it clear that fresh thinking and long-term planning are needed.
With the promise to build 100 smart cities in India – the term has derived a new sense of meaning and importance here as well. But how would one put theory to practice. Here is where the delegation from Amsterdam aims to bridge the gap bringing together the practical experience and knowledge that went behind makingAmsterdam one of the most recognizable smart cities of the world.
Speaking at the occasion, Mayor of Amsterdam, Mr. Eberhard Edzard van der Laan said, “A smart city is a city where Social and Technological infrastructures and solutions facilitate and accelerate sustainable economic growth. This improves the quality of life in the city for everyone.
The City of Amsterdam is world-wide known as one of the best Smart Cities and with the best cycling infrastructure and is leading in electric mobility. India has a promising plan to build 100 Smart Cities. We hope this dialogue taking place today will initiate and foster a long term collaboration for public and private partnerships for urban development”
The various experts present at the round table showcased and explained the Dutch approach to building smart cities which requires close public-private cooperation on different levels. The companies and government officials from Amsterdam present on the occasion also studied the smart city development model being adopted in India to identify areas for collaboration.
Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a unique partnership between companies, governments, knowledge institutions and the people of Amsterdam. It is a frontrunner in the development of Amsterdam as a Smart City. The programme thrives on crowdsourcing ideas from members of the community to innovate and execute solutions to daily urban challenges. This level of ownership given to the inhabitants of the city creates a sense of ownership and has proven to be effective as a bottom up approach in Amsterdam.
‘Although we are often dealing with some of the most advanced technology around, what we do is not rocket science,’ says Gaarlandt-Bolsius of ASC’s role. ‘It’s a case of knowing what the needs of the city or a certain neighbourhood are and bringing together the right partners. It’s all about smart collaboration.’
Illustrations of innovative solutions by the Amsterdam Smart City Initiative
The roundtable also addressed the need for better sports infrastructure in India. There is an abundance of open areas for various sports development, with immense scope of improvement. This is with respect to usage, social interaction, sports, recreation, safety, policies, etc.. The general policies need to be put in place in order to create continuity in the actual usage of the public areas in the urban areas, which will ultimately make the cities more livable.
During this visit, the delegation will be holding roundtables and meetings in Mumbai, and Bangalore as well, which will have both Public and Private Participation from India and The Netherlands. The delegation will be holding discussions with the likes of – HCL, CII, Mahindra Reva, Infosys, IISC Bangalore, State Bank of India to name a few.
Amsterdam is increasingly becoming attractive to international talent and companies. In 2014, 139 new international companies established offices in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. The Indian expat community in the Amsterdam area is growing rapidly.
Amsterdam – India
Currently, more than 7,000 Indians live and work here. To make them feel at home, there are several dedicated services and events for Indian expats. For example, an annual Diwali celebration, a family-friendly cricket match hosted by amsterdam inbusiness, there are screenings of Bollywood film releases and social gatherings for Indian companies. There are excellent provisions for international schools, a fine selection of traditional Indian cuisine and a dedicated India healthcare desk at the hospital in Amstelveen. ING, KPMG and the Netherlands India Chamber of Commerce and Trade (NICCT) host the annual Netherlands India Business Meet.
The delegation is in Delhi from 22nd -24th March; Bangalore – 25th March and Mumbai – 26th – 27th March