How does energy innovation affect the life of the average citizen of Amsterdam?
By shifting from centralized produced and stored energy to locally generated and stored energy. New technologies such as batteries for energy storage and energy management systems to trade your locally generated energy make it possible for citizens to be self-sufficient. Citizens are more aware of energy, which usually results in lower energy consumption, which results in costs savings.
What have been the key milestones and the main challenges in making Amsterdam more energy conscious?
Public-Private-People Partnerships, locally generated and stored energy, waste-to-energy plants, introducing smart energy meters and switching to renewable energy. Last but not least, opening up government data and challenging startups and private partners to use this.
In your expert opinion, what are the opportunities of novel appliances and services to make Kuala Lumpur a more habitable place for its citizens?
It is necessary to open up data, make a shift from ownership of cars and encourage use of public transportation. Moreover, energy should be locally generated and stored, while the central role is played by citizens. What is a smart city without smart citizens?! They should be involved in co-creating solutions and making choices that fit their need and wishes. Openness is key. Openness of data and openness in goals and ambitions, to enable cooperation between companies big and small, local government, citizens and knowledge institutions. Next to this, local government should be open and invite and facilitate organizations to join them in solving all the different challenges (solutions can be disruptive).
You are not afraid to share worst practices. What lessons have you learned while changing Amsterdam into a city of the future? What advice can you give to prevent Kuala Lumpur from making the same mistakes?
Lessons learned are very diverse, varying from wrong financing model, no citizen engagement, no bottom-up approach, no open source, wrong timing, not user/citizen centric...
How can the initiatives from Amsterdam be implemented in KL?
By learning from them and using the tools out of the Amsterdam smart city toolbox that may be applicable to KL.
How can our urban center live up to its full potential in terms of economic assets and leverage the vast wealth of human capital within?
By investing in citizen engagement and sticking to your natural role as government: facilitating initiatives and not running them.