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Club of Amsterdam Journal, January 2014, Issue 162
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2014, Issue 162

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Welcome to the Club of Amsterdam Journal.

Our next Season Event is about the future of Urban Mobility
Thursday, January 30, 18:30 - 21:15

Efficient transportation and mobility are essential to make a city competitive and appealing. Current business models offer alternative and new mobility solutions, such as car or bicycle sharing and new leasing mobility offerings, electric vehicles, autonomous driving, talking cars, micro mobility or integrated mobility.

What future impact have key global mega trends on Urban Mobility?

What are the major challenges in balancing economic needs and environmental policies?

What role can innovation play or what innovation is needed?

Felix F Bopp, Founder & Chairman


Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility

Next Event: the future of Urban Mobility

Freedom Ship

Car research

Club of Amsterdam blog

News about the Future

Recommended Book: Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

2013 Argentina Digital Future in Focus

Futurist Portrait: Christophe Pelletier


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.Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility

Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director UN-Habitat

Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility - Global Report on Human Settlements 2013 is released at a time when the challenges of urban transportation demands are greater than ever. This is particularly the case in developing countries where populations (and the number of motorized vehicles) are growing at rates where urban infrastructure investments are unable to keep pace. I believe this report will serve as a starting point to guide local authorities and other stakeholders to address the challenges faced by urban transportation systems all over the world. The report provides some thought-provoking insights on how to build the cities of the future in such a manner that the ultimate goal of urban transport – namely enhanced access to destinations, activities, services and goods – takes precedence over ever-increasing calls for increased urban mobility. [...]

The report also provides recommendations on how national, provincial and local governments and other stakeholders can develop more sustainable urban futures through improved planning and design of urban transport systems. [...]

The report also notes that most trips involve a combination of several modes of transport. Thus, modal integration is stressed as a major component of any urban mobility strategy. For example, the construction of a high-capacity public transport system needs to be integrated with other forms of public transport, as well as with other modes. Such integration with various ‘feeder services’ is crucial to ensure that metros, light rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems can fully utilize their potential as a ‘high-capacity’ public transport modes. It is therefore essential that planners take into account how users (or goods) travel the ‘last (or first) mile’ of any trip. By way of an example, it is not much use to live ‘within walking distance’ of a metro (or BRT) station, if this implies crossing a busy eightlane highway without a pedestrian crossing, or if one is unable to walk to the station (due to disability, or lack of personal security). Likewise,it is unlikely that urban residents will make use of metros (and BRTs), if the nearest station is located beyond walking distance, and there is no public transport ‘feeder’ services providing access to these stations or no secure parking options for private vehicles near the stations.

The System is the Solution in Urban Transportation

To fully address urban mobility challenges city managers must go beyond the building of transport infrastructure and look at the interconnectivity of the different modes if they are to be successful, says the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat.

The Global Report on Human Settlements 2013 - Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility, calls for a systematic approach, taking into consideration how people move from road to rail, from bus to metro, from bicycle to tram and so on, if they are to gain and keep users.

"The introduction of high-capacity public transport systems can potentially improve the efficiency of the urban economy by reducing travel cost and time; it can increase the level of city-centre activity, thereby enhancing agglomeration economies which are crucial for the prosperity of urban areas," says UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos. "But the most efficient and comprehensive train network in the world will have very little impact if people find there is no way to complete their journey when they alight from the station. The system as a whole is the solution to urban mobility, not one individual piece of infrastructure."

Globally, a trend has begun in this direction. Systems are being installed in places as varied as Bangalore, Brasilia, Cairo and Shanghai. The shift in focus is due to the awareness that the collective cost of reliance on the car is making cities unsustainable. Everyone, including those who can afford private cars, are struggling with urban sprawl, air and noise pollution, congested roads, increasing traffic accidents and social segregation. High-capacity public transport systems are increasingly seen as a sustainable alternative and are now being installed in various cities around the world.

The report warns of the danger of seeing an individual piece of infrastructure as the panacea to all its urban mobility challenges. In Nairobi, for example, a commuter train was opened in 2012 to ease the congestion of cars but uptake has been slow. One reason for this is that to access the outlying stations you still need a car. The private ownership of the bus system means that there is little incentive to provide a route whereby commuters can access the railway.

The world's largest or most used metro systems are Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (South Korea) and Beijing (China). Passengers daily: Tokyo - 8.5 million; Seoul - 6.9 million; Beijing 6.7 million


The metro is generally an underground system capable of at least 20,000 passengers per hour, per direction. Globally, it carries an average 112 million passengers per day, the report says. Asian cities account for 46 per cent of global ridership, followed by European cities with 34 per cent. Although it is the most expensive public transport system to build, it offers clear advantages in terms of speed, low noise, low emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, high reliability and public safety. One major drawback, however, is the long distances between stations, necessary for trains to reach high speeds. Another is limited flexibility and the need for bus or intermediate public transport.

Light Rail

Electric light rail transport is a mode that can be developed in stages to increase capacity and speed. Such systems mostly operate at the surface level with overhead electrical connectors, and exclusive right-of-way lanes. Ridership is significantly lower than that of metros. Light rail may have high or low platform loading and multi or single car trains. They have traffic priority at road junctions, which increases their speed and service reliability. Some 400 light rail and tram systems are operational worldwide. These systems, though, are relatively costly and are mostly be found in relatively high-income cities.

Bus rapid transit (BRT)

In terms of cost, the BRT capital costs can be 4 to 20 times less than light rail systems; and 10 to 100 less than those of the metro with similar capacity and service levels, according to the report. BRT runs along exclusive right-of-way road lanes at the surface. In dense city centres, underpasses or tunnels at intersections separate it from other traffic. BRTs provide high quality, fast, safe, comfortable, reliable and cost-effective services for the 26 million daily commuters in 156 cities worldwide. A good BRT system is flexible and it combines stations, bus services, busways and information technology in an integrated manner.

Connecting people to the system

In addition to the physical integration of urban mobility modes and service providers, operational and fare integration are essential aspects of an integrated and sustainable urban mobility systems. Public transport route schedules and fares have to be coordinated to facilitate the travel of individual passengers. Thus the report notes that public transport systems have to address four major parameters: affordability, availability, accessibility and acceptability.

In the final analysis, it is the ease with which the public can access these high-capacity transport facilities that will determine if they will be used. That is why transit-oriented development is vital; urban developments that are physically organized around public transport stations. It is done by considering the entire public transport system as a whole, looking at how the different modes intersect and how people will join the system at the beginning and end of their journeys. It is the effectiveness of how the bus, train or tram lines work together with safe pedestrian walk-ways, car parks, bicycle lanes and with each other that will determine whether they can pull people away from their private motor vehicles.

Understanding the parameters of urban transport

Affordability refers to the extent to which the financial cost of journeys puts an individual or household in the position of having to make sacrifices to travel, or to the extent to which they can afford to travel when they want to.
Availability of trans port is used to refer to route possibilities, timings and frequency.

Accessibility describes the ease with which all categories of passenger can use public transport. For example, buses with high steps are difficult to board, particularly if they are one person operated and there is no assistance. Accessibility also includes ease of finding out about travel possibilities, i.e. the information function.

Acceptability is another important quality of public transport, either because of the trans port or the standards of the traveller. For example, travellers may be deterred from using public trans port due to lack of personal security on buses and trains.



  • Politicians, government institutions and planning processes need to emphasize accessibility over mobility.
  • Cities need to be more compact, encourage mixed land use, and prioritize sustainable modes of mobility such as non-motorized transport, in order to develop sustainable mobility systems.
  • Urban mobility systems need to provide mobility opportunities for all.
  • Improved urban planning will be critical in designing and retrofitting cities to better accommodate sustainable modes.
  • Policies to encourage sustainable urban mobility must take into account social, environmental, economic and institutional dimensions of sustainability. This calls for more holistic and inclusive framework for the planning, design and provision of urban mobility systems
    and services.

Background Studies 2013

see here

.Next Event: the future of Urban Mobility

the future of Urban Mobility

Thursday, January 30, 2013, 18:30 - 21:15
Location: - Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam
[Next to Nieuwmarkt]
Tickets: Euro 30, Euro 20 (Members etc.) or Euro 10 (Students)

Ticket Corner

This event is supported by & TPEX (TelePresence EXchange International)

The speakers and topics are

Wim Korver, Head of Research & Development Unit, Goudappel Coffeng
The 21 century: the end of the car mobility as we know it

Robert Dingemanse, Co-founder and CEO, PAL-V
Flying cars, how will it affect future mobility?

Nick Cohn
, Senior Business Developer, TomTom
TomTom on Urban Mobility: The Future is Now

Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future Research
Global Forces Shaping Urban Mobility

... and get your Season Pass 2013/2014 at

.Freedom Ship

What is the Freedom Ship?

"Envision an ideal place to live or run a business, a friendly, safe and secure community with large areas of open space and extensive entertainment and recreational facilities. Finally, picture this community continually moving around the world. You are beginning to understand the Freedom Ship concept of a massive ocean-going vessel. With a design length of 4,500 feet, a width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, Freedom Ship would be more than 4 times longer than the Queen Mary. The design concepts include a mobile modern city featuring luxurious living, an extensive duty-free international shopping mall, and a full 1.7 million square foot floor set aside for various companies to showcase their products.

Freedom Ship would not be a cruise ship, it is proposed to be a unique place to live, work, retire, vacation, or visit. The proposed voyage would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions. Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship's top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each). The proposed vessel's superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its broad main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. Finally, this concept would include a wide array of recreational and athletic facilities, worthy of a world-class resort, making Freedom Ship a veritable 'Community on the Sea'."

Discovery Channel - Freedom Ship - Engineering The Impossible

.Car research

Ford Reveals Automated Fusion Hybrid that can almost drive itself

“The Ford Fusion Hybrid automated vehicle represents a vital step toward our vision for the future of mobility,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “We see a future of connected cars that communicate with each other and the world around them to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment. By doing this, Ford is set to have an even greater impact in our next 100 years than we did in our first 100.”

Mercedes-Benz driverless research car

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche: "For us, autonomous vehicles are an important step on the way to accident-free driving. They will bring greater comfort and safety for all road users. That's because autonomous vehicles also react when the driver is inattentive or fails to spot something."

Volvo Autonomous driving

“Autonomous vehicles are an integrated part of Volvo Cars’ as well as the Swedish government’s vision of zero traffic fatalities. This public pilot represents an important step towards this goal,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of the Volvo Car Group. “It will give us an insight into the technological challenges at the same time as we get valuable feedback from real customers driving on public roads.”

“microMAX” - the networked swarm car

“microMAX” Frank M. Rinderknecht, boss of Swiss creative powerhouse Rinspeed, transfers the idea of swarm intelligence to urban traffic and sets out to do nothing less than to revolutionize it.

Connected Car from AT&T Innovation

US carrier AT&T has opened an innovation centre in Atlanta designed to be a launch pad for new ideas and companies with a focus on the digital life and connected car sectors.

.Club of Amsterdam blog

Club of Amsterdam blog

The road to nowhere
Demography and Hegemony
Navigating the Transition
Will Green Buildings Help
Shaping our Future Evolution
Oh, The Humanities! Why STEM Shouldn’t Take Precedence Over the Arts
The Egg
Joy Rides and Robots are the Future of Space Travel
The Transposon

.News about the Future

Shower of the future

The background context of this project is to apply the water recycling technology developed by Orbital Systems AB into a product, in this case a shower. It is the most advanced and efficient shower unit, saving up to over 90% water and 80% energy, whilst increasing comfort and hygiene.

Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology

A study of smart textiles in fashion and clothing. A report within the Baltic Fashion Project, published by the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås.

Textiles of today are materials with applications in almost all our activities, we wear clothes all the time and we are surrounded with textiles in almost all our environments. The integration of multifunctional values in such a common material has become a special area of interest in recent years. Fibres yarns, fabric and other structures with added-value functionality have been developed for a range of applications [Lam Po Tang, Stylos]. Textile materials and techniques have become an important platform for high-tech innovations.

This report aims to provide an overview of projects combining smart textiles and clothing as a basis for further discussions on how smart textiles could be introduced in fashion.

.Recommended Book

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
by Charles Montgomery

After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?

The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a “sexy” lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris’s urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighbourhoods.

Rich with history and new insights from psychology, neuroscience and Montgomery’s own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.

.2013 Argentina Digital Future in Focus

comScore presents the 2013 Argentina Digital Future in Focus, its report on prevailing trends in changing digital behavior, online video and mobile, including a special review of social, shopping and sports.

Key insights from the 2013 Argentina Digital Future in Focus report include:

  • The Argentinian online population tends to be older than the regional average, with nearly 25 percent of internet users age 45 and older. Users age 55 and older spend the most time online, with nearly 24 hours on average per user in August 2013.
  • Half of Argentina’s online population accessed Sports sites in August, ahead of both the regional average (44 percent) and worldwide average (39 percent).
  • Online Retail Sites continue to grow in Argentina, reaching nearly 74 percent of its total online audience in August 2013. was the fastest gaining property of the top 10 most-visited Retail websites, growing 96 percent in the past year.
  • Argentina is the third most highly engaged social networking market worldwide, with users spending an average of 9 hours in the category in August 2013.
  • Mobile phones and tablets continue to account for a growing amount of digital traffic. Argentina now sees 7.9 percent of all web-based page views consumed beyond the personal computer, predominantly on smartphones and tablets.
  • Internet users in Argentina are the most likely in Latin America to view online video content, with more than 95 percent of Argentina’s internet population doing so in August 2013.

The comScore’s Future in Focus series

.Futurist Portrait: Christophe Pelletier

Christophe Pelletier is one of the world’s experts on the future of food and agriculture. During his studies and his career, he has been active in Beef, Dairy, Animal Feed, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry and Seafood.

He has filled a wide diversity of positions in Scientific and Technical support, Planning, Supply Chain, Procurement, Quality Control, Traceability, Food Safety, Sales & Marketing, Plant Management and Senior Executive level. He has conducted business internationally, on four continents, and negotiated multimillion deals with farmers, traders, wholesalers, leading retailers and food processors. Thanks to his strategic and leadership abilities, he successfully has turned around lagging operations into profitable and viable activities within very short periods of time. He has lived in three countries and he speaks five languages. He is a citizen of both Canada and the EU.

In his leadership positions, he set up and led multicultural teams that consistently outperformed their peers and competitors. During a team review conducted by Hay Group, his staff described him as an “empathic visionary leader“. He always fosters a stimulating and exciting atmosphere for his teams and he is a strong believer of clarity, simplicity, talent and delegation.

Christophe Pelletier obtained his Master of Science degree from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in France (now renamed AgroParisTech), where he specialized in Economy and Development of Animal Production.

He started his career within BP Nutrition, which later became the Dutch-based agribusiness multinational Nutreco. He started as a pig production expert supporting the Dutch feed company team of technical extension specialists. He reviewed the use of feed ingredients and investigated new alternatives for pig nutrition. He developed new husbandry systems, developed the company’s activity of piglet export from the Netherlands, and worked as a liaison between the Dutch, French and Spanish animal feed companies. He then moved to the Dutch poultry processing division where he worked in sales. He became Sales Director and successfully restructured sales in Germany. He initiated the ISO 9000 certification of the plant and set up a coordinated European sales approach including the Dutch, Belgian and Spanish plants, leading to major performance improvements. He then moved to the salmon farming division to structure all post-harvest activities in Chile and in Canada. He determined a new sales strategy, implemented harvest planning and quality control procedures in the processing plants. The results were substantial cost reduction and stronger sales revenue.

Christophe is the author of two books:
Future Harvests – The Next Agricultural Revolution, published in August 2010, explores whether and how future food production can meet demand at the horizon 2050

We Will Reap What We Sow – Reflections on Human Nature, Leadership and Feeding a Growing Population, published in May 2012, investigates how leadership can affect consumer behavior and influence production and supply systems for better or worse. The book raises the important questions that future leaders face to succeed in overcoming the challenges ahead.


Season Events 2013/2014

NEXT Event

January 30, 2014
the future of Urban Mobility
January 30, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15

Location:, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next to Nieuwmarkt]
This event is supported by & TPEX (TelePresence EXchange International)

February 27, 2014
the future of Learning
The impact of culture on teaching and early learning.
February 27, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15

Location: THNK, Haarlemmerweg 8a, 1014 BE Amsterdam (Westergasfabriek)
A collaboration between THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership and the Club of Amsterdam

March 27, 2014
the future of Creativity, Arts & Consciousness
March 27, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15 (Amsterdam time)

Location: Mediamatic, Van Gendthallen (next to Roest), VOC-kade 10, Amsterdam
Co-location: The Vortex Dome, Los Angeles

A collaboration between Mediamatic, Vortex Immersion Media, Tpex and the Club of Amsterdam

April 24, 2014
the future of ...
April 24, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15

May 29, 2014
the future of Green Architecture
May 29, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15
Location: Geelvinck Museum, Keizersgracht 633, 1017 DS Amsterdam
A collaboration between Geelvinck Museum and the Club of Amsterdam

June 26, 2013
the future of ...
June 26, 2014, 18:30 - 21:15

... and get your Season Pass 2013/2014 at

Valid for the 7 Season Events 2013/2014
Season Pass 2013/2014 for 1 person: Euro 90,-
Season Pass 2013/2014 for 2 persons: Euro 160,-


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