AMS Institute

Text: Jurjen Slump


AMS Institute is an internationally leading institute where engineers, designers and researchers jointly develop integrated metropolitan solutions. What makes AMS Institute unique is that its research is validated and implemented in practice using the city of Amsterdam as a living lab.

The world is urbanising at a tremendous rate. Cities increasingly face challenges of sustainability and quality of life, challenges that put our resources, food security, mobility and logistics, water and waste management, health and wellbeing at risk.

Cities need metropolitan solutions, made possible by revolutions in new technologies, research and design methods. But no stakeholder can do this alone: finding metropolitan solutions requires cooperation between knowledge institutes, companies, cities and citizens.

For this reason, AMS Institute was founded in 2014 by Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in close collaboration with a group of private, public and societal partners, with of course the city of Amsterdam as key partner.

The institute wants to develop a deep understanding of the city (‘sense the city’) to design solutions for its challenges, and integrate these into the city of Amsterdam, during and after which consequences are being measured and investigated again to enable iterations of these solutions. Its research evolves around applied technology in themes related to city metabolism, such as water, energy, waste, food, data and mobility, and the integration of these themes for a prosperous society.

Using the city as a living lab is unique as it provides a valuable context for experiments that helps develop and test advanced solutions for challenges in urbanised metropolitan areas around the globe. The living lab approach is important, as it forms an important step to achieve more impact faster, and above all better society-wide implementation.


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