Seven new projects VerDuS SURF Pop Up

12 December 2018

The call VerDuS SURF Pop Up 2018 has resulted in the granting of seven new small projects. Topics include a research by design approach to reduce tensions in the urban context, implementation of Mobility as a Service, an experiment kit for city labs, consequences of changing supermarket shopping patterns, clean taxi’s in the city, sustainable edges along waterways, and user satisfaction in smart office buildings.

In this call, researchers were invited to apply for funding for small projects with a maximum duration of one year that fit with the thematic framework of the knowledge programme Smart Urban Regions of the Future (VerDuS SURF). Central in the programme are five societal challenges, namely spatial development, housing, accessibility, economy and governance and their interfaces.

VerDuS SURF is part of the knowledge initiative Connecting Sustainable Cities (Verbinden van Duurzame Steden, VerDuS), a cooperation between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), NWO, NRPO-SIA and Platform31.  

In this round, seven of eleven applications could be granted with the available budget of 300.000 euros. The granted projects are (in alphabetical order of the main applicant’s last name):

Urban conflicts and research by design: Practical wisdom for sustainable cities (UP-WISE)
Dr. Marleen Buizer (Wageningen University & Research) in collaboration with Stichting Landtong, Terragone Foundation and Vereniging Nieuw en Meer.

Cities in the Netherlands are increasingly focused on densification for housing development. Municipal governments also search for collaboration with bottom-up initiatives of active citizens, entrepreneurs and others to enhance liveability, and to creatively cope with limited space in cities. How can tensions be addressed by forms of research by design?

Tek4Labs – The Experiment Kit for City Labs
Prof. dr. ir. Joop de Kraker (Maastricht University) in collaboration with Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.

City labs are a promising form of ‘smart governance’, with their experimental approach as an important feature. In practice, however, city labs struggle with this experimental dimension. TEK4Labs aims to provide a better understanding and practical guidance by developing a ‘experiment kit’ together with the Dutch network of city labs.

Future spatial patterns of in-store and online grocery shopping: impacts on mobility, social cohesion and real estate
Dr. Cees Maat (Delft University of Technology) in collaboration with Supermarkt & Ruimte.

Supermarkets supply daily products and play a social role. Recent trends are upscaling; suburban developments encourage hypermarkets; online supermarket services are on the rise, leading to more car traffic, loss of social cohesion and real estate vacancies. This study investigates and explains these effects for various possible spatial patterns.

Taxi counts using cameras cameras with image recognition software in Amsterdam
Dr. Nanda Piersma (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) in collaboration with Municipality of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam University of Applied Science develops image recognition software to analyze camera images real time. The camera devices only record scores. The technique is used to see if there are enough sustainable taxis in the city to fulfil the taxi demand in the city.

Instruments for sustainable urban riverfronts (I surf)
Prof. dr. ir. Arjan van Timmeren (Delft Technical University) in collaboration with Municipality of Amsterdam, and Amsterdam Institute of Advanced Metropolitan Solutions.

I surf tackles issues of urban environmental and ecological degradation through a set of four design instruments for river space design. The instruments, tested, elaborated and refined through design workshops and participatory sessions in Amsterdam, aid designers, planners, decision-makers and stakeholders in developing spatial interventions for social-ecological integration.

User Satisfaction in Smart Environments: The Case “Stadhuistoren” Smart Office Building of Municipality of Eindhoven
Prof. dr. ir. Bauke de Vries (Eindhoven University of Technology) in collaboration with Municipality of Eindhoven, and !mpuls B.V.

The introduction of smart technologies in office environment is often technology driven, meaning that the impact on user satisfaction hardly systematically studied. In this project the impact of new smart technologies on user satisfaction in smart office environments is researched using user preference and system control data.

The MaaS-ladder – how prepared is your city for MaaS?
Ir. Arjen van Weert (HAN University of Applied Sciences) in collaboration with Movares Nederland B.V., Municipality of Amsterdam and Municipality of Nijmegen.

Local authorities are looking for ways to support Mobility as a Service (MaaS). This research develops a MaaS decision tool which scores a city of region on MaaS success factors and presents measures that can be taken towards a MaaS introduction.

In 2019 the call  VerDuS SURF Pop Up will be organised for the last time. More information will be published early 2019.

For more information on VerDuS SURF, please visit Should you have any questions or comments, you can also contact the programme secretary, Ms. Esther van der Wel, via   

Source: NWO