Apps for Amsterdam in Het Parool

Ivonne Jansen-Dings

On Saturday 16 June 2012 the second edition Apps for Amsterdam was launched, in which contest developers not only have a chance to win great prizes with their newly developed applications, but also the opportunity to develop them further to get them on the market. The newspaper Het Parool covered Apps for Amsterdam in an article written by Saskia Naafs on the opening day of the contest. A selection of quotes.

Last year, winners of the contest were (among many others) were apps like OCO-Scholenzoeker and Energielabel-app, that shows the energy consumption of properties in Amsterdam and gives citizens a free advice on how to improve their energy consumption level. This year much more municipal data will be available to build apps upon. More than 100 data sets in total, divided in six themes: vacancy, tourism & culture, democracy, mobility, security and energy.

"We are living in an information society. The city gathers a lot of information on the city and her citizens,” says Ivonne Jansen-Dings (33) of Waag, one of the initiators of Apps for Amsterdam. “That information should be shared. Cities cannot escape becoming more transparant,” she thinks. Full openness, that sounds good. But there is also information the municipality rather likes to keep to itself. “Information about budgets and tenders is not yet available. That's a pity, because it would really make the city more transparant.”

Apps like 'park shark' for the cheapest parking spots in town kan make life easier for Amsterdam' citizens. “But they can also call the government to justification,” says Jansen-Dings. “Why are those CITO-scores of the schools in my neighbourhood so low?” or “Why is that property vacant for so long?”

(Thanks to Saskia Naafs, Het Parool, translation by Waag)

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