Centre of Applied Research Technology

Positive energy district in Buiksloterham (ATELIER)

The AUAS is a knowledge partner in this European Smart City project


Amsterdam has received a European grant for the development of a ‘positive’ energy district in the city’s Buiksloterham neighbourhood. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) research groups (including Urban Technology and Urban Management) are participating in this project. A new area is being developed in Buiksloterham, where consumers will generate sustainable energy: most likely more than they consume. The excess energy will be traded on a local energy market.

Energy-positive neighbourhood in Buiksloterham

The creation of this energy-positive district is part of an European project, called ATELIER. Amsterdam is joining forces with the Spanish city of Bilbao in this, where a similar district is being developed. These two metropolises serve as ‘Lighthouse Cities’ for the other cities involved in the project, which stand to benefit from the innovations and technologies unearthed in Amsterdam and Bilbao by implementing them locally: Bratislava (Slovak Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Krakow (Poland), Matosinhos (Portugal), and Riga (Latvia). The city of Amsterdam is the project coordinator, working together with some 30 cities, knowledge institutions and companies from 11 countries.

The AUAS is involved as a knowledge partner in the ATELIER project and has various tasks: organising the collaboration with other smart city projects, contributing to the project monitoring and evaluation, and helping to disseminate the results in other European cities.

Energy consumers and producers

ATELIER connects new and existing energy cooperatives with one another via the new Buiksloterham district. Current and future residents will soon not only be energy consumers – they will also be energy producers. Residents can store and trade the excess energy created by their household on a digital platform. The new area – which spans some 20,000 m2 with homes and businesses – will also include a hub for sharing electric vehicles.

Technology, civic engagement and business models

The project builds on the knowledge and experience gained in the AUAS Smart City Academy. In addition to examining the technological possibilities, the research group will also look at topics such as new forms of civic engagement, effective business models and the possibilities for further upscaling and replication of this ‘model neighbourhood’ in other cities.

Professor Robert van den Hoed (Energy and Innovation): “This project represents a great opportunity for the AUAS to pool and utilise our knowledge of and expertise in urban themes from all our research groups. We also link to our education in the project. For example, by encouraging students to participate in the research, and also by developing course material based on the insights gained in the project.”

Professor Willem van Winden (Urban Economic Innovation): “We are going to develop strategies for scaling up and replicating these districts. And we are setting up training and coaching programmes for professionals and students.”

This project spans across our institution, involving the following AUAS parties:

Alongside the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), the following parties are involved in the project:

City of Amsterdam (NL)

City of Bilbao (SP)

Tecnalia (SP)


Cartif (SP)

De Waag Society (NL)

Paul Scherrer Institute (SW)

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (GE)

City of Budapest (HU)

City of Matosinhos (PO)

City of Riga (LT)

City of Copenhagen (DK)

City of Bratislava (SK)

City of Krakow (PL)


Cluster Bilbao (SP)





Republica Development VOF (NL)

Developer Poppies Location (NL)

Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan Solutions (NL)

Waternet (NL)


Greenchoice (NL)

Civiesco (IT)

Zabala Innovation Consulting (SP)

Fraunhofer ITWM (GE)

The AUAS project team includes:

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 4 June 2024

Project Info

Start date 01 Nov 2019
End date 30 Oct 2025


Karen Williams