Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Corporate story

Urban Vitality: giving our all for a healthy city

Amsterdam is vibrant. It always has been. And we want to keep it that way. Under the banner of Urban Vitality, the AUAS is therefore researching how it can help the city’s residents to adopt, or maintain, a healthy lifestyle. In concrete terms, we are doing this in local neighbourhoods, schools and sports clubs.

Various groups in Amsterdam can use our assistance when it comes to improving their health and lifestyle. For example, vulnerable senior citizens who still live at home, overweight children, or patients recovering from heart disease. We also focus on another end of the health spectrum, supporting elite athletes by researching ways to optimise their training methods.

Everything we do is focused on the needs of residents: addressing their issues, in an active and preventative way. The daily lives of Amsterdammers is always our starting point, and we aim to improve their quality of life. We give our all for the health of the city.

We therefore ask ourselves: what is the best type of care to promote recovery among elderly heart disease patients following hospitalisation? Do patients recovering at home exercise enough and consume sufficient amounts of protein? How can we keep neighbourhoods accessible for the elderly? We also research how apps can help overweight children to get moving more often.


While people are currently paying a lot of attention to topics such as health, fitness and dietary habits, there is a growing group of Amsterdammers with an sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet. We’re coming up with solutions for vulnerable groups, such as those over 75, children and people with low education-levels. We focus particularly on districts such as New-West and South-East Amsterdam.

Urban Vitality focuses on more than just recovery: we’re committed to helping people ‘get better’ and in this we aim high. Our research spans from top-level healthcare to top-level sports. Our researchers and students develop and test scientific methods for boosting the quality of the daily training and practice of elite athletes, professional musicians and dancers so they can perform better under pressure.


Researchers, lecturers, students and industry professionals are in close contact with one another, keeping each other informed and strengthening our collective knowledge.

Research teams prefer working with colleagues from other disciplines and with various parties committed to promoting health among Amsterdammers, such as the Amsterdam UMC (university hospital), healthcare centres, sports institutions and immigrant and refugee centres. Or with partners who can strengthen our research or inspire solutions to urban issues, such as entrepreneurs in the Amsterdam creative industries, ICT or food sectors.

Research results are shared in a centre for expertise, where everyone from both within the AUAS and the community can share insights and benefit from the available knowledge. This enables us to develop the best possible ideas and solutions for the city and the well-being of its residents – always with a hands-on and future-focused approach. Partnerships are key to this. We know that this is crucial to producing the best solutions, for the benefit of everyone.


Alongside this, AUAS lecturers apply insights from our research in their classrooms. We foster an investigative attitude and applied approach to problem solving in our students, so that they can directly contribute to a healthy city upon the completion of their studies. They learn to adapt to a constantly changing society, to forge connections to relevant developments, to cooperate across disciplines and to learn from each other. To open themselves up to new ideas, perspectives and ways of working. We teach them to always focus on what can be improved. And to come up with creative solutions.


Our ambitions are far-reaching. Via our combination of applied research and future-focused education, we aim to be an authority in the field of urban vitality in the near future; an expert on Amsterdam and an example for other major cities. In the Netherlands, and beyond.

Gepubliceerd door  Urban Vitality 18 maart 2019