Digital Cities & Communities

Digital technology can help to create infrastructure with which to manage urbanisation, population growth, mobility, effects of climate change and transition to greater sustainability. By ‘monitoring citizens’ behaviour, smart cities could optimize urban planning and transport, and utility and community services such as waste collection and law enforcement. Smart cities should provide their own citizens safety and liveability, and interact optimally with surrounding rural communities. These and related societal challenges are addressed in programme line Digital Cities & Communities.

Academics that are working on finding solutions to societal challenges related to Digital Cities & Communities:


Frits Claassen is Associate Professor at the Operations Research and Logistics Group. My research aims to contribute particularly to the applicability of Operations Research (OR) models – and solution techniques in practice. My general research objective is to combine the strong elements of normative OR models (i.e. what practice ought to do) with descriptive decision-making (i.e. what practice actually does), such that models and solution approaches arise that provide for insights in what practice should, and actually can do.


Van Zoonen is academic director of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Big Open and Linked Data (BOLD) Cities. Their agenda concerns the responsible application of data science for public values and the public good in urban environments. This involves anything from smart mobility solutions to data driven benefit systems. As a matter of principle, they collaborate with local government, creative professionals and citizen groups. They designed the SHARED values as a criterion for human centred information technology, and use this in their own research to assess if and how data science projects in the city serve the benefits of the city and its citizens.


Gamified survey questions citizens about digital traces in public spaces

Smart lampposts, vehicle detector loops in the road, public Wi-Fi in the city centre and car parks that read your number plate: our living environment is becoming increasingly driven by modern digital technologies and vast data streams used to monitor, manage and improve the infrastructure and public services in the city. The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities aims to make people aware of these data points, in part by means of a new game: ‘Your neighbourhood - Your data'
Click Here

Research of the Operations Research and Logistics Group

The research projects focus on decision making in the domain of agrifood and biobased supply chain. Central in these projects is the increasing complexity and uncertainty, as well as the specific characteristics of our domain. Our work supports organisations in achieving robust performance, including the trade-offs between costs, service, quality and sustainability.
Click Here

Leiden-Delft-Erasmus news reports on 'The Ethics of Big Data' seminar

When the decision is finally taken to utilise data to resolve issues or improve services, fundamental questions will remain on the subject of ethics and privacy. Who actually owns the data? How can we ensure that security and privacy are safeguarded? How can we involve the people whose data is used?
Click Here