Digital Cities & Communities

How to build smart, enjoyable cities and hinterlands

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.

23 November 2017

Digital Society Research Agenda

1 May 2024

Mondai TU Delft: Seminar Series on Meaningful Human-AI Interactions for a Digital Society

1 May 2024

Photos Digital Society Conference 2024

6 March 2024

Registration Digital Society Conference 25 April is open.

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

Frits Claassen (Wageningen University)


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.

Liesbet van Zoonen (Erasmus University Rotterdam)


Academic director of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Big Open and Linked Data (BOLD) Cities. Our 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, we collaborate with local government, creative professionals and citizen groups. We designed the SHARED values as a criterion for human centred information technology, and use this in our own research to assess if and how data science projects in the city serve the benefits of the city and its citizens.


There are loads of small and big research projects about the digitisation and datafication of cities. Many cities pride themselves on being ‘smart’. However, to date there is little exchange between the plethora of initiatives, there is little insight in best practice, let alone that scaling and spreading can be considered. Our aim with the ‘Digital Cities and Communities’ theme of the VSNU agenda is to scope existing research, labs, experiments and try-outs, build an ‘observatory’ to monitor future work and establish mechanism for spreading and scaling that are relevant to all partners of the quadruple helix, i.e. knowledge institutes, (local) governments, creative industry and civil society.

Stay updated by subscribing
to our newsletter.